Piëch’s New All-Electric Sports Car Is Claimed To Charge To 80% Capacity In Under Five Minutes
An all-electric sports car from the latest start-up brand was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March, amid much promise and rave reviews. And the brand’s name was familiar: Piëch. Anton Piëch heads up the new Swiss-based Piëch Automotive, and all things to do with high-level automotive performance clearly run in his blood, as the son of former head of Volkswagen Ferdinand Piëch as well as the great-grandson of Ferdinand Porsche. And this is the Piëch company’s first car, the Piëch Mark Zero.
Piëch is aiming high right off the bat. While there was no shortage of budding electric brands in Geneva, Piëch aims to take sports car handling into the electric age, and since the launch the Mark Zero’s testing and development work has been at full throttle. Battery charge times are often cited as a drawback of electric vehicles, and this car looks like it’s got it sorted. It charges in record time—four minutes and 40 seconds to get to 80% capacity. This is down to the revolutionary lithium-ion batteries and their innovative cells, which hardly heat up during charging or discharging phases and allow a high recuperation rate.
And while Piëch admits this 4m40s figure was achieved with a fast charging column from partner TGOOD Electric from Hong Kong, even with a more conventional fast charging column, if on the market in three years’ time, at a system voltage of 400v, the battery can get to 80% capacity in just eight minutes. Further the car’s range will be 500km, or around 310 miles. The battery, produced by Desten Group also from Hong Kong, has a further benefit. It produces so little heat that the packs can be cooled completely by air rather than water. That means a 200kg weight saving, enabling the car to weigh under 1800kg overall.
As for Piëch’s promised sports car handling, the car produces about 450kW (611bhp) combined with the light weight mentioned, and accelerates from zero to a 100kph in just 3.3s. It has three electric motors, each producing around 200bhp—one asynchronous motor at the front axle and two synchronous motors on the rear axle, all delivering 150kW each. The batteries are not in purpose-built electric cars’ conventional layout of under the car, rather are placed in a central tunnel as well as above the rear wheels, giving the car a far lower driving position, albeit with a likely center of gravity drawback.
The aim is that the Piëch Mark Zero in around three years will be the first vehicle in a family of three to be launched on the market. “I’m already looking forward to when we launch the Piëch Mark Zero onto the market with this innovative technology in three years’ time,” said Piëch Automotive’s head of engineering Klaus Schmidt, who recently visited Desten to drive a first trial vehicle equipped with the new battery cells. “Besides the short charging time, the innovative thermal management of the batteries also gives them the highest level of stability, and fast laps on the Nürburgring Nordschleife should not be a problem with the first roadworthy prototype of our Piëch Mark Zero in the spring of next year.”
Images courtesy of Piëch Automotive