Some other little meaningful features Porsche touts is the shape of the copper wires in the motors. To maximize the power density of an electric motor, as much copper as possible needs to be crammed in. To cram in more copper, square wire is used instead of round. I used some masterful Power Point shapes to illustrate the better utilization of space of the square wires.
You may be asking, what do I think is the best battery cooling scheme out there right now? Of what’s public knowledge, I’d go with Rivian’s concept of a cooling plate at the base of cylindrical cells. You’re going to point out to me that the contact surface area is low because it’s just the bottom of the cell touching the cooling plate and you’d be correct. Here’s the thing however, the conduction heat transfer coefficient for a li-ion cylindrical battery cell is not the same in all directions. It turns out, the conduction heat transfer coefficient is much better axially compared to radially. Tesla is getting heat out on the circumference of the cell, so radially. The cooling plate concept that Rivian has shown is grabbing the heat in the axial direction. So even for the same contact surface area, a lot more heat can be pulled out of the cylindrical battery cell from the bottom.
An important performance metric when it comes to EVs is range. The Taycan’s rated range is not impressive for the battery pack capacity; i.e. it has poor efficiency. Elon Musk has rightfully boasted that the competition’s modern EVs can’t even compete with the first-generation Model S in efficiency. The Taycan has a stated low coefficient of drag. So why the mediocre efficiency? One part of the puzzle could be the tires. Porsche makes track cars and fitted appropriate track size tires to the Taycan. The Taycan Turbo S rides on 305 wide tires compared to the Model S on 245s. For reference, on Project S2000, when I went from the stock 215/245 (front/rear) high performance summer tires to 245 wide all around on max performance summer tires, my highway mpg dropped from 29 to 24. On my hybrid DD, my fuel economy dropped 7% going from the stock Michelin eco-garbage tires to Bridgestone RE970s ultra high performance all-seasons. Yeah, tire selection has a drastic impact on range.
Has Porsche made a step change in EV performance? I believe they have. Tesla made EVs fast and gave them range. Porsche has taken the next step and made an EV that can handle sustained high-power usage, whether that be driving quickly or charging quickly. Don’t forget that Porsche came out with the 918 in 2013. The 919 started racing in 2014. Porsche definitely has some background in high performance powertrains involving batteries and high power electronics. The Taycan has already laid down an impressive lap at the Nurburgring. Once they hit the streets, we will see how it does in the real world in the hands of normal owners.