Electro Initiative

With E-Fleet, VW Takes Aim at Tesla

porsche mission e concept car frankfurt source dpa
Porsche debuted its Mission E concept car at the Frankfurt International Auto Show this week, a luxury race car designed to reach speeds of 250 kilometers (155 miles) per hour and travel for 500 kilometers on a single charge. Parent Volkswagen is planning 20 new e-car models by 2020.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    VW is underscoring its commitment to electric cars with a major rollout of new models and throws down the gauntlet to U.S. pioneer Tesla.

  • Facts


    • VW’s luxury units Porsche and Audi presented prototypes of high-end electric vehicles with range of 500 kilometers on the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show, which starts Wednesday.
    • In the seven months to end-July, 828 Tesla Model S cars were sold in Germany, more than the number of sold VW’s electric Golf small family cars.
    • VW plans to release 20 further electric models by 2020, including its luxury models VW Phaeton and Audi A8.
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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.”

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