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Porsche to create high-performance batteries with German firm in EV push

LONDON, UNITED KINDOM - AUGUST 09: The Porsche Macan S seen outside a Porsche dealership in Mayfair, London. The Macan S is their midrange model placing it ahead of the Macan, but before the Macan GTS and Turbo models. (Photo by Martyn Lucy/Getty Images)
The company said it aims to produce car batteries with higher energy density than prototypes used in Porsche's current electric cars under the new partnership. Photo: Martyn Lucy/Getty Images

Porsche has announced a joint venture with German lithium-ion firm Customcells to develop high-performance batteries that will significantly reduce charging times. 

The luxury sports car company, owned by Volkswagen (VOW.DE) is investing a high double-digit million euro sum and will control over 80% stake in the Cellforce venture, Porsche said on Sunday.

"The battery cell is the combustion chamber of the future," it said in its statement. The new subsidiary will play a major role for "research, development, manufacturing and sales of high-performance cells." 

The company said it aims to produce car batteries with higher energy density than prototypes used in Porsche's current electric cars under the new partnership. 

The move will not only reduce charging times, but improved higher density could see a reduction in the amount of raw material needed in batteries to achieve the same range.

Porsche has made waves around the world with its Taycan and Taycan Cross Turismo elctric cars, which have been dubbed as the most driver-centric EVs in the world, beating out Tesla (TSLA).

The carmaker's 2019 Taycan model currently needs 22.5 minutes to charge the battery to 80% from 5%, according to Porsche CEO Oliver Blume. The new cells will allow charging in less than 15 minutes, Blume told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

Its facility, located outside stuttgart will have capacity of at least 100 kilowatt hours — enough batteries for around 1,000 cars a year. Small-scale production is set to start in 2024.

Sporscars batteries need to be able to cope with high temperatures and be capable of fast charging and effective energy recuperation. It will continue to test its battery technology in motor sports, with experiences from the racetrack helping to refine technology for the Taycan, Porsche's development chief Michael Steiner said. 

Read more: VW Gold best selling car in Britain as sales pick up in May

It comes as the climate crisis has pushed global carmakers to consider more sustainable options to compete with market leader Tesla as governments aim to cut net zero emissions in the coming years. 

In May, the International Energy Agency (IEA) proposed a global ban on new fossil fuel boilers from 2025, as part of its vision to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

IEA's plans also include halting sales of new internal combustion engine passenger cars by 2035, and phasing out all unabated coal and oil power plants by 2040.

However, luxury car maker Aston Martin (AML.L) is curbing the trend across carmakers of phasing out traditional petrol engines to meet tightening requirements.

Aston announced last December that it would continue making cars powered solely by an internal combustion engine (ICE) beyond 2030. The British carmaker vowed to cater to global petrol enthusiasts despite the UK banning the sales of combustion engine cars after 2030.

The UK government’s new rules require every new vehicle sold in Britain to be electric or a form of hybrid by 2030. ICE cars Aston makes beyond the ban will not be eligible to be sold in their home market, at least for road driving.

Britain's energy market regulator Ofgem announced last month plans to invest £300m in over 200 low-carbon projects to aid the nation's push towards net-zero emissions. The new infrastructure investments will include 1,800 new ultra-rapid charging points at motorway service areas, which would triple the current network. Another 1,750 charge points will be built in towns and cities.

Watch: Hyundai Will Only Sell Electric Cars By 2040

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