Following the old adage that says “if you want something to go well do it yourself” Porsche, the legendary German sports car manufacturer, is entering the world of high-power electric car battery manufacturing by forming a joint venture with German battery manufacturer Customcells to build and operate a battery-powered battery factory. high performance.
Porsche did not disclose the amount of its investment in the new company, which was called Cellforce Group GmbH, but said the amount is in “the high end of the several tens of millions.” What is clear is the joint investment of the German government and the state of Baden-Württemberg where the new factory will be located, which amounts to 60 million euros, the equivalent of about 71.4 million dollars.
Cellforce operations will start on a small scale, with a planned annual battery capacity sufficient for 1,000 vehicles, beginning in 2024. The initial workforce is expected to grow from around 13 employees to 80 after the first year of operations.
The batteries will use silicon as the anode material, since according to Porsche this material significantly increases the energy storage capacity and better withstands high temperatures, important characteristics since the batteries produced by Cellforce are going to be used in competition cars. and in very exclusive and powerful Porsche models.
These characteristics not only make batteries ideal for those uses, but they also extend their life and improve the range of vehicles, which sounds ideal for Porsche street vehicles. However, the manufacturer does not plan to use these batteries in its more conventional models. Still, Michael Steiner, a member of the Porsche board of directors, did not rule out increased production volume in the future if the company sees a way to reduce production costs, but for now, “we are looking to make special batteries for cars from high-end and motorsports, which are not available in today’s market, ”said Steiner.
According to Porsche, adapting this technology to its passenger cars would not be an easy task, “its chemistry based on the silicon anode has not demonstrated the ability to operate in very cold conditions or to remain stable for many charge cycles,” said Porsche. it’s a statement.
While the first vehicles to use these batteries will be manufactured by Porsche, Steiner said the technology will be available to other Volkswagen Group brands that make ultra-high-performance models, such as Lamborghini or Bugatti.
Oliver Blume, Porsche CEO said in a statement on Monday that “the battery is the combustion chamber of the future,” adding that “this joint venture enables us to position ourselves at the forefront of global competition in developing more powerful batteries. and make them the link between the unmistakable Porsche driving experience and sustainability. This is how we shape the future of the sports car. “