May 26, 2022

Porsche said it will start building its global network of charging stations next year, moving away from its original strategy of partnering with other companies.

The plans, unveiled at the company’s annual meeting, come as Porsche prepares to expand its EV portfolio with at least two additional models, the Macan and 718, by 2025.

Company executives said the first Porsche-branded charging stations will be built early next year in high-demand areas in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

However, Porsche’s vision goes beyond just the charging port, said CEO Oliver Bloom and Lutz Meschke, vice president and board member, who provided few details at the press conference. Charging stations will also include seating areas where customers can drink coffee or work while their batteries are being recharged.

“It’s not just about charging, it’s also about improving the convenience for our customers,” Meschke says. “And it is very important to us that we are not only focused on the electrification of our vehicles, but also on the customer journey outside of the vehicle.”

Porsche will target the European market and is considering entering the Chinese and US markets, “where we can provide specialized services and support public charging infrastructure,” Bloom said.

Porsche will also continue its partnership with Ionity, a multi-car company that maintains Europe’s largest fast-charging network and plans to increase the number of stations from 400 to 1,000 by 2025.

“Together with partners, we are investing in premium charging stations and our own charging infrastructure,” Bloom says.

Bloom said it was too early to give figures on how many stations Porsche plans to build, when they arrive, or what they cost. However, his comments indicated that the company was interested in investing in the project.

As the global electric vehicle market prepares to take off, “it is very important to grow quickly in the coming years, which is why Porsche is investing heavily,” he said.

Porsche’s efforts are following the example of Tesla, which has built its worldwide network of approximately 30,000 Supercharger stations at more than 2,500 stations. Tesla has recently begun opening up this network to other EVs in the Netherlands and some other European countries. Rivian is also building its own adventure network using the CCS DC connector, an open international standard that has gained popularity in Europe and North America in recent years. This means that, in theory, other CCS-compliant EVs could use Rivian’s network, although software may prevent it from being used. By the end of next year, Rivian plans to add 3,500 fast chargers to more than 600 locations in the US and Canada.

Porsche will continue to partner with Ionity and benefit from the Electrify America network of 670 charging stations across 46 states and Washington, DC. But its own network gives Porsche direct control over customer service and the quality of charging stations. A company spokesman said the strategy is to address gaps in the existing fast-charging infrastructure.

“It is very important to us that we focus not only on the electrification of our vehicles, but also on the customer journey outside the vehicle,” Meschke says. “It’s not just about charging, it’s also about convenience.”

Audi, owned by Volkswagen, has begun testing the concept of a two-story cabin in Europe, where customers can relax while their cars charge downstairs.

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