Porsche and the Environment

Concern for the environment is not new at Porsche. In fact, Porsche has a long history of developing innovative technology in its cars that have helped advance the overall industry’s efforts in this area, including conducting the first official emission testing of its sports cars back in 1966.

Porsche's Intelligent Performance

Make no mistake about it: each hybrid model debut represented a major event in the history of the company’s approach to developing sportier Porsche cars that are more efficient. Throughout its 65-plus years, Porsche has accomplished this through technology and innovative ideas, and today Porsche describes this ongoing pursuit as “Porsche Intelligent Performance.”

“Porsche Intelligent Performance” is more than a slogan. It is nothing less than Porsche keeping pace with the modern automotive landscape and the company’s need to dramatically lower emissions, get greener and save fuel.

Porsche is the first and only company, as of 2015, to offer three plug-in hybrid models: The 918 Spyder, Cayenne S E-Hybrid, and Panamera S E-Hybrid.

Of course what is Porsche without motorsports, and on the racing front we are also opening a new chapter. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid was the first Porsche race car ever to use electric front-wheel drive and a fly-wheel energy reservoir. This historic car competed very well in its first 24 Hours on the Nordschleife of Nürburgring. The focus was not on the 911 GT3 R Hybrid winning the race, but rather spearheading technology as a “racing lab.” The intent is to provide hands-on know-how for the subsequent use of this hybrid technology for road-going sports cars.

“Porsche Intelligent Performance” is truly the dawning of the hybrid age at Porsche, and the company is energized to work for new, ground-breaking standards in electro-mobility.

A Long-standing Environmental Commitment

Porsche's concern about its impact on the planet is not only a long standing one, it also encompasses many broad areas of the company. It is a key corporate objective at Porsche Cars North America and with its parent company in Germany, Porsche AG. It stretches from major undertakings, such as the new super-clean and efficient paint shop opening in Zuffenhausen, to very important details of doing business in today's modern society, such as building one of the most environmentally sensitive parts buildings in the country.

For example, Porsche has a successful waste management system in place at its production facilities whereby nearly 100 percent of all waste is recycled. Just as importantly, Porsche cars are built from the start to conserve as many resources as possible for later generations, with fully 85 percent of their content being totally recyclable. From development to after-sale service, it is a key objective of Porsche to minimize resource consumption and keep the impact on the earth as low as possible.

Green Choices Here in the U.S.

The company's earth-conscious initiatives extend from its manufacturing locations to PCNA's Atlanta-based headquarters and other U.S. facilities. Several years ago, PCNA implemented its "Green Choice" program giving employees the motivation and proper tools to make smart and simple environmentally-friendly choices. Among the continuous efforts, a company-wide recycling program includes all paper, magazines,books, cans, cardboard and glass. Energy efficiency is another key component of the program with the installation of energy efficient light bulbs and low flow aerators in all restroom faucets. And despite being a car company, Porsche even encourages its employees to car pool or take public transportation. In November of 2009, PCNA received an award at its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, when it received a Clean Air Campaign PACE award for the company's promotion of "clean commuting" among its employees. For example, employees can receive a $25.00 transit subsidy for car pooling or using public transportation and they can pay for public transportation from pre-tax funds.

In October 2009, PCNA also officially opened a new Northeast Regional Support Center that was awarded a prestigious LEED Gold Certificate for being built and operated with a level of environmental sensitivity. The 300,0000 sq. ft. building is the only one to receive this honor in the northeast area it is located (Easton, Pennsylvania).

The environmentally conscious initiatives in the U.S. also include other facilities. In 2009, Porsche's Logistic complex in Ontario, California began to employ solar power, saving 50,000 pounds of CO2 each year.

A Principled Approach

The following policy principles were formally enacted many years ago and are here to show that Porsche has long held a high corporate regard for protecting the environment while providing its customers with the very best cars. Thinking “green” is not a trend at Porsche; it is a way of conducting business.

How environmentally sound is a Porsche vehicle? Naturally, Porsche has always complied with statutory legal requirements and has, in fact, done so by a comfortable margin. Porsche has also been ahead of its time. This was the case in 1966 when the first official European emissions test was carried out on a Porsche 911 in Weissach, and again in 1987 when already 85 percent of all new Porsche vehicles were supplied with a catalytic converter--long before this was required.

As well as delivering superb driving performance, the innovative technology that is the hallmark of every Porsche is also used by developers and engineers to implement more eco-friendly concepts: lowering fuel consumptions, further reducing emissions of pollutants and CO2 and incorporating even more recyclable materials.

Our Environmental policy principles since 1990

Minimization of resource consumption, reduction and avoidance of environmental impact, and the sensible recycling of waste are ongoing objectives pursued by Porsche AG. It is another of Porsche AG's specific objectives to support international efforts to solve global environmental protection problems.

In order to reach these environmental objectives, high priority was given to protection of the environment as long ago as 1990 when the Porsche code of conduct was compiled. These principles were updated as follows in 1996:

The Porsche AG environmental guidelines represent out guarantee that the environmental policy principles are implemented.

Driven to Efficiency

On a very tangible level, Porsche has worked very hard in the area of environmental protection. As said earlier, Porsche engineers are never satisfied with only meeting current environmental regulations passed by lawmakers. It has always been their goal to exceed them. Porsche vehicles should also set an example when it comes to environmental protection. So, as early as 1966, the first authorized emissions test in Europe was performed using a 911. Not long after, a separate department was established that also tested the emission values from vehicles produced by other manufacturers.

Porsche develops new technologies not just to improve driving performance and features, but also to continuously optimize the cars for environmental sustainability. Because of this philosophy, Porsche has succeeded in reducing the fuel consumption in its new cars, and thereby also CO2 emissions. This is a leading figure in the industry. With regard to engine performance, Porsche currently already ranks among manufacturers with the lowest CO2 emissions.

By 2012, the fuel consumption in Porsche vehicles is going to be reduced by 20 percent compared to 1995.

Performance and the Impact on the Planet

Porsche stands for dynamism, agility and flexibility; as well speed, elegance and safety. Our philosophy is to develop compact, high performance engines that produce outstanding power. We then create premium cars that are able to transfer this power to the road effectively, in process applying all the knowledge and experience we have gained from motorsports. This is what our customers expect.

The fact that our specifications for new and ongoing developments include clear objectives relating to the environment is on contradiction. Quite the opposite. At Porsche, increasing performance goes hand in hand with reducing fuel consumption. We are continually optimizing vehicle aerodynamics, which has a positive impact on both fuel use and performance. For the same reason, we put a great deal of effort into reducing weight. What is more, we regularly optimize fuel use by way of technical innovations.

The production process is also critical, and here again Porsche has mandated strict environmental conditions. One recent and developing process includes the company's painting process:

In the fall of 2009, Porsche announced it is expanding its innovative automobile production at the main factory in Zuffenhausen to include one of the most modern and environmentally-friendly paint shops in the world. The outer skeleton structure has already taken shape, with the steel supports set to be completed in early 2010, and the entire facility is scheduled to be operational by 2011.

What are some of the major technologies that Porsche has employed to make them among the most efficient every built?

VarioCam Plus

Porsche uses VairoCam Plus because every small detail counts in saving fuel and decreasing emissions. This system combines variable valve timing with two-stage lift on the inlet side. The resulting benefits include greater power and torque, as well as smoother running, better fuel economy and fewer exhaust emissions.

Direct Fuel Injection (DFI)

Over the past few years, Porsche began using DFI in new versions of the Cayenne, 911 models, and this year the Cayman and Boxster--allowing up to a 15 percent decrease in fuel consumption in these key products. At the heart of the DFI engine lies an injector that sits directly on the cylinder head. As the name suggests, the valves inject fuel directly into each combustion chamber with the help of a high-pressure pump at a pressure of between 40 and 120 bar. This disperses the air/fuel mixture more precisely, increasing the mixing of air and fuel and because direct injection lessens cylinder temperature, more air that normal can be compressed into the combustion chambers. This boosts the energy density of the mixture and therefore performance under optimum conditions. It is possible to control the required fuel volume exactly via the duration and pressure of injection.


All of our cars will comply with the strict requirements of the EURO 5 emissions standards well before they come into effect. Already, all Porsche engines can be fueled with a blend of 10 percent ethanol and, in fact, the Cayenne can use up to a 25 percent blend. Even our racing cars us biofuel. The high-performance power unit on the RS Spyder, for example, is designed for a 10 percent ethanol blend and takes Porsche from victory to victory in the American Le Mans Series.

Lightweight construction

One of the most striking things about any Porsche is its intelligent, lightweight construction that benefits both performance and the environment. Measures to achieve this include using a high proportion of aluminium alloys, plastic and high-strength sheet steel, which is more stable and lighter than conventional steel.


Soon Porsche will introduce one of the most sophisticated hybrid-drivetrains available today. It will first come equipped in the Cayenne model and later in the new Panamera. This new petrol-electric hybrid system is designed to significantly lower fuel consumption and overall emissions. Porsche decided early on not to opt for the standard hybrid technology used by it competitors because it sought to maintain the Cayennes sporting reputation and provide the very best in efficiency and the latest technology available. This hybrid concept is called the parallel full hybrid.

By 2010's end, the Cayenne will feature the parallel full hybrid with a V6 engine drive concept. The Cayenne Hybrid will achieve fuel economy of less than 9 liters per 100 kilometers, a reduction of 25 percent.

Unlike a typical full hybrid model, in a parallel full hybrid system the electric motor is integrated into the drivetrain. The hybrid module sits between the transmission and the combustion engine where it docks to a decoupler. This represents a clear space saving by minimizing the limitations posed by all-wheel drive technology and the size of the luggage compartment.

Using a parallel full hybrid design with the electric motor between the combustion engine and the transmission, allows the Cayenne to reach a speed of 86 mph without using the combustion engine. This engineering achievement allows the Cayenne S Hybrid to roll freely at highway speeds without the combustion engine on, greatly minimizing engine emissions and fossil fuel consumption. This differs from current hybrid concepts that deliver benefits mainly in city traffic. Porsche, in cooperations with VW, opted for the parallel full hybrid design as it also significantly improves acceleration.

When it comes to market in 2010, the Cayenne S Hybrid is expected to emit some 20 percent less CO2 than comparable combustion engine vehicles with similar power output. With acceleration from 0 to 100 kn/h in just 6.8 seconds, this hybrid earns the "S" designation by delivering V8 performance and four-cylinder efficiency, all while complying with the Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) emission standards.

In addition to the Cayenne, Porsche will employ this same highly advanced hybrid in its new four-door, four-passenger Panamera sometime in the next few years.

Clean Diesel

This year Porsche announced it will unveil a new ultra-modern V6 diesel in its Cayenne--one that delivers high torque and optimal fuel economy enabling the car to travel some 620 miles on a single tank full. This diesel uses advanced direct injection technology that reduces CO2 emissions by attaining an average fuel consumption mark in Europe of 9.3 liters per 100 kilometers. A decision on bringing this diesel to the U.S. is still being decided based on market conditions.

The current debate on climate change and the greenhouse effect indicates that we are taking the right action. We take our responsibilities seriously and continue to look to the future.