Porsche's decision to install fast EV chargers in each of its 189 dealers in the US UU It's no small thing, but the automaker is not stopping its network there.
Porsche expects to have a nationwide network of 500 Rapid Loaders by the end of 2019, reports Automotive News, based on an interview with Klaus Zellmer, CEO of Porsche Cars North America. Think of it as a Tesla Supercharger network with steroids.
While the Tesla network is much larger, and encompasses some 1,200 charging stations in North America, Porsche will be faster, much faster. Its 800-volt chargers are supposed to recharge about 250 miles of range in less than 20 minutes, making them the most powerful chargers in production when they connect. That should go a long way in relieving the anxiety of rank that many potential EV owners are currently struggling with.
The 300 extra loaders not installed at Porsche dealerships will be placed on freeways and other places where buyers might need a quick boost. It has three potential partners trained to help build this network: ChargePoint, EVgo and Electrify America. The latter is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America, established asin the hope of encouraging more people to drive electric vehicles.
As for the payment, that's still in the air. "It's too early to talk about exactly how that payment process will work for customers," Zellmer told AN. "There are several opportunities, you could buy an all-inclusive package for the car, it could be a membership card that you use, we have not arrived yet." Dealers would have the option to offer free charge as a way to bring additional bodies through the door.
But building the chargers will not be free for those distributors. The distributors will be responsible for swallowing the cost of the shippers, probably in the six-figure range. It is recommended that each distributor have at least one quick charger and one battery buffer that stores the power of the network for later use, which AN claims is less expensive than connecting the chargers directly to the network.
The network will not be limited to fast chargers, either. The automaker is also considering more traditional loaders at various points of interest, including hotels and golf courses.