Consumers buy electric cars for a plethora of favorable reasons; they’re cheaper to maintain, can charge up at their home, and some take satisfaction that they can be greener to drive. Another reason tends to be the cheap cost to actually charge the vehicle when driving out and about. In a roundtable discussion with GearBrain, a Porsche board member confirmed that the brand would not be following Tesla’s lead in offering free access to its fast-charging network, but instead following a pricing model similar to the cost of gasoline.
Porsche is working hard to bring its Mission E project to fruition. What could easily be a direct competitor in the brand new luxury electric sedan market, the Mission E offers a car with similar speed and range as the Tesla Model S at a very competitive entry price point. But what it won’t be offering in-line with Tesla is the cost to charge the vehicle at a branded fast-charging network.
You see, Porsche’s 350-kilowatt charging station provides a much-needed service to the electric car scene: rapid charging. The ability to charge its Mission E vehicles from empty to over 300 miles of range in just 15 minutes is substantially faster than what any charging network, branded or not, can offer the market today. Unfortunately, it seems that Porsche isn’t in a hurry to roll out its network at a fast pace, as news has only sprung up about guaranteed placement at dealerships and not if the Germans plan on rolling out this technology to standalone locations.
Porsche’s Deputy Chairman of its executive board, Lutz Meschke, reportedly confirmed that Porsche will be aiming to turn its fast-charging network into a moneymaker. The luxury brand will aim to price its electricity rates at a “similar amount to gasoline.” The 2018 Porsche Panamera has a 23.7-gallon fuel tank, meaning that to feed it 93-octane fuel will cost around $74 to fill up at the national average of $3.125 per gallon. The Panamera’s EPA rating is around 24 miles per gallon or 568 miles per tank. With the cost of fuel factored in, this brings the consumption cost to around $0.13 per mile. Porsche hasn’t noted how large the Mission E’s battery will be but has said that its platform will provide around 310 miles of range per charge. We can estimate a 100-kilowatt-hour battery pack in place to provide a similar specification to Tesla’s Model S 100D, potentially bringing the cost to charge around $0.40 per kWh in order to be comparable with the Panamera’s cost per mile of gasoline.
Unlike Porsche’s decision to price its charging network alongside the cost of filling up at the pump, Tesla states that its supercharging network “will never be a profit center” despite the decision to raise its Supercharger pricing across the United States. Currently, Tesla charges an average of $0.226 per kWh to top off any of its cars not grandfathered into free lifetime Supercharging. New Tesla owners are provided a free annual credit of 400 kWh, which is enough to travel around 1,000 miles.
Right now, all cost estimates are speculation until Porsche releases its pricing closer to the launch of the Mission E in 2019. With plans to electrify its lineup, the automaker has already set aside over $7.4 billion to put towards moving to battery power. No details have been announced on Porsche’s plan to integrate with existing charging networks for on-the-go charging, or if it plans to build its own charging network to accommodate its high-speed chargers. One thing is certain; some owners might not mind paying a premium for 15 minute charge times on the road.