Porsche Dealers Gear Up For Electric Cars

OCT 20 2018 BY VANJA KLJAIC 27

Porsche dealers are faced with high short-term financial investments into the charging infrastructure

When Porsche decided to enter the electric vehicle world, they sure paid attention to every detail. As their investments towards electrification garner speed, the German carmaker is entering a stage where not only the vehicle itself but also, the infrastructure will play a key ingredient in their overall success. Hence, Porsche authorized dealers, and especially those ones in the United States will have to shoulder a significant share of the company’s investment plans.

Just recently, Porsche bumped up the number of high-speed chargers it deems necessary to more than 700, or about 40 percent more than previously estimated. And Porsche’s U.S dealers will have to cough up the investment for at least 200 of those. And just like the cars they sell, this investment will be a costly one for the 190-store brand. According to recent info revealed by the Zuffenhausen based carmaker, the chargers will cost retailers between $300,000 and $400,000 per store on average.

However, time is scarce as the planned U.S. arrival of the Taycan – Porsche’s first electric sedan – is set for 2020, just over a year from now. And judging by the most recent developments and information coming from the carmaker, Porsche is clearly embracing electrification. And there’s no better sign of that than more than €6 billion ($6.9 billion) the company intends to spend on vehicle electrification by 2022.

“We expect by 2025, roughly 50 percent of our products to be electrified, either with a fully electric engine or with a plug-in hybrid,” Porsche sales chief Detlev von Platen told Automotive News.

And for Porsche dealers in the U.S., that means they’ll have to get busy installing electric vehicle chargers. However, even Porsche Cars North America CEO Klaus Zellmer concedes that this will be a huge financial undertaking for the retailers, who will be faced with a prolonged payoff of the investment. However risky, it may be one of the most financially sound decisions they will ever make. After all, high-performance machines from Porsche are already a highly coveted item, let alone the planned onslaught of potential EVs from the carmaker set to arrive in the future.

“It’s typical, if you’re an entrepreneur, that the investment doesn’t pay off within the first one-two-three years,” Zellmer told Automotive News last month at Porsche’s Rennsport Reunion motorsports event here. “It’s a long-term investment – he added. You need to establish the tech prerequisites to show what the car can do, which first for customers is charging,” he said.

In the end, it’s a necessary investment. Porsche’s ambitious electrical plan hinges on the availability of robust and fast charging infrastructure, set to alleviate range anxiety. After all, the fear of running out of juice and the inconvenient lengthy charge times have been major hurdles to widespread EV adoption. If Porsche can tackle those successfully, the carmaker could find itself in a fruitful market position. The retailers playing ball is key to their success, however financially painful (in the short term) the investment may be for them.

Source: Autonews

Categories: Porsche

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27 Comments on "Porsche Dealers Gear Up For Electric Cars"

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John

Exciting! Super stoked to watch another premium brand expanding into the EV space, should be fun to see the Porsche progression these next couple years.

pjwood1

I want the car to succeed (and be built in number), but dealer based charging?

Where I’ll go to buy a car, and where I need to charge a car aren’t the same. It’s like a race, where the “pits” are located back at the hotel.

ga2500ev

It seems to me that dealer based charging makes sense from the company perspective on a couple or three fronts. First and foremost, if Porsche is touting the car for fast charging, they will need to be able to demonstrate that to prospective customers. Second is the fact that a lot of the infrastructure (land, electrical infrastructure) are already in place at the dealer. Third is the fact that since Porsche dealers are already distributed, that charging placement will create a significant step towards a coast to coast fast charging network skeleton that Porsche, and hopefully other non Tesla EV owners, can use.

With the Taycan having 300 miles of range and Porsche planning on charging money to charge, these chargers are going to be primarily for long distance travel situations. As such the distribution is going to be more important than the specific location. For example there are virtually no DCFC chargers in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, with the exception on the 3 newly installed Electrify America charging sites. There will now be an additional 7 sites in those three states.

ga2500ev

bro1999

Curious if the stations will be CCS only. Porsche has 0 need for CHAdeMO.

Foersom

CCS only. It will be Porsche / ADS-Tec chargers.

Beat

You write “chargers will cost retailers between $300,000 and $400,000”. Wondering why so much ? A 50 kW DC charger is between 25k$ and 50k$, then comes installation cost, and fact that these are higher amped ones, let’s suppose another 100k$ for a huge buffer battery, and 50k$ for higer-amp electric connection, we’re still at 250k$, far from 400k$.

DrDauger

Porsche’s chargers are 800V. Definitely makes that much more expensive, on top of the fact it’s a Porsche design.

wavelet

Yes. Porsche’s BEVs (not PHEVs) are all supposed to support 350kW, not just 50kW. That may require special utility connections, in addition to the highest-end chargers in existence.

Bill Howland

The voltage is pretty irrelevant – its the 350 kw loading that makes it costly – especially if it is mandated that the dealership install at least TWO of them to run at the same time..

As proof, look at the “Home Compatible” ABB 24 kw (“UL MODELS”) that work up to 24 kw, and can produce up to 900 volts as necessary, which was showcased here in a recent article 3 days ago. For a US based home, the units require only a 100 ampere facility – and even that may be throttled down if necessary.

In other words, if it is just to TEST the car, the dealership COULD just make up a small test box. Its the mandatory HUGE fast charger requirement that I’m sure is causing dealership questions.

antrik

They use batteries; and the dealer locations likely won’t see high charger utilisation — so I don’t think the power requirements will actually be high enough to be a major cost factor here…

Bill Howland

Installation cost at most dealerships for TWO 350 kw charging facilities will be quite high, and in some cases the serving utilities themselves will insist on a ‘Customer Contribution’.

When I was with Verizon, my company wanted to increase the load at one location by 750 kw, to which the utility said, Verizon must finance the cost of a SUBSTATION ADDITION.

Obviously we found a work around – but there might not be many work arounds available to a dealership besides buying a large ’emergency’ generator to run the chargers.

Foersom

The dealer ship will need a power grid substation to support ~1 MW (= 2* 350 kW + some AC chargers).

Bill Howland

It depends on each dealership… Many will be served by 13 kv to 34.5 kv areas that could easily adsorb the (for it) increased loading.. The case I was talking about was in a densely populated area of Buffalo, NY where the medium voltage distribution by the Verizon property was only 4.16 KV, and they put a 500 kva limitation on loading – which we ended up complying with to avoid the expense.

My point is and was, that a phone UTILITY can spend all kinds of $$$, but we didn’t want to when there was a cheaper way. I think most Porsche dealerships do not have the financial wherewithal to spend monies without very tangible results, like selling more cars.

In the case in the Clarence (Buffalo, NY) dealership, the area is so congested AND so highly landscaped, that ANY service change will be a big deal.

It makes me smile when I think about what THEY must be thinking about. I should go to the dealership and ask the general manager what he thinks about the whole situation.

ekutter

Are Porsche dealers really where these chargers are needed? Most people with Porsche’s will likely be charging in their own garage rather than at their local dealer. Dealers are unlikely to be at the right locations for charging during road trips. Most dealers seem to be in city’s. Are you really going to want to detour through a city on a road trip, often dealing with traffic?

This seems more symbolic than anything. And that’s pretty expensive for symbolic.

Big Solar

i guess they are better at dealers than no where. At least you could go to a dealer when in a jam…

deine Mutter

only 200 of the 700 planned Porsche locations are at dealerships the rest is spread out along travel routes. On top of that you can also use the electrify america network and any other CCS charging station.

ffbj

I bet Porsche dealerships are jumping for joy.

pjwood1

Honestly, it will make the culture fight that much harder against electrification. The diesels were curiously un-serviceable and expensive to keep compliant (DPFs didn’t unscrew). It’s like VW Group wants to galvanize people against the future. “Blame regulation”, they’ll say. That’s why eTron’s “700kg” battery weight was part of the “the reveal”.

eject

Do you want them to hide the weight of the battery with marketing BS?

pjwood1

Puh-lease. When Jaguar promoted its V-12, did they put the motor’s weight into the marketing?

You know exactly where I’m coming from.

Vexar

I don’t think that house shown is anywhere near Germany. Also, a 2020 release date does not imply January. My bet is on Autumn, 2020.

enext

So what. It’s a professional shoot, probably CA or AZ with German license plates.

Bill Howland

I guess that this is one of these ‘feel good’ articles.

So – the thing that has yet to be mentioned – and I’m sure Porsche dealers must have asked this question themselves hundreds of times:

“Exactly what is the minimum compliance to this Charger Installation? Does EVERY Porsche dealership in the states HAVE to install these $400,000 at a pop Charger facilities? If it is MANDATORY for those selling the EV’s, does every dealership have to install at least TWO 350 kw charging facilities?.

(My local dealership doesn’t even have a 240 volt docking station – the two they have are those absolutely gargantuan Level 1 (115 volt) charging stations that may be adjusted by the user to either 6 or 12 amperes (0,65 or 1,3 kw).)

The SMART dealership next door to the Porsche one – on finding that SMARTs from now on will only be EVs, decided to drop the franchise. They went from being the largest SMART ev dealership in NY State to absolutely 0.

So, if compliance by the dealership is mandatory, will the Porsche dealership meet the compliance requirement by merely just selling the ICE versions only?

cab

I wonder if the dealership chargers will be accessible to the general public, or acessible when the dealership is closed. So far I’m pretty unimpressed with the dealer deployed charger model at other dealerships.

ga2500ev

If dealers are smart they will do both, charging a pretty penny in the process. That’s the way they can get their invested dollars back for the equipment.

ga2500ev

bradley cross

Porsche dealer has to spend money, thats a shame. Wonder where it will come from?

Bill Howland

That is the key question…. DO they have to spend money, and, if so, how much?