Porsche Taycan Buyers Will Get Three Years of Free Fast-Charging in America

Your move, Mr. Musk.

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Porsche announced Monday that it will guarantee Taycan buyers three years of no-cost fast-charging at Electrify America charging stations.

Porsche Taycan buyers will be able to use any of the organization's planned 484 fast-charging stations for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time for three years after initial purchase—for free. When these 350-kilowatt chargers are ready, they'll be able to feed 62 miles of range into the Taycan's battery in four minutes, though the upcoming 450-kw chargers will do the same in just three.

Funded by the financial settlement from Volkswagen's Dieselgate scandal, Electrify America is the United States' fastest-growing charging network, and the biggest outside of Tesla's Supercharger network. By July 1, it promises over 2,000 regular chargers to supplement the fast ones, with even more rolling out after that. Stations will average five chargers apiece, though some locations will have more than 10.

Electrify America

At least 300 of these stations will be along major US highways, spanning 42 states. Their average distance from one another will be approximately 70 miles, and the maximum distance between any two will be 120. Each of these will have at least two 350-kilowatt chargers, with the remainder being 150-kw spots. 350-kw charging technology isn't yet ready, as Electrify America's European partner Ionity constructed its first prototype only last month. Electrify America's current fast-chargers have also been temporarily taken offline in response to a safety concern with the charge cables.

Urban centers will also get a large share of Electrify America's early charging stations, with at least 180 on their way to 17 unidentified metro areas. Chargers at these stations will have a maximum wattage of just 150 kw.

If Taycan drivers find an Electrify America station full, they can head to the nearest Porsche dealership, where compatible fast chargers will also be installed. Home charging systems will be available as well, allowing consumers to take third-party charge stations out of the equation entirely if they don't drive often.

Porsche promises that its electric Taycan sports sedan will be out in late 2019, with an estimated 249-mile range from its 90 kilowatt-hour (kwh) battery. With 600 horsepower and all-wheel-drive, zero-to-60 will take less than 3.5 seconds. Its cornering performance should be equally impressive, thanks to its floor-mounted battery giving it a lower center of gravity than the company's flagship 911 sports car.

Tesla, Porsche's benchmark for the Taycan, has a fast-charging network of its own. Its chargers have a maximum theoretical output of 145 kw, though its cars can only receive a peak input of 120 kw. Its CEO Elon Musk has stated that updated "V3" Superchargers will begin deployment this year, capable of an unspecified wattage exceeding 350 kw.

Previously, Tesla offered free lifetime fast-charging to its early adopters, though it has scaled back its offer since. Tesla currently promises nine months' free Supercharging for customers who don't take a test drive, and six for customers who do.