Porsche is setting more ambitious goals than ever: by 2025, half of all new Porsche sales should be electrified, either fully electric or plug-in hybrids. By 2030, Porsche predicts that the share of all new vehicles with a fully electric powertrain will exceed 80%. The sports car manufacturer is taking a holistic approach when it comes to electrified vehicles with high-voltage batteries. The Porsche concept covers supply and manufacturing, consulting, sales and service, logistics and recycling. Porsche presents its multi-stage service concept for the repair of high-voltage batteries.
The transition from combustion engines to electric motors is changing today’s service business, especially in the organization of Porsche dealerships. Porsche Aftersales is systematically preparing its dealers for this change with its « Road-to-X Initiative ». It includes, among other things, measures to increase service loyalty and increase productivity in the workshops.
“Our dealers are the face we present to the customer and our brand ambassadors on the front line. We are working intensively on an action plan for our dealer organization to ensure that it is as well prepared as possible for the age of electromobility. »said Daniel Schukraft, Vice President Aftersales and Customer Service at Porsche.
At the same time, the repair concept for high-voltage batteries makes a significant contribution to sustainability and the conservation of resources. At the start of its battery development process, Porsche goes beyond traditional considerations of whether or not the component is feasible to produce. The development teams also ensure that the construction of the energy carrier is as simple as possible, so that it can be repaired in qualified Porsche centers later in its life cycle. For example, 28 or 33 modules are installed in the various Taycan derivatives, depending on the battery capacity. The battery case can be opened to allow replacement of cell modules and other components. Allowing such detailed repairs is also advantageous for customers from a price point of view.
“Total battery capacity is determined by the worst cell – if a cell loses capacity, it limits range. We can detect a faulty cell using the workshop’s diagnostic tester. For example, if the voltages do not match, we know which module needs to be replaced before the repair. »explains Christian Brügger, product engineer of the Aftersales Electrics division of Porsche.
In response to customer interest in high-voltage battery capacity and condition, Porsche made early efforts to allow the Taycan to be analyzed at workshops using Porsche diagnostic equipment. Details of the reading process were sent to Porsche Centers in early March 2022, allowing them to read the data independently and send it to customers. Porsche also plans to offer an app solution that will let customers know the health status of their vehicle themselves.
Cellular modules that are still functional but no longer suitable for powering a vehicle can be used for stationary tasks. As part of its second-life strategy, Porsche is working on a pilot project that will allow high-voltage batteries to be reused. These batteries are disassembled down to module level and installed in stationary energy carriers. Together with the Volkswagen Group and other professional partners, Porsche is continuously improving its existing recycling processes with the aim of increasing the proportion of raw materials in circulation and reusing these materials in new batteries.
Multi-step service concept for electric vehicles
A comprehensive concept for the maintenance of 100% electric Porsche vehicles has also been developed. As the sports car maker’s first all-electric model, the Taycan has very different maintenance and repair needs than combustion engine vehicles. For example, the electric sports car has a service interval of two years or 30,000 kilometres. However, since tasks such as spark plug and oil changes are no longer relevant, the scope of maintenance should be reduced by around 30%, as early indicators reveal compared to the Taycan. . Additionally, the electric powertrain, including the high-voltage battery, is maintenance-free. However, repair work on electric vehicles requires expert training and specialist tools which Porsche Centers must obtain before they can offer these services.
The service concept for electric vehicles therefore consists of several steps: the basis for this is the high-voltage service center, which is specially configured for repairs to HV (High Voltage) batteries, has suitable specialist tools and also has specially trained high voltage experts.
The sports car maker is also setting up cross-regional hubs at selected qualified centers, which will support repairs on high-voltage vehicles in areas where there is no nearby high-voltage base. The Porsche Center that originally accepts the vehicle for repair will bring it to the High Voltage Hub, where the work will be carried out with a final quality inspection, before it is returned to the original Porsche Center.
If transportation of the vehicle to a dedicated repair center is not possible, a “flying doctor” repair technician will be deployed. These mobile high-voltage experts can repair faulty high-voltage batteries on site. Previously, the competent Porsche Center receives all the high-voltage tools and spare parts necessary for the work. This creates a comprehensive service network for the repair of high voltage batteries.
Three qualification levels for repair work
Finally, the work on the Taycan, as the first production vehicle with a system voltage of 800 volts, also requires a clear division of tasks and responsibilities. With this in mind, Porsche has defined three qualification levels: qualified electricians, high-voltage technicians and high-voltage experts. Qualified electricians have a basic qualification that allows them to carry out standard repairs on high-voltage vehicles, such as changing tires or windscreen wiper blades. They must be instructed and supervised by a high voltage technician when working on a high voltage vehicle.
High voltage technicians are trained to work on vehicles disconnected from the power supply and know the classification and storage of lithium batteries. They are also qualified to remove and pack high voltage batteries classified as « normal » and « warning ».
High voltage experts have the highest level of qualification in a Porsche Centre. They are the only ones authorized to carry out work inside high voltage batteries, to handle high voltage batteries with insulation defects and to prepare and pack these types of batteries for transport.
The necessary know-how for working with high-voltage systems is taught in a specially coordinated training concept for all areas of work. “We offer the High Voltage Technician qualification as part of a train-the-trainer approach. Local market trainers in the respective country qualify high-voltage technicians at Porsche Centers. Currently, we only train high-voltage experts centrally at Porsche’s on-site training center. From 2022, however, we intend to organize this in a decentralized way and plan to establish eight training sites around the world. »said Stefan Schierle, HV trainer at Porsche Aftersales.