Porsche announced today that it has completed work on its first photovoltaic pylon. The structure, which is 25 meters high and comprises 7,776 solar cells, can reportedly generate up to 30,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
The completion of this structure represents ‘a key factor in the long-term success of electric mobility in Germany,” according to Dr. Jens Puttfarcken, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche. The pylon will provide enough electricity to power the new Berlin-Adlershof Porsche center, set to open in 2017, as well as allowing visitors to the center to recharge their own electric cars on site for free.
Porsche, who recently posted record-breaking sales for 2015, up 19% from their previous record in 2014, are ambitious about investing in solar power and electric vehicles. Analysts and industry experts are predicting the next big step in the automotive industry to be driverless vehicles. While Ford is partnering with Google, Volkswagen is working with Mobileye, and while most other major auto manufacturers have announced plans to get driverless cars on the road by 2020, Porsche has no plans to develop autonomous cars. Blume told a German newspaper that the company was not interested in that area of research, stating that a customer wants “to drive a Porsche by oneself.”
Investment in solar power and photovoltaic electricity demonstrates Porsche’s commitment to electric mobility and conservation of resources, reinforcing the message sent yesterday when Porsche announced that its first all-electric car would be available by the end of this decade. This vehicle, called the Mission E, was premiered at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September 2015, and the project was officially greenlit by the Board of Porsche in December.
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume stated that Porsche would be investing a ‘good billion euros in the Mission E alone.’ This financial investment will include over 1000 new jobs at the Stuttgart site, new paint and assembly plants, and major expansion to the existing engine and body shops to accommodate the Mission E project line. The Mission E will use ‘radically new technology’ to provide customers with a genuine Porsche experience using only electric power. The Mission E “marks the beginning of a new Porsche era”, and a fully functioning photovoltaic pylon blends seamlessly with that goal.