Why I don't think the Porsche Taycan will be a Tesla killer
The Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S have taken the automotive journalists of the world by storm this month. They all seem to be under the assumption that the Taycan will be the vehicle to finally dethrone Tesla and claim the title of "king of the EV market".
I've written a few articles bashing Tesla, but after looking over the basics about the Taycan, I can't help but think that, like the Chevrolet Bolt, Jaguar I-Pace, Audi E-Tron, and the laundry list of other EVs that have claimed to be the alternative to a Tesla, the Taycan won't make as big a difference as people think it will. Let's unpack this.
For starters, the Model S has been on sale for seven years and has sold over 250,000 units in that time period. Realistically speaking, people could be on their second Model S at this point, and there are plenty of Model S's on the used market right now.
The Taycan is more expensive than the base Model S
The Taycan is entering the EV market with a base price of $150,900. Which is roughly $40,000-$50,000 more than a fully loaded Model S P100D. Now I know American automakers are typically the value buy in the markets that they compete in, but the average "more money than god" business executives and influencers aren't going to go running away from Tesla to pick up a Taycan at that price, not without some real convincing.
Tesla is a really hot word in pop culture right now
While us gearheads have a difficult time processing the thought of EVs taking over the market, Tesla is one of the hottest companies right now, and it shows in their sales figures. The Model 3 is doing incredibly well, the Model X is also doing well, Tesla is an interesting company, and their fame comes from consistently showing up vehicles in terms of comfort, performance, and value in their respective categories. It's not that Porsche isn't an incredible company, it's that Tesla is a stronger trend. Not a stronger brand, but a stronger trend right now.
Porsche targeted the wrong car
After you check the stats on the Taycan, it's obvious that the Taycan is going to challenge the Model S, which sold roughly 25,000 units last year. That isn't necessarily the largest market, and only a handful of those Teslas are the fully loaded P100D models which would compete with the Taycan in terms of pricing, which begs the question, how big is the performance EV market? Is there enough room for multiple competitors? Porsche's other big sedan, the Panamera doesn't even outsell the Model S, in fact, the Model S outsold the Panamera 3 to 1 in 2018.
Even if the Taycan winds up being an incredible vehicle, which I'm sure it will be (because it's a Porsche) I don't think that it will suddenly outsell the Model S, which is probably going to be refreshed to outperform the Taycan.
Next, let's remind ourselves that in the US, we're talking about roughly 25,000 sales, which is a really small portion of the market. Meanwhile, the Model 3 sold roughly 139,000 units in 2018, which is roughly 139,000 more compact luxury EV sedans than Porsche sold last year. See where I'm going with this?
The performance isn't THAT much different
The Taycan Turbo S makes 750 horsepower and 774 lb-ft of torque. The Model S makes 680 horsepower and 791 lb-ft if torque, according to MotorTrend. The Taycan Turbo S is expected to do zero to 60 in 2.6 seconds, the Model S will do it in 2.3 seconds. The Taycan has a max range of 279 miles, the long range Model S can do 370 miles. The performance Model S can do 345 miles on a charge. Porsche is teaming up with Electrify America for their chargers, Tesla has their supercharger network. The Taycan can supposedly charge from 5 per cent to 80 per cent in 22.5 minutes, the Model S can charge up to 80 per cent in 40 minutes. The Taycan weighs 5,100 pounds. The Model S weighs roughly 4,900 pounds. These are all numbers and stats that can be found on the Internet, and in almost every case, the Taycan is playing second fiddle to the Model S.
Not to be a Tesla fanboy, but Porsche has effectively cornered a small section of Tesla's buyers and are offering a vehicle that is heavier, slower, more expensive, and the only thing that realistically makes the Taycan better than the Model S is the charge time, and let's not kid ourselves – charge time doesn't necessarily matter to a lot of people who are buying these vehicles, because their lives allow for the opportunity to purchase an EV in the first place. Your cross state pharmaceutical runners, or auto mechanic parts runners aren't going to buy an EV, that's not the market they compete in.
I wish nothing but good luck to the Porsche Taycan, but if I'm completely honest, it's gonna be a long fight, and I don't think it's going to go that well.
What are your thoughts on the Porsche Taycan? Is it a Tesla killer or a Tesla follower? Comment Below!