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Porsche ramping up hiring for Mission E; leveraging the 919 Hybrid

Porsche said it will hire more than 1,400 new employees in the Stuttgart region to work on the development and production of the first all-electric sports car from Porsche, the Mission E. (Earlier post, earlier post.)

The company plans to recruit in the fields of digitalization, e-mobility, smart mobility and vehicle connectivity. Porsche will also focus on recruiting production planners familiar with Factory 4.0 and digital production and will hire more than 100 IT specialists as well.

Porsche’s Mission E concept. Click to enlarge.

In addition, the newly established company Porsche Digital GmbH will soon be offering 50 jobs to creative individuals in order to integrate the latest technologies into mobility solutions for the premium vehicle segment.

In order to be able to recruit as many highly qualified experts as possible from the company’s own ranks for the production of the Mission E, the number of technical-industrial apprentices will increase from 104 to 154 beginning in the 2016 training year, Porsche said.

Mission E. The concept version of the Mission E unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show is a four-door, four-seat sport car that delivers more than 600 hp (440 kW) system power and more than 500 km driving range. It features all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering; zero to 100 km/h acceleration in under 3.5 seconds and a charging time of around 15 minutes to reach an 80% charge of electrical energy.

The drive system of the Mission E is entirely new, yet is proven in motor racing. Two permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM)—similar to those used in the 919 hybrid LMP1 racer (earlier post)—accelerate the sports car and recover braking energy.

The need-based all-wheel drive system with Porsche Torque Vectoring—which automatically distributes torque to the individual wheels—transfers the drive system’s power to the road, and all-wheel steering gives precise, sporty steering in the desired direction. This makes the Mission E fit for the circuit race track; its lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife is under the eight-minute mark.

800 volts. Porsche is also pushing the use of 800-volt technology in the Mission E—as it does in its 919 Le Mans racer. Doubling the voltage—compared to today’s electric vehicles that operate at 400 volt—offers multiple advantages: shorter charging times and lower weight, because lighter, smaller gage copper cables are sufficient for energy transport.

Establishing the voltage level is a fundamental decision in electric drive systems. It influences battery design, electronics design, e-motor design and charging technology.

For energy storage for the 800V 919 system, Porsche chose a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery comprising hundreds of cylindrical cells seven centimetres high and 1.8 centimeters in diameter (18700) from A123 Systems. The cells were specially developed for this motor racing application and combined into compact modules using a special welding procedure.

The fluid cooling system, developed using a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) system, dissipates the waste heat so effectively that even at full throttle only very small temperature differences are detectable across the entire battery. The thermal and electrical loads on the individual cells in the system are evenly balanced, which has a positive effect on the durability of the battery as a whole.

In both a road and racing car, power density and energy density must be balanced. The higher the power density of a cell, the faster energy can be recharged and released. The other parameter, energy density, determines the amount of energy that can be stored. For racing applications, the cells must offer very high power density. As soon as the driver brakes, a massive energy hit comes in, and when the driver boosts, the energy must leave at exactly the same speed.

As an everyday comparison: If an empty lithium-ion battery in a smartphone had the same power density as the 919, it would be completely recharged win much less than a single second. The downside—after a brief chat it would be empty again.

In an electric car for everyday use, storage capacity translates into range. In this regard, the requirements of the racing car and a road-going electric car therefore are different. But with the 919 Porsche advanced into new regions of hybrid management. The 919 served as the testing lab for the voltage level of future hybrid systems. Important basic knowledge was discovered during the LMP1 program, such as cooling for the energy storage (battery) and the electric motor, the connection technology for extreme high voltage as well as the battery management and the systems’ design.

From this experience, the colleagues in production development gained important expertise for the four-door concept car Mission E with 800-Volt technology.

The series production version of the Mission E is targeted to appear by the end of the decade as the first purely electric driven Porsche.


Juan Carlos Zuleta

One feature not mentioned here is inductive (wireless) charging (See: http://www.businessinsider.com/porsche-reveals-mission-e-all-electric-concept-car-2016-7). Unlike Tesla, Porsche seems to be aware of what is likely to happen to the lithium market a few years from now (See: http://seekingalpha.com/article/3294695-battery-recharging-why-is-tesla-not-going-wireless).

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