Porsche is gunning for Tesla with its own line of electric vehicles that will look good and offer high performance (and Porsche’s usual penchant for quality). The line will include the slick Mission E and the Mission E Cross Turismo that have only been seen in concept form so far. A high-performance electric car comes with the need for a high-performance charging network, and since Porsche is taking the fight to Tesla, that infrastructure can’t exactly be shared.
New details on what Porsche has planned for its charging network have surfaced and Porsche Cars North America plans to have at least 500 fast chargers available at dealerships and highway locations around the U.S. by the end of 2019. That happens to be the same time that the Mission E EV is planned to be available to purchase in the States. Porsche plans to have a production version of the Missions E Cross Turismo concept available by 2020.
The Mission E line isn’t isn’t electrification route that Porsche plans to take for its line of SUVs and cars; it is also considering EV versions of the Macan, Panamera, and Cayenne. Porsche’s fast charger network will use 800V fast chargers capable of recharging the battery pack to a 250-mile range in under 20 minutes. Porsche Cars North America CEO Klaus Zellmer told Automotive News, “If you want to buy that car, you want to know what happens if I go skiing and go further than 300 miles. What do I do? So we need to have answers for that.”
Zellmer does think that driving range for an EV is a psychological barrier for drivers. He notes that somewhere in the 80-90% range of owners will charge the car at home or work. He believes that the fast charging network across the U.S. is a solution to the concern buyers have about “unlikely instances” when the driver might exceed the 300-mile plus range the car offers.
Zellmer also says that Porsche EV owners need to be ready to pay for charging. He said, “We are pretty certain that it’s not free of charge. It’s too early to talk about how exactly that payment process for customers will work. 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.” He does admit that dealerships might offer free fast charging to their customers to encourage interaction at the dealership. Dealerships are being asked to install at least one fast charger at each location along with a battery buffer storing power from the grid.