Making the trip possible was Porsche brand ambassador Mark Webber sitting behind the wheel.
Porsche set out on a trip in the Australian outback in a Taycan 4S Cross Turismo with former Formula 1 driver and Porsche brand ambassador Mark Webber behind the wheel.
While the goal seems to be to go on an adventure only, the trip proves EVs can also accomplish the daunting task of driving long distances in the middle of nowhere; range anxiety be damned. But of course, there were challenges along the way, and yes, charging was a chief among them. The Taycan 4S Cross Turismo's EPA-rated range is 230 miles, making the drive from Darwin to Tennant Creek tougher.
"I can't wait to see what we encounter along the way," said Webber before the trip. "I enjoy long drives in my enduro machine and am always on the lookout for inspiration. But I've never had the courage to navigate the bush. There's no one out there, and some of the terrain is extremely hostile. A breakdown out there could be dangerous."
Webber, along with Porsche customer magazine Christophorus, took off from the starting point in Darwin to a trip down south. The team had to rely on slower charging stations with alternating current as fast-charging stations were limited. They drove the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo along the 1,690-mile Stuart Highway, which began construction in 1940 but was only completed in 1987.
After driving 139 miles, the Taycan Cross Turismo arrived at the first destination in Pike Creek. The only hotel in town had a public AC charging station capable of a charging rate of 22 kW - twice what Porsche was expecting. The trip carried on to a river cruise through the Nitmiluk Gorge, and later, the crew made their way to the Cicada Lodge as evening fell.
The following day, the 563-horsepower Taycan Cross headed further south to the Elsey National Park, where the EV experienced temperatures reaching 93.2° Fahrenheit - above the optimal temperature for maximizing EV range.
The team reported never once experiencing range anxiety on the trip, which likely came down to astute planning before the trip began. The cross-country tour took them to places like Larrimah Hotel, Caravan Park, an old airport town of Daly Waters, Tennant Creek, and Devils Marbles before reaching the end destination, Tennant Creek.
Overall, the Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo completed the drive after 798 miles and 321 kWh of charging. Many interesting places were experienced during the trip, costing the team less than 100 euros (about $110) for electricity, meaning the performance EV's running costs were comparable to those of a 25-mpg gasoline car.
"I'd never have thought that things would go so smoothly with an electric car in the outback," said Webber. "And I definitely found new inspiration for future road trips."