Porsche seeks tech edge though closer ties with battery specialists

Porsche is seeking to strengthen ties with battery specialists to expand on a technology edge…

Porsche is seeking to strengthen ties with battery specialists to expand on a technology edge that has helped turn the Taycan electric car into a sales success.

The company is in talks to set up more collaborations with battery developers, including Germany’s Custom Cells, Porsche said on Tuesday in a statement.

Porsche is spending 15 billion euros ($18 billion) over five years to boost its electric mobility and digital services.

Staying on top of the latest advances in battery technology will be key in shifting fans of Porsche’s cutting-edge combustion models to buying electric siblings such as the Taycan.

Porsche’s R&D boss, Michael Steiner, said last month that the company may need to team up with a partner to produce high-voltage battery cells for future models.

Existing suppliers are focusing on volume and cost targets as demand for zero-emissions vehicles accelerates in Europe, with more specialized needs such as Porsche’s falling to the back of the line, Steiner told Automotive News Europe.

Batteries promising superior performance would flank Porsche’s plans for synthetic fuels that could power future sports cars on and off the racetrack.

Mercedes-AMG last week presented a new battery layout derived from its Formula One operations, adding to signs of how automakers’ performance divisions are making the leap into an electric future.

Motorsports have played an important role historically for Porsche, and the company last month agreed to lift its stake in electric hypercar-maker Rimac Automobili.

Porsche has placed its first orders with Rimac to develop high-tech components with the Croatian company it sees “well on its way” to becoming a top supplier for Porsche, Chief Financial Officer Lutz Meschke said at the time.

Porsche plans to establish a joint venture with Custom Cells in the German city of Tuebingen called Cellforce Group, according to a filing on the country’s cartel office website.

Porsche declined to comment on the specifics of the plan because “significant questions are still open.”

Porsche’s owner, Volkswagen Group, mapped out a comprehensive effort last month to challenge Tesla as the world’s dominant electric-car maker with a plan to have six battery factories in Europe and invest globally in charging infrastructure.

VW is also an early backer of QuantumScape, the U.S.-listed specialist working on solid-state batteries.