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Photo of Porsche's first EV 2020 Taycan (AP)
Photo of Porsche's first EV 2020 Taycan (AP)

When zero to 80 in 22 minutes is fast: This Porsche chases a different speed

  • Can you imagine setting the road on fire at break-neck speeds but coming to a standstill because the battery ran out? Porsche is looking at a fine balance in the Taycan.

Sports cars tend to hit 100 kmph in a matter of seconds and this often lends big bragging rights in a highly competitive world of track racing excellence. With the EV revolution firmly in place though, hitting triple digit speeds in a flash alone, however, won't guarantee supremacy. With more and more sports cars getting an electric heart, the speed at which the batteries of such vehicles can be charged may well turn out to be the new benchmark of automotive excellence. And Porsche Taycan EV does not want to be left high and dry.

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Sports cars powered by batteries may have been quite imaginable just some time back. And yet, sports car makers are increasingly looking at capitalizing on the EV revolution and the all-electric Taycan is a sign of changing times. Porsche is betting big on the Taycan EV but the iconic automobile company is aware, like most others, that the speed at which the sports car's battery is re-powered would be just as important as its sprinting abilities.

Porsche engineers have a tough ask.

Batteries powering sports car have a more arduous task than those inside regular commute vehicles. Whether it is the sports car itself or those who are behind the wheels, pausing for long intervals can always threaten to mute speed-seeking senses. "Sporty driving drains the battery faster, and the customer doesn't want to have to wait an hour to fully recharge it," explains Stefanie Edelberg, an engineer at Porsche. "For Porsche in particular, high charging performance plays a major role."

Therefore, Porsche says its engineers are constantly looking at further improving the capabilities of lithium-ion technology as well as exploring newer technologies.

Porsche claims its Taycan EV can be juiced up from zero to 80% charge in 22 minutes. The key though is to strike the perfect balance between fast charging and high energy density. "There will be no universal all-rounder battery," says Dirk Uwe Sauer, Professor of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage System Technology at RWTH Aachen University. "Several extreme properties cannot be combined. You can't have everything at once."

Sauer further explains that lighting quick charging and high energy density cannot be combined because this would have a detrimental impact on service life of the battery itself. "The faster the battery is charged, the greater the risk that the charge carriers will stick to the surface of the crystals, forming a metallic layer and thus damaging the cell."

And while there are other battery options being explored, Porsche says lithium 'will remain the basis – as well as with another variant, which is currently being intensively studied.'

As for the Taycan EV, the test for it and all other sports car looking to go down the electric road will be about how to marry the same blazing fast on-road credentials with charging times which don't set back speed enthusiasts by hours.

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