Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid gets more battery capacity

Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid gets more battery capacity
Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid

Today Porsche has announced that the new hybrid model of the Panamera has an all-wheel drive and an electric range of 50 kilometers. It will be unveiled at Paris Motor Show.

If you want to know more about speed and motor power feel free to check Porsche’s press release, the link is at the bottom.

 

Most of us probably don’t care about this expensive PHEV, but battery upgrades are always a good thing that I like to analyse.

Considering that in the USA, only electric cars with a battery capacity of 16 kWh or greater, allow buyers to get the full federal income tax credit of $7.500, every plug-in car should meet this requirement. This new 14,1 kWh battery is still 1,9 kWh short.

 

The current Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid has a battery made with 104 cells from Sanyo/Panasonic.

104 x 3,7 x 24,5 Ah = 9,4 kWh

The new Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is getting a 14,1 kWh battery, but it’s still unknown if it keeps using 104 cells. If it does, this means that the cell capacity increased from 24,5 Ah to 36,75 Ah, or roughly 37 Ah.

 

Curiously 37 Ah cells are also what the Volkswagen e-Golf is getting later this year from Samsung SDI. BEVs and PHEVs using the same cells is not usual, but it can happen. BEVs require cells with higher energy density, while PHEVs require cells with higher power density.

 

For example, the Volkswagen Group uses 25 Ah cells for its BEVs and PHEVs. The company considers 3,666 V as the nominal voltage, but for my calculations I’ll use the more common 3,7 V.

Volkswagen e-Golf battery pack is made with 264 cells: 264 x 25 Ah x 3,7 V = 24,42 kWh

Volkswagen e-up battery pack is made with 204 cells: 204 x 25 Ah x 3,7 V = 18,87 kWh

Volkswagen Golf GTE battery pack is made with 96 cells: 96 x 25 Ah x 3,7 V = 8,88 kWh

Audi A3 e-tron battery pack is made with 96 cells: 96 x 25 Ah x 3,7 V = 8,88 kWh

 

While the Volkswagen Passat GTE and the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid that were released later use more recent 28 Ah cells.

Volkswagen Passat GTE: 96 x 28 Ah x 3,7 V = 9,94 kWh

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid: 104 x 28 Ah x 3,7 V = 10,78 kWh

 

The 28 Ah cells were the next battery upgrade planned by Volkswagen for its electric cars.

 

Volkswagen's plan in 2014 for future battery upgrades
Volkswagen’s plan in 2014 for future battery upgrades

 

Volkswagen’s plan was to release minor battery upgrades every year until they reached the 36 Ah cells. This way they could force electric car buyers to change their cars every year if they wanted more range. A well thought planned obsolescence strategy. Volkswagen only decided to jump into 37 Ah cells because it was forced to by increased competition, especially with the recent release of the BMW i3 with more range.

 

With the 37 Ah cells these are the batteries we’ll get:

Volkswagen e-Golf: 264 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 36,14 kWh

Volkswagen e-up: 204 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 27,93 kWh

Volkswagen Golf GTE: 96 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 13,14 kWh

Volkswagen Passat GTE: 96 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 13,14 kWh

Audi A3 e-tron: 96 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 13,14 kWh

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid: 104 x 37 Ah x 3,7 V = 14,24 kWh

 

 

The best news of the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid battery upgrade is that now we know that the new 37 Ah cells have roughly the same volume and weight of the cells they are replacing. This way the electric cars that get the new cells won’t be heavier nor less efficient.

 

Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid biggest competitor is the BMW i8, that is also about to get its battery upgrade. Probably the recent unveiled Samsung SDI 50 Ah cells will substitute the old 20 Ah cells. This means an upgrade from 7,1 to 17,76 kWh, it will be enough to get the full federal income tax credit of $7.500 in the USA. In late 2018 we should get even better, an all electric version of the BMW i8 with the 120 Ah cells that will be made at the future Samsung SDI factory in Hungary.

 

Back to the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid…

 

 

In Germany the prices start at 107.553 €. In Europe the first deliveries begin in mid-April and all other continents will follow in 2017.

 

Update: this article was revised because I wrongly assumed that the new 37 Ah battery cells would be made by Volkswagen’s current supplier (Panasonic/Sanyo), but instead, these new cells are made by Samsung SDI.

 

 

More info:

https://newsroom.porsche.com/en/products/porsche-panamera-4-e-hybrid-launch-2016-12868.html

http://www.autozeitung.de/auto-neuheiten/porsche-panamera-4-e-hybrid-2016-preis-technische-daten

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ralf K
4 years ago

:quote: Volkswagen’s plan was to release minor battery upgrades every year until they reached the 36 Ah cells, even with 37 Ah cells already available. This way they could force electric car buyers to change their cars every year if they wanted more range. A well thought planned obsolescence strategy. :end quote:
This statement about planned yearly upgrades is simply wrong. Remember that kWh were expensive once at the moment of their development and additional costs for PHEVs should be manageable. And new batteries (a safety-critical component) are introduced in one-some-many-all manner to reduce risks. Yes, in addition I am convinced VW and other manufacturers did not want to rush EV/PHEV adoption.

:quote: Volkswagen only decided to jump into 37 Ah cells because it was forced to by increased competition, especially with the recent release of the BMW i3 with more range. :end quote:

The driving factor that I see for car makers to put higher battery capacities in PHEVs are governmental incentives, which are restricted to either a certain battery capacity (such as in the US, as you stated) oder minimum electric range (like in China or Germany). Together with the test cycles changing in Europe from NEDC to the more demanding WLTP, the car maker for example needs to achieve 30 or 40 or 50 km in the new cycle to be “future proof” and fit into the subsidized PHEV categories.