Porsche has selected the plant in Leipzig for another push towards electrification. 600 million euros for what will be the fifth expansion of the site in Saxony, former East Germany, are to help Porsche to set course on manufacturing future electric models.
The first electric car to be manufactured entirely in Leipzig will be the Macan EV. Our previous reports had suggested as much and Porsche now set the start of production for around 2020 with on-sale planned in 2022.
The compact SUV will utilise the PPE architecture (Premium Platform Electric) that is currently being developed in cooperation with Audi. Like the Porsche Taycan, the electric Macan will feature 800 Volt technology for high power charging.
While the Taycan will be produced at Porsche’s home site in Stuttgart Zuffenhausen, the factory in Leipzig has proven its validity. The company decided to set up shop here about 20 years ago. Albrecht Reimold, the board member responsible for production recounts that since they broke ground in February 2000 “we have invested more than 1.3 billion euro to develop the plant. We’ve never regretted the decision.”
The latest expansion gives Porsche the option to produce fully electric vehicles on the existing production line in addition to petrol and hybrid models in the future. This fits in with the plans for the Macan that will be offered with a combustion engine over a transitional period. In the long term, however, Porsche will have to concentrate on electric mobility. CFO Meschke explained that as a relatively small company, Porsche “will not be able to afford to offer a combustion-engine version in addition to pure-electric models in the long term”. He added that Porsche plans to switch to full-electric powertrains in its sedans and SUVs over the next ten years.
Porsche Leipzig GmbH now employs a workforce of approximately 4,300 employees, and the factory manufactures the Porsche Panamera and Macan series, as well as bodies for Bentley. Overall, Saxony is becoming a new centre for Germany’s electric automotive industry. BMW is building the i3 electric vehicle in Leipzig as well, while Volkswagen’s transparent factory making the e-Golf is in Dresden close by and lastly, CATL will open the battery cell factory in Erfurt in neighbouring Thuringia.