One of the reasons why Tesla is still ahead in the EV game – and some would say it’s the biggest reason – is it still the only automaker with its on proprietary network of chargers.
This is important because at the time of writing, late 2021, there are many countries, and many areas within those countries, where charging your electric car is still a bit of a headache. And Tesla’s Superchargers help a bunch.
The only brand that’s taking this challenge seriously, in my view, is Porsche. The German manufacturer has teamed up with IONITY for Europe and has launched the ‘Electrify America’ project for the United States. Furthermore, they’ve also recently announced they’re gonna invest more capital to keep up, and eventually overtake, Tesla: 700 million euros by 2025, which would result in a total of 7,000 charging points by 2025.
IONITY already has the largest network of high-performance charging stations in Europe. Some electric cars can use these chargers but not all of them.
The IONITY network uses Europe’s standardised Combined Charging System (CCS), which is an 800-volt technology that’s tailored for the Taycan’s 270 kW architecture. It’s also cheaper (for Taycan owners), with a price of €0.33 per kilowatt hour.
IONITY also works with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Ford, VW and Kia, so the chargers will also be accessible – and in some cases they already are – to other EV owners.
Porsche currently offers roughly 200,000 charging points in Europe, and that’s including the IONITY chargers, and the so-called Destination Chargers, located near hotels, restaurants, resorts and of course Porsche showrooms. Around 6,500 charging points have a charging capacity of more than 50 kW, with DC (Direct Current) capabilities.
This is a big deal. And it should be bigger. And I think it will be. Range is important but infrastructure is even more important, because even if your car can go 1,000 miles on a ‘tank’ of energy, sooner or later you’re gonna have to charge it.
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