Porsche just held its annual meeting during which it revealed two upcoming electric vehicles, the Macan and 718 Boxster. However, in arguably more compelling news, the brand also noted that it has decided to build its own proprietary global EV charging network.
Of course, new EVs from Porsche are certainly big news. The brand is aiming to bring the electric Macan to market for 2023, followed by the all-electric Boxster in 2025. However, in a time when many automakers are quickly bringing new EVs to market, and virtually none of those brands have committed to building out their own charging networks, the charging news from Porsche deserves our attention.
Tesla is currently the only brand to own and operate its own proprietary fast-charging (Supercharger) network, and it has clearly helped immensely with adoption. A few other brands, primarily EV startups, have also talked of their own charging networks, though there always seems to be more of a focus on Level 2 charging over DC Fast Charging.
As far as legacy automakers are concerned, most have made announcements about offering "the world's largest charging networks." However, in a growing number of cases, these brands are simply partnering with third-party charging companies that already exist. Sadly, the vast majority of the public charging ports in the US are still Level 2, though there are exceptions.
Porsche has already established partnerships with third-party charging companies including Ionity in Europe, as well as Electrify America and Electric Canada in North America. Company CEO Oliver Blume made it clear that Porsche is attacking charging infrastructure from both sides, continuing the partnerships while working on plans for its own network. According to TechCrunch, Blume explained:
“We are jointly investing in premium charging stations alongside partners and in our own charging infrastructure."
According to Porsche, the proprietary charging stations will be complete with lounges for owners to rest or get work down while their cars are juicing up. During a press conference related to Porsche's recent announcement, deputy chairman and member of executive board Lutz Meschke shared via TechCrunch:
“It’s not just about charging, it’s also to get more convenience in the direction of our customers. And that’s very important for us that we not only focus on the electrification of our cars, but also about the customer journey beyond the car."
The brand said it will begin building out its first charging stations next year, with a focus on areas with a high demand for the infrastructure, such as Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The initial European rollout will be followed by expansion into China and North America.
At this point, it hasn't been made clear whether Porsche will be focusing on DC Fast Charging for its own network. The brand could easily depend on third-party companies for fast charging while focusing more on its own Level 2 network, though we hope that's not the case. The above quote from CEO Blume notes "premium charging stations alongside partners," leaving out the "premium" in the part about Porsche's own network, so who knows exactly what this means?
Porsche hasn't yet provided details about the number of stations, the cost, or any other notable specifics. However, it seems clear that the network will be reserved for owners of Porche's EVs.