Porsche to Offer Free Charging on Its First Fully Electric Vehicle

Porsche will bake three years of unlimited battery charging into the price of its first-ever electric vehicle.

The German automaker said it will provide Porsche Taycan owners with fast-charge services through a partnership with Electrify America when the electric sedan launches later this year. Porsche dealers will also install charging stations for customers to use.

Access to the charging network will help ease range anxiety, according to Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO for Porsche Cars North America.

The 600-horsepower, four-door sedan will be able to travel around 310 miles on a fully charged battery and add 62 miles of range in four minutes. The Taycan’s 800-volt battery can absorb rates up to 350 kilowatts, allowing for faster charging.

That’s quicker than any other vehicle on the market and an arrow in Porsche’s quiver against its main rival, Tesla, whose batteries absorb 120 kilowatts. Tesla’s Model S just beats the Taycan on maximum range with 335 miles in its largest capacity.

Porsche has not announced pricing information for the Taycan but has said it will be priced below its Panamera sedan, which starts at $86,300.

The market for electric vehicles is beginning to heat up, with sales expected to make up 6 percent of the U.S. new vehicle market by 2025, up from 1 percent in 2018, according to analytics firm IHS Markit. Porsche recently said it plans to increase Taycan’s production from 20,000 per year due to customer demand, even though the majority of the industry’s EV sales will come from SUVs and crossovers, not sports cars.

The Taycan, which will be able to travel from 0 to 62 mph in less than 3.5 seconds, is one of several electric vehicles Porsche plans to launch over the next several years, as it invests billions of dollars to electrify half its lineup by 2025. Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz are launching battery-powered crossovers soon, while Polestar and Aston Martin each plan to debut a Tesla Model S competitor in 2019.

By July 1, Electrify America expects to operate 484 charging sites nationwide, located 70 miles apart on average. Each site will house between five and 10 charging dispensers, including at least two 350 kilowatt stations. The Reston, Va.-based company plans to begin rolling out “hundreds of additional charging sites” during the second half of the year.

Porsche dealers will invest around $70 million to install fast-charging stations at the automaker’s 191 U.S. dealerships. Most locations will deliver up to 320 kilowatts using Porsche’s own DC charging system, with the remainder installing 50 kW fast chargers.

Porsche has not announced details for home charging and installation.

Cars, TechJaclyn TropFortune