Porsche’s decision to install EV fast chargers at every one of its 189 US dealerships is no small feat, but the automaker isn’t stopping its network there.
Porsche hopes to have a countrywide network of 500 fast-chargers by the end of 2019, Automotive News reports, based on an interview with Klaus Zellmer, CEO of Porsche Cars North America. Think of it as a Tesla Supercharger network on steroids.
While Tesla’s network is far larger, encompassing some 1,200 charging stations across North America, Porsche’s will be faster — much faster. Its 800-volt chargers will allegedly replenish about 250 miles of range in less than 20 minutes, making them the most powerful chargers in production when they come online. That should go a long way in alleviating the range anxiety that many prospective EV owners currently struggle with.
The 300-some-odd chargers not installed in Porsche dealerships will be put along highways and other places buyers might need a quick boost. It’s got three potential partners lined up to help build this network — ChargePoint, EVgo and Electrify America. That last one is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America, established as part of its Dieselgate settlement in the hopes of spurring more people to drive EVs.
As for payment, that’s still up in the air. “It’s too early to talk about how exactly that payment process for customers will work,” Zellmer told AN. “There are various opportunities. You could buy a package all included for the car. It could be a membership card that you use. We’re not quite there yet.” Dealers would have the option to offer free charging as a way to bring additional bodies through the door.
But building the chargers won’t be free for those dealers. The dealers will be responsible for swallowing the cost of the chargers, likely in the six-figure range. It’s recommended that each dealer have at least one fast charger and a battery buffer that stores grid energy for later use, which AN claims is less expensive than wiring the chargers right to the grid.
The network isn’t going to be limited to fast chargers, either. The automaker is also considering more traditional chargers at various points of interest, including hotels and golf courses.