Porsche plans to offer a nation-wide network of charging stations, but don’t expect them to be free.
Luxury carmaker Porsche will provide quick charging stations at all their dealers across North America. The charging stations are all 800-volt, 320 kW DC fast chargers that should, according to Porsche, charge a Mission E’s battery to allow 250 miles of driving in about 20 minutes.
So, roll into your local Porsche dealership, have a coffee, maybe chat up that cute Porsche salesman a bit, and then be on your way.
However, in a departure from their main rival in the luxury electric car segment, Porsche doesn’t plan to offer free charging for Mission E drivers.
According to electric car enthusiast site Electrek, Porsche’s deputy chairman Lutz Meschke says that the German automaker plans to charge people for every electron as soon as they leave the lot.
“Yes we try to do this [bill from day one] of course. We can invest in the beginning but after two or three years you have to be profitable with the new services, of course.”
This is a big switch from Tesla, who operates their charging stations under the impression they’re to support sales of their Model S, Model X, and Model 3 electric vehicles, and are not supposed to be profit centers. Enticing the public to adopt electric cars, and thus save the planet from the watery grave of global warming, electricity has to be cheaper than gas.
It is true that Tesla only offered a few hundred bucks worth of charging for free (and that Model 3 owners don’t get anything free), but Tesla still offers some rebates on their charging stations via a referral program.
Then again, what do you expect from a luxury car brand like Porsche? The Mission E is expected to cost somewhere in the ballpark of $90,000 when it finally goes on sale in 2019. If you’ve already got that kind of scratch to throw around, what’s a few hundred bucks for electricity?
The big problem here isn’t the price, but the lack of charging stations. Porsche has 189 dealerships across the US, but that’s not enough to fuel a fleet of Mission E’s. You’ll also be able to use Volkswagen’s network of charging stations, which improve things somewhat, but those stations aren’t the quick-charging variety that would allow for cross-country travel in a reasonable time frame.
If Porsche really wants to get serious about EVs, they’ll have to invest in their charging network.