Porsche says its future as a maker of electrified vehicles looks bright based on the surprising market success of one of its current plug-in hybrid models, the Panamera E-Hybrid.

Globally, it says nearly two-thirds of Panamera buyers have chosen the plug-in hybrid variant, a figure much higher than the 10 to 15 percent take rate the company had expected, said the Panamera model line’s boss, Gernot Doellner.

Some of that can be attributed to regional tax credits, such as those in Belgium and France, which have helped Panamera E-Hybrid sales account for 90 and 70 percent of the car’s sales, respectively.

But those incentives seem to be the main driver for Porsche hybrid sales, which otherwise have been less-than-fantastic thanks to buyer reluctance to pay more for technology that allows a gas-free driving range of only about 55 km on a full charge.

Still, Porsche is one of many automakers pouring money into the development of battery-powered cars as governments continue to legislate stricter vehicle emissions requirements, including proposed bans on combustion-powered vehicles. Right now, it also makes a plug-in version of its mid-size Cayenne SUV.

Porsche says it will unveil its first all-electric model, the Mission E, in 2019, which would put it on the right track in the event those bans go through in places like France and the UK, for example, which both want to ban gasoline-combustion-only cars and light trucks by 2040. The car-loving U.S. state of California has proposed a similar law as it looks to cut vehicle emissions significantly by 2050.

The Mission E’s arrival could spell trouble for Tesla, the current high-performance electric vehicle champion that is still struggling to ramp up production of its latest car, the compact Model 3 it envisioned as opening the door to the mass production of premium electric cars.

(via Automotive News)