Echoing early Tesla Model S marketing techniques, Porsche says customers of its forthcoming Taycan sports sedan will receive free unlimited charging at rates of near 350 kW at Electrify America sites for the first three years of ownership when it arrives at US dealers in late 2019.
Electrify America says it is building more than 300 highway charging locations coast to coast across the United States in 42 states with between four and ten charging spaces each by the end of 2019. Many of them are targeted to be operational by July with all of them planned for completion by the end of 2019. Two of the spaces at each site are capable of theoretically charging at up to 350 kW. The remaining spaces support charging of up to 150 kW using the CCS charging connector supported by Porsche.
Prototypes of the car’s powertrain have been seen charging at 250 kW or more.
The Taycan is expected to be the first all-electric car that is designed to charge at around 800V when available from the charging equipment although it can charge at older chargers. That is twice the voltage of today’s cars and it allows the Taycan to charge much faster while vehicles charging at around 400V are limited to less than 200 kW.
In addition to the 300 highway sites, Electrify America is also building over 180 additional community charging sites with three to six charging spaces in 17 metropolitan regions. Many of those sites will support up to 150 kW charging rates.
Porsche and its dealers are also spending some $70 million to install CCS fast charging at all of its 191 dealer locations in the US with 120 of those locations supporting up to 320 kW and the rest supporting up to 50 kW.
Altogether, that amounts to about 420 charging locations across the US capable of charging at the Taycan’s peak rate out of the combined 670 or more Electrify America and Porsche dealer charging sites initially planned. Some 500 to 600 locations in total should support charging at 150 kW rates when including the community charging sites. Canada will also get charging locations under the brand name Electrify Canada in 2019 but specific plans for that network have not yet been announced. The Taycan’s free charging sessions are limited to 30 minute intervals but drivers charging at the fastest rates may only need to stay for 15 minutes or less.
Porsche’s key rival, Tesla, has just over 600 Supercharger locations in the US today with likely many more by the end of 2019. Tesla’s sites are spread more evenly across the country and have two to three times as many charging spaces per location with a few sites now capable of charging 40 cars at a time. More charging spaces at each location implies less impact when some charging spaces are offline due to equipment failures.
The large majority of Electrify America’s charging spaces capable of charging at up to 150 kW or higher have been offline since Friday, January 25 due to safety concern with their liquid-cooled cables and CCS connector plugs.
Porsche said it plans to announce details of a new home charging system for customers in the near future.
Electrify America locations are available to charge any vehicle using a credit card although each location typically has only a single charging space capable of charging vehicles that use the CHAdeMO standard used by Nissan and some other Asian car makers. The company is expected to release a smartphone app and announce subscription-based pricing within the next two months.
Porsche and Electrify America are part of the same VW Group parent company. Funding for Electrify America comes as a result of legal settlements with the state of California and with the federal government related to the so-called “dieselgate” scandal.
VW is putting aside a total of $2 billion which will be spent in 4 investment cycles over 10 years. Of that amount, 40 percent or $800 million is dedicated to California. The second investment cycle begins this July and runs until the end of 2021.