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Porsche goes green with leather-free electric sports car

The Porsche logo as the reveal of the 2020 Porsche 911 Speedster at the 2019 New York International Auto Show in New York

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Porsche is making a leather-free version of its new Taycan electric sports car in the latest attempt by a German automaker to play up green credentials as environmental activists lobby for a boycott of the industry.

Last month, a climate activist group smashed up 40 luxury vehicles and called for a boycott of this month's Frankfurt Auto Show because it celebrates an "outmoded climate and environment destroying transportation system."

Porsche, part of Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE>, said on Wednesday it would invest 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) through 2022 to develop electric vehicles, as it presented its first zero-emissions sports car.

"With the Taycan, Porsche offers an entirely leather-free interior for the first time. Interiors made from innovative recycled materials underscore the sustainable concept of the electric sports car," Porsche said.

The Taycan has a range of 450 kilometers, making it the first electric vehicle from a German carmaker capable of rivaling Tesla <TSLA.O> in terms of operating range.

Thanks to an 800 volt system, the car is also capable of adding 100 kilometers to its range from a five minute recharging of its battery, Porsche said.

The Porsche Taycan Turbo S is priced at 185,456 euros, or 138,826 pounds. First customer deliveries are anticipated from January 2020, the carmaker said.

Other sports car makers are also rushing to develop electric models. Ferrari <RACE.N> said last month it hoped to introduce a fully-electric model some time after 2022.

(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Mark Potter)