Porsche Plans to Charge the Use of Its EV Charging Stations from Day One

For a company not benchmarking its upcoming EV against the Model S (as Oliver Blume, Porsche CEO recently said), Porsche sure likes to talk a lot about the Californian carmaker, don't you think?
Porsche Electric Concept Car 1 photo
Since Tesla is the unofficial leader of the electric vehicle segment, it's natural to compare yourself to it if you want your ambitions to be taken seriously. At the same time, though, until your product gets on the market and proves to be everything you said it would, this puts the benchmarker in a very advantageous position, so it's understandable why Porsche tries to play down Tesla's importance.

But if there's one thing Elon Musk's company has right now and Porsche doesn't - you know, apart from three different EV models on the market - is a fully-functional charging network that covers the entirety of the North American continent and most of Western and Central Europe.

Porsche, on the other hand, is one of the brands that formed Ionity, an enterprise that looks to have 400 fast-charging (350 kW-fast) stations running by the end of next year throughout Europe, with many more to follow. The first of these sites are coming together as we speak, just in time to provide their high output to the new generation of EVs that will actually be able to take advantage of it.

Tesla is notoriously offering free access to all of its Model S and Model X models bought until the start of 2017, and to anyone who got one of these two vehicles since through the company's referral program. It's just the Model 3 owners that have to pay for the electrons they pour into their cars' batteries, but even then it's a very low price (depending on the region).

Porsche, on the other hand, says it will charge its clients from day one - or at least it plans to. Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of Porsche's executive board, told Gearbrain: “Yes we try to do this [bill from day one] of course. We can invest in the beginning, but after two or three years you have to be profitable with the new services, of course.”

We think both Porsche and Tesla are right. The American company was a pioneer, so it needed the free Supercharger lure to convince buyers to adopt EVs more quickly. Porsche, on the other hand, will join a more mature market where EVs aren't yet commonplace, but they're not the point-your-finger-when-you-see-one oddballs of a decade ago either.

Besides, charging stations are meant to be used for long-distance traveling. Day-to-day commutes should be covered by home charging, especially since the maximum range of EVs has grown considerably in later years. And Porsche knows free charging isn't the kind of incentive to steal its wealthy clients away, so making the charging stations profitable should be a winning strategy on the long term, allowing the company to spread out its network more quickly.


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