February 9, 2018 / 3:37 PM / a year ago

Porsche mulls production hike for electric cars as diesel sputters

FILE PHOTO: The new electric Porsche Mission E concept car is presented during the Volkswagen group night ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, September 14, 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Sportscar maker Porsche AG may increase annual production capacity of its Mission E model beyond 20,000 cars and decide shortly about whether to electrify its Macan sports utility model, board member Detlev von Platen told Reuters.

The Stuttgart-based auto maker, which is owned by Volkswagen Group (VOWG_p.DE), said it expects to double its investment in hybrid and fully electric vehicles to more than 6 billion euros ($7.35 billion) by 2022.

The Mission E, a four-seater electric sportscar, is due to roll off production lines in 2019, with initial customer inquiries giving Porsche grounds to believe that customers will not object to the brand’s switch from combustion to electric engines.

“The positive feedback for the Mission E makes us very optimistic about demand,” von Platen said, adding that Porsche is already looking at how to raise production capacity.

Other partially electrified models are also proving popular, von Platen told Reuters in remarks published on Friday.

“In Europe, around 60 percent of Panamera vehicles were delivered with a hybrid drivetrain,” von Platen said, referring to the company’s luxury sport sedan line.

In contrast, demand for diesel vehicles in Germany is on the wane, and Porsche is in talks with Germany’s motor vehicle authority KBA about a potential recall of V8-engined models of the Panamera and Cayenne.

In a separate statement, Porsche production chief Albrecht Reimold said the production of the Mission E would use vehicle underpinnings which may be suitable for other brands within the Volkswagen Group.

($1 = 0.8158 euros)

Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Edward Taylor

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