We took a 2020 to an Electrify America 350 kW DC fast charge station to record the charging session in less than favorable cold weather conditions. What we found is that even if the Taycan's battery isn't fully warmed up for optimal DC fast charging, the vehicle is still a charging beast, and is one of, if not the best charging EV available today.
The Taycan's great DC fast charging capabilities are actually the main reason InsideEVs' own Kyle Conner selected that vehicle to attempt to break the Cannonball Run record for EVs a few weeks ago, which he succeeded in doing.
Driving speed isn't as important as charging speed when you're attempting an EV Cannonball run record because just about any EV can achieve the speeds that you would want to drive at in order to balance energy consumption and time. It's how fast you can get the vehicle charged up so you can make it to the next charging stop that becomes the most important factor, and that's where the Taycan really rocks.
I purposely didn't warm up the battery up to the ideal temperature of 88°F (31°C) before charging up because I wanted to see how well it would perform if the owner didn't precondition the battery before plugging in. The battery was 74°F (23°C) so it wasn't stone cold, but it wasn't perfectly set to accept the full 270 kW that the Taycan is capable of accepting.
If you want the Taycan's battery to be the perfect temperature for DC fast charging, you need to set the charging station as a destination in the Taycan's navigation system. The vehicle then knows you're heading to DC fast charge and it preconditions the battery to get it up to the perfect temperature so you can charge as quickly as possible.
If it's very cold out you'll want to set the destination a good 25-30 minutes ahead of time to give the car enough time to fully warm up the pack.
I plugged in at 5% state of charge and it only took 37 minutes to reach 90% state of charge and the Taycan was still charging at an amazing rate of 90 kW. It reached 80% - the point when many EV owners unplug - in 30 minutes and was taking in 104 kW at that point. The Taycan 4S (with the 93.4 kWh Performance Plus battery pack) needed 79 kWh to go from 5% to 90%, but that figure does include charging losses.
Here's how the session went:
- @5%: I plugged in
- @10%: 2 minutes
- @20%: 5 minutes
- @30%: 8 minutes
- @40%: 11 minutes
- @50%: 15 minutes
- @60%: 20 minutes
- @70%: 25 minutes
- @80%: 30 minutes
- @90%: 37 minutes
Because of the battery temperature, the maximum charge rate was 200 kW; 70 kW less than the Taycan is capable of accepting. However, it only accepts the maximum rate until about 23% state of charge, so we didn't really lose too much time because of the battery temperature.
The Taycan can charge from 5% to 80% in 22.5 minutes under ideal conditions, and it took me 30 minutes to get there. Therefore, I could have saved 7.5 minutes had I preconditioned the battery pack and arrived at the Electrify America station at the perfect 88°F.
Personally, I don't think that's too bad of a penalty, and I don't think too many Taycan owners will be upset if they forget to precondition the pack on the way to the charging station. I do think Porsche should allow customers to manually turn on battery preconditioning instead of only having it available in conjunction with using the navigation system to route you to the charging station.
However, Tesla does it the same way and also only allows battery preconditioning when selecting a Supercharger as your destination in the vehicle's navigation system.
I should note that this was my second attempt to record the Taycan's DC fast charge session. A day earlier I finished up a 70-mph highway range test for the Taycan 4S and had planned on recording the session then. Unfortunately, the Electrify America charging station topped out at delivering only 53 kW. So I was forced to abort and try it another time.
I contacted Electrify America and they said the station's diagnostics looked fine but suggested I try the other 350 kW station next to the one I had tried. I did, and that that station worked perfectly. If I wasn't there to record the charging session I would have just unplugged and tried the other station when I was there the first time, but I don't get a 2nd chance when recording the sessions for reviews - it has to work the first time I plug in, or the recording is shot.
So as much as I love the Taycan's charging capabilities, I was reminded that an EV's charging ability is only as good as the networks they charge on. In that regard, the Taycan is still behind Tesla, but things are improving for CCS-equipped EVs. Network reliability is improving and sites are proliferating at the same time. Additionally. the 2021 Taycan now comes equipped with Plug&Charge technology which should make public charging an even better experience.
So check out the video and let us know what you think. Impressed with the Taycan's DC fast charge capabilities? Not? Either way, we'd like to hear your thoughts on the topic in the comment section below.