Here’s a remarkable statistic for a country that has such a low level of electric vehicle sales: Half of the new passenger car sales in Australia from one of the world’s most exclusive marques, Porsche, were electric in both the month of May, and in the calendar year to date.
The Porsche electric Taycan only arrived in Australia in late March, but it has already racked up total sales of 326 cars by the end of May (including 53 in that month). For a car with a price that ranges from $194,700, before on roads, to more than $300,000, that represents at least $65 million worth of new electric cars.
The Taycan’s success is best illustratred by a comparison with Porsche’s other passenger car sales. It has beaten the perennially popular 911 (46 in May and 167 in the year to date), and the Taycan’s total sales for 2021 (326), beats the combined totals of the 911 (167), the Cayman (68), the Boxter (55) and the Panamera (16).
How come Porsche is boasting an electric penetration rate of more than 50 per cent when the rest of the market can barely muster 1 per cent?
The answer is likely two-fold – Porsche has invested a lot of money in this new technology, and at this end of the market there is no real difference in cost of an electric car and a fossil fuel equivalent.
True, the Taycan is different to any of its in-house passenger rivals, but it is deliberately pitched between the 911 and the Panamera. And given its high performance credentials, particularly its acceleration, and equivalent luxuries, the choice becomes a bit of a no brainer.
“We’ve been really pleased with the interest,” a spokesman said. “There was a strong order book but there has also been very strong conversion on test drives,” he added, noting that buyers were mixed between Porsche loyalists and new Porsche buyers.
It gives a pretty clear insight into which technology might be the choice for consumers as price parity between electric and fossil fjuel cars in the broader market is reached, or even just approached. Tesla has discovered this by pitching its cars against the rival offerings of Audi, BMW and Mercedes. It is now the most popular luxury sedan in the US market.
Other electric car offerings have been popular with EV enthusiasts, but not with the general market because the price difference between the electric and the petrol or diesel equivalents is still too great, although for some observors it is not entirely clear why the price difference is so great.
Porsche will make that choice even easier with the release of the “entry level” version of the Taycan, with a lower price point of $156,300 before on roads, and the Gran Turismo version.
The most popular Porsche car in Australia remains the Macan SUV, which starts at around $84,300 before on roads and goes up to around $145,200. It will be fascinating to see what happens when an electric equivalent of that car is released, and what the price point will be. Porsche has already hinted that one is coming,