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All-electric Porsche on the horizon (NEW PICS)

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May 24, 2011

Porsche Boxter E prototype

Porsche Boxter E prototype

Image Gallery (17 images)

Having already made the leap into hybrid drive-trains with the GT3 R Hybrid and 918 Spyder, Porsche has now delivered a taste of possible future all-electric models by showcasing two Boxster E prototype variants at the Michelin Challenge Bibendum in Berlin last week.

Designed to retain the driving dynamics of their ICE driven brethren, the 4WD and 2WD prototypes are being used to investigate the integration of EVs into the company's infrastructure as well as "explore the everyday practicality of all-electric vehicles."

Boxster E 4WD

The 4WD Boxter E is driven by two electric motors - one at each axle - which produce a total power output of 180 kW and a maximum total torque of 540 Nm at 12,000 rpm. This translates to acceleration of 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.5 seconds, a top speed limited to 200 km/h (124 mph) and, according to Porsche, a driving experience equivalent to that offered by the Boxster S ICE production model.

Porsche Boxter E prototype

The vehicle layout sees the front drive unit replace the fuel tank and the rear unit located where the manual transmission and exhaust system would be found on a conventional model. A central electric control unit synchronizes the two electric motors and controls the front and rear torque distribution while a recovery system harvests energy during braking. Use of the recovery system can also be modified using buttons in the steering wheel to deliver "a sort of on-demand engine brake."

Porsche Boxter E prototype

Boxster E 2WD

Two rear-wheel drive only Boxter E prototypes were also rolled out in Berlin last week. Sans one motor, this variant produces half the toprque and power of the 4WD prototype (90 kW and 270 Nm) and has performance figures of 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.8 seconds with a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).

Porsche Boxter E prototype

Range, recharging and the sounds of silence

Both Boxster E variants draw power from a 29 kWh, 440 cell lithium-iron-phosphate with a nominal voltage of 3.3 V and capacity of 20 Ah per cell. Located where you would find the engine in a Boxter S, the water-cooled battery accounts for 341 kg of the car's 1,600 kg overall weight and delivers a a range of around 170 kilometers (107 miles). The "fuel" left in the tank is monitored via an "intelligent range management system" displayed on the instrument cluster's right-hand TFT display which shows remaining range and tells the driver how many extra miles they will gain by turning off the air conditioning system.

The charging port is located at the front end and a full charge takes around nine hours through a conventional socket, though Porsche says a rapid charging function will improve on this. The design also enables the battery can be swapped out very quickly, which leaves open the possibility of a system where an empty battery is exchanged for a full one.

Porsche Boxter E prototype

Porsche engineers have also taken into account the potential safety issue raised by a vehicle that can hit 124 mph in relative silence - they've integrated an Active Sound Design system that gives both drivers and pedestrians acoustic feedback.

Porsche is trialling the Boxster E EVs as part of "Model Region Electro-Mobility Stuttgart" and given the short time that it took for the Hybrid 918 Spyder to make the leap from concept to production, we may not have too long to wait before an all-electric Porsche based on these prototypes hits the road.

About the Author
Noel McKeegan After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007.   All articles by Noel McKeegan
14 Comments

Very impressive speed and acceleration, but still a range of 107 miles and recharge time of 8 hours is not good enough.

Mustafa
24th May, 2011 @ 10:48 pm PDT

WHO CARES seriously any one here care????

Michael Mantion
25th May, 2011 @ 04:26 am PDT

Michael, I care!!! I care so very very much. Oh my, we all need to care more, so much more. Oh, how I care. You should care too. It's the right thing to do.

habakak
25th May, 2011 @ 06:28 am PDT

I CARE TOO !!!

I'd love to drive the BOXTER E 4WD ... all that style and power with no pollution!

EGM
25th May, 2011 @ 08:57 am PDT

Michael, the fact that you are here reading this proves that you care too.

YukonJack
25th May, 2011 @ 09:13 am PDT

There are obvious benefits of control associated with electric drive vehicles. Until you have driven a properly built electric drive vehicle, you won't understand how smooth and controlled your spirited driving can be. I think Porsche is commendable for paying attention to this concept and incorporating it into their future products.

halcyon_m
25th May, 2011 @ 10:49 am PDT

So-

why do cell phone batteries and R/C car batteries charge so fast and most full-size electric cars

take so long?

No psycobabble doublespeak,please.

Griffin
25th May, 2011 @ 04:20 pm PDT

I am very tired of reading bliss filled comments about electric cars being pollution free.

Nothing could be further from the truth. First most electricity is made by burning coal, oil, gas or nuclear fuels. Even hydro electric is far from pollution free.

Then there are the batteries and all the pollution involved with making them and disposing of them.

Even the "line loss" of power made in one place and used in another is something to consider.

I am very far from believing electric vehicles are the answer to our future tranport. I have not given up on internal combustion simply because the power is made where it is used. No one system or fuel will cover every problem.

vblancer
25th May, 2011 @ 06:44 pm PDT

Half the appeal of the Porsche is the sound it makes when you hit 5000rpm, unless you've driven one, you wouldn't get that. I certianly didn't.

I don't care Michael, not one bit. Electric cars like this are rubbish, what do you hippies thing the carbon footprint is to generate lithium-iron-phosphate batteries? How much pollution is generated by the mines and refining plants? How often to they have to be replaced? Where does the power you charge them from come from? It's simply shifting the pollution from one place to another.

Until we see Hydrogen or other alternatives the electric vehicles plan suck.

Adam Nightingale
25th May, 2011 @ 11:36 pm PDT

Michael,

You don't have to care, just wait around a few years and you won't be able to afford petrol for any vehicle...

Be thankful the likes of Porsche are developing sophisticated and fun cars now, not waiting for the oil to run out.....

Paulg
26th May, 2011 @ 05:44 am PDT

Half (62.4%) the energy wasted driving the Porsche is heat and noise! See: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/atv.shtml . Only about 15% of the energy from the fuel you put in your tank gets used to move your car down the road. Stationary power plants are MUCH more efficient at producing motive power than the internal combustion engine(ICE) of the stock Porsche. The worst coal fired power plant running in the US is 62% efficient. So if the Boxter E were charged with electricity produced by the worst power plant in the US it would go 4 times as far (62/15) on the same amount of energy.

RASteiner
26th May, 2011 @ 06:12 am PDT

I drive performance gas cars and write about electric cars, which gets me in the seat of some incredible performance electric cars. Go and drive both in order to "get it". A high-performance electric car has a few advantage over a gas car, something I never thought I would agree with a couple of years ago but the relative quietness and lack of shifting allows me to fully concentrate on trajectories. I thought I would miss a gas engine sound but I don't. I feel calmer and more in charge of my capacities. I never have to listen or see what my RPM is, it's always perfect where it is in between 0 and it's max in an EV. When I need the adrenaline, it's there, 100% of its torque available as soon as it spins.

You can't compare electric cars to regular cars, it doesn't work. You need to drive both high ends in order to get it. And it's still less polluting to build and operate an electric car, no matter how you line up the numbers. The rest are just emotional words. Go out there, be open, the future will happen despite what ICE purists say. And lest we forgot, steam car people said the same thing about those awkward gas cars a century ago. And before then, horse carriage drivers said the same thing about the steam engine. And our grandchildren will most likely laugh at us for CO2 belching cars.

33Nick
26th May, 2011 @ 12:14 pm PDT

The Audi E1 has a genius 20 kW Wankel type generator set - range extender. Could easily be fitted, for further range, !, Porsche !!.

Algreen-ussing Søren
30th May, 2011 @ 02:03 pm PDT

The first Porsche electric car was very nice and innovative for 1900: http://firstelectriccar.com/porsche/

Is the past and the future!

Christian Palumbo
16th August, 2012 @ 03:55 pm PDT
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