Porsche Isn't Giving Up On The Combustion Engine
Porsche, which many would argue makes one of the finest cars in the world, has been a leader in innovation since its founding nearly 100 years ago but remains true to it origins. A perfect example is remarks by Porsche CEO Oliver Blume last month saying the automaker's flagship vehicle—the 911, won't be going electric anytime soon, if ever.
"Let me be clear, our icon, the 911, will have a combustion engine for a long time to come," Blume said. "The 911 is a concept of the car that is prepared for the combustion engine. It's not useful to combine it with pure electric mobility. We believe in purpose-designed cars for electric mobility."
Despite remaining devoted to the combustion engine, Porsche has made strides to prepare for a future where vehicles don't run on gasoline. The company pulled out of the World Endurance Championship's top-flight at the end of 2017 season, despite being one of the most successful manufacturers in the history of the sport, so it could focus on Formula E, which is an all-electric single seater championship.
Porsche also offers hybrid versions of its popular Panamera sedan and Cayenne SUV. Earlier this year the company began delivery of the Taycan, which is the first all-electric car designed and produced by Porsche.
Back in September, Porsche said it wants to "significantly and independently drive forward the development of synthetic fuels, known as eFuels." Porsche director of research and development Michael Steiner said the company was looking for partners to prove the process works and can be industrialized.
"This technology is particularly important because the combustion engine will continue to dominate the automotive world for many years to come," Steiner said.
Porsche announced last week it has partnered with Siemens Energy, energy firm AME, Chilean petroleum company ENAP and energy company Enel to advance the development of eFuels. The companies are working to develop the "Haru Oni" pilot project in Chile that will result in the world's first integrated, commercial, industrial-scale plant for making eFuels.
The first phase will see the project produce 130,000 liters of eFuels as early as 2022 before capacity increases to 55 million liters per year by 2024 and 550 million liters by 2026. Porsche will be the primary customer for the eFuel and will use it in the Porsche motorsport fleet, at Porsche Experience Centers and eventually in series production sports cars. Porsche is making a 20 million euro initial investment in the project.
"eFuels can be used in combustion engines and plug-in hybrids, and can make use of the existing network of filling stations," Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said. "By using them, we can make a further contribution toward protecting the climate."
Calling eFuels the "alternative fuels of the future," Blume made it clear Porsche has the experience and knowledge to find a solution to help the climate while still enjoying the thrill of driving a Porsche.
"As a maker of high-performance, efficient engines, we have broad technical expertise," Blume said. "We know exactly what fuel characteristics our engines need in order to operate with minimal impact on the climate."
While Porsche believes electrified models will make up 50% of sales by 2025, the automaker's ambitions with eFuels show the company doesn't intend on completely writing off the combustion engine.
For a brand that has built its reputation on speed, its own R&D chief said it best when he said "With electricity alone, you can't move forward fast enough."
Mortgage rates hit another record low. The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to a new record low of 2.90% last week compared to 2.92% the previous week. Low rates boosted refinance demand as applications to refinance a mortgage increased by 2% for the week and now stand 89% higher on an annual basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index. Despite record low mortgage rates, applications to purchase a home fell by 5% last week as home prices continue to increase. Mortgage applications to purchase a home are still 22% higher than the same period last year and 3% higher than the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.
Nestle expands plant-based brand to China. Nestle is the latest company to offer its plant-based foods in China as the company announced it will launch its Harvest Gourmet brand in the world's most populated country. The brand will offer traditional foods such as burgers, sausages and nuggets while also offering local favorites such as kung pao chicken, braised meatballs and pork belly. "We see China leading the trend towards a new generation of plant-based food in Asia, as people look for options that are good for them and good for the planet," Nestle Greater China CEO Rashid Qureshi said.
App spending to hit record this year. 2020 will be a record year for spending in app stores as $112 billion is expected to be spent across iOS and Google Play, according to mobile data and analytics firm App Annie's year-end forecast. The report predicts spending will grow by 25% this year across the two app stores as 130 billion apps are forecasted to be downloaded. 65 cents of every dollar spent this year is expected to go to iOS while spending on Google Play is expected to grow by nearly 30%, App Annie predicts.
Google launches Health Studies app. Google introduced the Health Studies app yesterday, which gives anyone with an Android phone the chance to take part in health studies through surveys and contributing relevant data. The first study will be focused on respiratory illnesses, including influenza and COVID-19, and is being conducted through a partnership with researchers from Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital. The Google Health Studies app is now available in the Google Play Store.
Xbox cloud gaming coming to iOS and PC. Microsoft announced its cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be coming to iOS and PC starting in Spring 2021. "Expanding Xbox to new players is central to our ambition of helping games and developers find an easy path to the world's 3 billion gamers," Microsoft said. "Whatever screen you choose, we want to make it easy to continue your game and connect with your friends." The move follows a public spat earlier this year in which Microsoft said Apple was blocking it from bringing the service to iOS users.