Volkswagen, the world’s largest automaker, has announced plans for its biggest ever rollout of electric cars in a bid to overtake U.S. competitor Tesla, the market leader in the field.
On Monday, two days before the Frankfurt Motor Show opened its doors to the public, VW’s sports car unit Porsche presented a prototype of its Mission E electric luxury car. The electric Porsche will be furnished with a 600-horsepower engine delivering a top speed of 250 kilometers (155 miles) per hour. Its battery will have a range of 500 kilometers, said Porsche Chief Executive Matthias Müller.
VW insisted it wasn’t launching an assault on Tesla, but the Mission E is unmistakably targeting the same customers as the U.S. e-car pioneer: high earners who want a high-performance, good-looking electric car for ideological reasons or because it fits the green Zeitgeist.
Audi, Porsche’s sister brand in the VW group, has brought an electric sports utility vehicle to Frankfurt, the world’s largest auto show. “One doesn’t necessarily have to be the first,” said Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler. “But when you come you have to be the best.”