As Porsche is finding out with its Taycan electric car, it’s not always easy being the first—or the fastest.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan will be the first production model built on an entirely new 800-volt architecture that helps allow much faster road-trip charging than any other electric car—with the potential to add more than 60 miles of range in just four minutes.
Now it needs to deliver on the promise of that technology with charging hardware that can provide the 320-kilowatt to 350-kw power levels needed for that rate. And a new agreement with Electrify America will help lay the foundation for that road-trip freedom—freedom that might not be quite as convenient as Tesla’s Supercharger network yet, but could the company cost a lot less over several years.
Electrify America 350 kw chargers at Home Depot in Chicopee, Mass.
Taycan owners will get three years of complimentary DC fast charging on the Electrify America network, which will provide more than 300 highway stations in 42 states, plus more than 180 other charging sites in 17 metro areas by the time it is completed in 2027.
At its highway-oriented stations, located no more than 120 miles from each other, Electrify America will offer at least two 350-kw chargers per site, plus additional ones delivering 150 kw. The metro locations will only offer “up to 150 kw.”
Porsche calls it “unlimited 30-minute charging”—which suggests that each individual session may time out at 30 minutes, although that should be enough for most of a charge even at the 150-kw chargers.
Although this is a business arrangement that makes sense, it’s also part of the extended family. Electrify America, which was created as the result of the Volkswagen diesel settlement (Porsche is part of the Volkswagen Group), will be finished with its first phase of 484 stations with more than 2,000 connectors by July 1, 2019. By the time the Taycan arrives late in the year, there will likely be more installations as part of the second phase.
Porsche fast charging park (including Turbo Chargers)
Porsche is also making sure DC fast chargers are installed at all of its 191 U.S. dealerships, at a total expense of about $70 million. Some of those stations are the proprietary Porsche Turbo Charging hardware that runs at 320 kw and yet is still CCS (Combo) compatible and able to keep a smaller footprint and lighter charge cables.