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Porsche turns to third-party EV charging network

Third-party network to recharge Porsche Taycan battery-electric sportscar due in 2020

9 Oct 2018

PORSCHE Cars Australia (PCA) is collaborating on an electric-vehicle fast-charging network that will allow its first battery-electric sportscar – the yet-to-be-revealed Taycan – to complete long-distance journeys when it enters local showrooms in the first half of 2020.
Speaking to journalists at the launch of the Porsche Future Lab outdoor pop-up at Exchange Place in Sydney, PCA head of product and smart mobility Ingo Appel said the company is working with at least one other automotive importer and third parties on an EV fast-charging network. 
“In regards to charging, there’s quite a bit of work to be done,” he said. “We are now working on a third-party provider solution here in Australia.
“We want to make sure that, with this launch of Taycan, our future customer has the possibility to, say, drive from Melbourne up to Brisbane if they wish to do so.
“Current status (is), with the launch of Taycan, there will be a third-party provider network of 350kW (stations) … definitely along the east cost, a little bit in WA and hopefully up to Adelaide, so we cover  probably 80 to 85 or 90 per cent of the population of where we think our customers want to drive.”
The Taycan will be one of the first BEVs to support 350kW charging technology when it enters the Australian market. It can recoup up to 100km of its 500km driving range (NEDC cycle) in just four minutes.
Mr Appel said the positioning of the fast-charging stations was critical, adding that they will be ideally located along key thoroughfares.
“If you think about, (the stations) would possibly be at petrol stations or locations based very close to highways, so customers don’t have to go like 10, 15 minutes to get off the highway to charge,” he said.
“So, very convenient location; maybe a couple of minutes off the highway, and then if they’re 350kW chargers, they’ll be able to charge a couple of hundred kilometres in 10 minutes. Additionally, there’ll be a destination charging network.”
As reported, Volkswagen Group, Daimler AG, BMW Group and Ford Motor Company have entered a similar joint venture in Europe, dubbed Ionity, that will see a network of about 400 fast-charging, 350kW stations built at intervals of 120km along highways and main transport routes by 2020.
Mr Appel was unwilling to reveal what other automotive importers PCA was in discussions with, or the name of the third party that will create the fast-charging network, but suggested the move to collaborate was a logical one.
“Other brands are talking, obviously looking for solutions as well,” he said. “As you can imagine, if every brand or manufacturer that’s in the middle of electric vehicles in the future in Australia would try to organise their own fast-charging network, that doesn’t really work.
“Here there will be at least one, or possibly, down the track, a couple of networks, that will (cover) some of the areas.”
Mr Appel was also unable to confirm if Taycan owners will be subject to a subscription service for use of the third-party network, saying “it’s still under discussion”, but PCA would likely provide financial support for its creation and maintenance.
“We will support some sort of ride or destination fee, and then we assume the market takes care of itself, like you see today with petrol stations,” he said.
“There will very likely be different networks out there in, say, five or 10 years’ time when electric vehicles will be more popular.”
Australian Taycan owners will also have access to existing EV charging networks in NSW, the ACT and Far North Queensland, but they will come at a cost and with power outputs from just 50kW.
“350kW charging is a completely different ballgame,” Mr Appel said. “Currently, I think globally there are only a couple, possibly three, networks that are using 350kW chargers.”
Nonetheless, he said that PCA expects Taycan owners to do 80 to 90 per cent of their recharging at home, where fast-charging wall boxes and inductive charging plates will be available in addition to pre-installed domestic power outlets.
As GoAuto has reported, PCA’s network of 14 dealerships will also factor into its EV charging plans, with Mr Appel suggesting that its existing stations, which currently support Porsche’s plug-in hybrid models, are in line for a 350kW upgrade.
“We are currently working on a project there as well,” he said. “It’s very likely that our Porsche dealers, or at least most of them – apart from the very small ones – will also offer Porsche (fast) charging.
“As a customer, if you don’t want to go a road trip, if you don’t want to use the highway charging available at that point, you can go to your local Porsche dealer and fast charge your Taycan.”

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