30 jan 19

Porsche’s EV comes with three years of free charging

Later this year, Porsche will market its first all-electric car. But the OEM has already revealed that its luxury EV will come with three years of free charging. 

When it was unveiled as a concept car at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, it was still code-named Mission E. Now called the Taycan (from the Turkish for ‘lively young horse’, a nod to the OEM’s own logo), Porsche’s first fully-electric vehicle will come to market later this year. 

Porsche P1
For the brand, it’s a homecoming of sorts: the very first car created by Ferdinand Porsche in 1898 was the P1, which had an electric drivetrain too.

However, Porsche’s first modern EV will have more in common with its current range of luxury cars, in terms of acceleration, top speed and range. And the main competitor in its sights will be Tesla. Distance-wise, the Taycan comes with a 500-km range promise, but since that promise was made under NEDC rules, real-world results may fall a bit short of that figure. That would put the Tesla Model S (EPA-tested range: 539 km) at an advantage. 

The Taycan, a four-door sedan, will have a system output of more than 600 horsepower, will accelerate to 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds. But it will also charge pretty fast: thanks to an 800-volt battery that can absorb fast-charging rates of up to 350 kW, it will be able to add about 100 km of range in just four minutes under peak conditions.

Charging prowess
That’s faster than Tesla’s 120-kW supercharging network, which is able to recharge batteries to up to 80% in half an hour. And that could prove a crucial advantage in an ecosystem that may value charging time over acceleration time. 

Porsche is further emphasising its charging prowess by offering prospective Taycan buyers three years of free charging – in the U.S. at least – the manufacturer has just revealed. 

For that period, Taycan owners will be able to charge their vehicles for free at the 300 highway stations operated by Electrify America, VW Group’s charging-network subsidiary, that have at least two 350-kW chargers. Additionally, 120 Porsche dealerships across the U.S. will offer fast charging by early 2020. 

40,000 units
The Taycan is one of several luxury EVs designed to snatch a share of a market that is still relatively small, especially in the U.S. (.1% of new-car sales in 2018) and dominated by Tesla. Others include the Audi E-tron and the Jaguar I-Pace. Audi, by the way, is giving away 1,000 kWh for free to E-tron buyers – also via Electrify America. 

In September 2017, Porsche chairman Oliver Blume suggested the (then still) Mission E would be priced from $85,000. Compare that with the Tesla Model S, which in the U.S. retails from $94,000.

Porsche seems confident of the Taycan’s success, already doubling the projected production (at Porsche’s plant in Zuffenhausen near Stuttgart) to 40,000 units per year.

Porsche is one of several OEMs pouring huge treasures into electrifying its range. Its budget for electrification until 2022 is an impressive €6 billion. By 2025, it wants more than half of its line-up to have a plug. 

Authored by: Frank Jacobs