Porsche has been tasked with taking the lead within the Volkswagen Group on the development of rapid charging for electric vehicles. An effective network of fast-chargers is seen as integral to the success of Porsche's forthcoming Mission-E electric vehicle.
Rather than create a charging network that can be used by only other electric cars from the VW Group, Porsche is in discussion with rival manufacturers over the creation of a global network of rapid-charging points on motorway routes.
The move is part of the VW Group’s 'Together – Strategy 2025', in which each company within the group is taking responsibility for an important area of future business development. It is hoped that the rapid-charger network will help to facilitate long-distance road travel by EV in the future.
Porsche chief executive Oliver Blume said: “Porsche is leading the fast-charging topic and that includes to not only talk with the other brands in the VW Group but also to talk with other car manufacturers and suppliers. It is not only a local thing to think about England or Germany, but to think globally, so [that means talking to] the most important companies in Europe, North America and Asia.
“It will be important to the success of electromobility that you have a good charging network where you don’t have to wait two or three hours to charge your car. I think 15 minutes is a good time when you are taking a break on the motorway.”
Blume admitted that agreeing upon and implementing a global standard for rapid-charging was a huge task: “On the one hand, it is not so easy to find partners but everybody has got the same need for the future and that’s what is pushing the process forward. The other point is that each country is different. You have different partners and a different structure. It is a very complex thing that we are doing, but there is a real need for it.”
When the Mission-E was first announced, Porsche said it will use a revolutionary 800V charger unit that is capable of recharging the lithium ion batteries to 80% of capacity in just 15 minutes.
Blume said the fast-charging network will be in place by the time the Mission-E, which will have a 310-mile range, goes on sale. “It will be there," he said. "We will start from the first moment with these technical features when the car comes at the end of the decade.”
He added that Porsche and its partners are confident they have a “very clear technical standard” and there is “agreement that all car manufacturers in the future will use the same standard”.
The 800V system would outperform Tesla’s Supercharger, currently billed by its manufacturer as “the world’s fastest-charging station” and capable of offering an 80% charge in 30 minutes. Existing Tesla owners would be able to use the new chargers via adapters, Blume said, and the door was open for the US car maker to join the ongoing development project.