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Porsche surpassed 30,000 reservations for its upcoming Taycan electric sports car, according to Bloomberg. The new reservation number builds on news from January 2019 that the company increased its planned production number from 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) to around 40,000 after it experienced higher-than-expected interest in the car.
What it means: Porsche is on course to make a big entrance into the EV market, and could disrupt longtime market leader Tesla.
Porsche’s Taycan is poised to be a significant threat to Tesla’s high-end Model S.Porsche North America president and CEO Klaus Zellmer said in January that over half of the signups for the Taycan at the time were not previous Porsche owners; in fact, Tesla owners were the Taycan’s number one source of interest — historically Porsche lures customers from BMW, Audi, or Mercedes.
Moreover, if Porsche continues to see high demand for its EV, it may be able to lean on its manufacturing experience to meet customer orders without delays or issues with production quality — things that have plagued Tesla — which could further bolster interest in its offering.
The bigger picture: While early interest might come from consumers in the market for premium models, automakers can’t focus only on high-end EVs to recoup their investments.
EVs must appeal to a wider audience with more accessible options. So far, automakers have unveiled plans to invest over $300 billion in developing EVs, a figure that automakers hope to recoup in the near future. Limiting EV options to high-end vehicles cuts off an automaker from a large segment of a potentially massive market — the global fleet of EVs will reach 127 million by 2030, up from just over 5 million in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency.
High price tags are holding consumers back from making an EV their next purchase — 57% of consumers would be more likely to purchase an EV if it were the same price as a traditional vehicle, according to a study by Volvo cited by The Drive. Lower-priced options and different form factors like sedans, pickup trucks, or minivans would expand the potential audience for their EVs, as it seems many consumers are looking for a lower-priced option.
For example, Tesla’s high-end Model S and X vehicles accounted for just 17% of their total production in Q2 2019; the remaining 83% was the company’s lower-cost Model 3, which starts at a purchase price of $38,990.
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