Racing is an important part of Porsche’s legacy, and the gradual introduction of electric technology will not allow the company to stay away from the track. It has announced a Joint venture called Cellforce, whose mission will be to design and manufacture battery cells suitable for high-performance racing cars and a handful of high-end racing-type production vehicles.
Running a race car with batteries is difficult because the Technology adds weight and takes longer to charge than to fill a fuel tank. Porsche is looking to solve these problems and believes that it is on the verge of a breakthrough. He is working on battery cells based on silicon as an anodic material, a solution that should allow his engineers to increase the power density of a Battery and reduce its overall size and weight to improve performance. And the new chemistry reduces the internal resistance of a battery, which means that powered the Pack takes less time. It can also withstand higher temperatures than the Technology found in electric cars in 2021.
Porsche has warned that this new Battery is not the turning point that will make EVs mainstream. It does not work well in freezing temperatures and is not designed for years of use and mid-word. It’s perfectly fine on the track — races are rarely contested when it’s 10 degrees below zero, and race car components are regularly replaced to ensure reliability. But the Technology would be problematic if placed in the hands of a Michigan police department.
Michael Steiner, head of the research and development department of the German automaker, also clarified that this is not an answer to Tesla’s Gigafactory. It is much smaller because it is primarily a race-oriented project.
“It will be a small installation compared to all Gigafactories. We consider about 100-megawatt hours per year as a production capacity. It could be a little more, but in terms of cars, it should be about 1,000 units per year, ” he told Autoblog at a media roundtable. Many will be racing cars, but the Technology that Cellforce will design and manufacture will also end up in what Steiner called “high-performance derivatives of existing cars.”It looks like something like a 911 GT2 RS with an electric powertrain instead of a watertight Flat Six engine, although he declined to provide details, not least because production is not expected to start until 2024.
Porsche has chosen Customcells, a German company founded in 2012 to develop cells for Lithium-ion batteries, as a partner for the project. It holds 83,75% of Cellforce, while Customcells the rest of 16,25% and dispose of. Although neither party disclosed the financial terms of the deal, Porsche found that The investment was in the mid-double-digit range. The Federal Government and the State of Baden-Württemberg have invested a total of 60 million euros in the project. In return, the plant will be located somewhere in the south of Germany.
Steiner said Cellforce is still in the embryonic stage. “We have started preliminary research and development to develop knowledge about cell chemistry,” he noted. Racing is clearly at the heart of the project, but Porsche is cautiously open to the idea of extending the project into the 2020s if everything goes according to plan.
“If it works and we see the potential to reduce costs, there may be a chance to increase volume. But this is not the task I have given the team that needs to launch this new installation. They have a clear mission: high-performance cells, ” he stressed. He added that other Volkswagen Group brands can use the cells as executives evolve.
That they become it is in the air. The transfer of technology between the road and the road is often difficult.
“In my experience, high performance and low cost do not go very well together,” concluded Steiner.