Porsche Kisses Diesel Engines Goodbye as Market Demands Electric Powertrains
Porsche and General Motors agree that the electric vehicle market is ramping up much faster than expected.
The first German automaker is saying auf wiedersehen to diesel as the market makes an important shift towards electrification. In a statement by the automaker, Porsche announced it would drop further development and sales of its diesel powerplant.
Notably, Porsche isn't downplaying diesel being an important influence in the market. Much like its parent company, Volkswagen, Porsche clearly states that diesel has its place in the industry; just not with a sports car manufacturer.
“Porsche is not demonizing diesel. It is, and will remain, an important propulsion technology," said Porsche's CEO, Oliver Blume. "We as a sports car manufacturer, however, for whom diesel has always played a secondary role, have come to the conclusion that we would like our future to be diesel-free. Naturally, we will continue to look after our existing diesel customers with the professionalism they expect.”
Diesel-powered Porsches haven't been sold in the United States since late 2015, according to CNN, and only 12 percent of Porsche's global sales were made up of diesel-powered vehicles in 2017.
The decision isn't surprising given the continued plummet in diesel vehicle sales. Earlier this year, Europe saw a drop of nearly 20 percent compared to prior year sales, which could indicate that consumers are losing faith in the longevity of the platform given the market's move towards electrification, or perhaps the three-year-old dieselgate scandal is finally taking its toll.
Since the emissions cheating was uncovered, the European Union and the United States have begun to regulate diesel much more heavily, imposing stricter regulatory demands and harsher penalties on automakers who circumvent the system. Still, real-world testing shows that most modern diesels produce far too many emissions, nearly five times the allotted amount, to be compliant with the EU's standards.
Regardless of Porsche's reasoning, the decision to ditch diesel comes at a time where Porsche is planting its feet into electrification. The German automaker continues to view the platform as important, however, notes that it wants to "occupy the technological vanguard" as far as electrification is concerned, and is shifting the brand's core identity to meet the demands of future mobility.