Time to change the rules of the game.
Tesla may have gotten a decade-long head start in electric vehicles and the necessary charging network, but it's since awakened a sleeping giant. Several of them, in fact. Several legacy automakers such as the Volkswagen Group are going all-in with EVs and while Tesla appreciates the competition, it continues to monitor its rivals closely - and vice versa. Among VW's many brands, Audi has been tasked to lead EV development but Porsche's new mission is equally important.
According to Germany's Automobilwoche, Porsche wants to construct a Europe-wide fast-charging network that would not only benefit its own customers but also additional "sales partners." Volkswagen and Porsche both declined to comment on the report, but leaked dealer information indicates the Stuttgart-based automaker aims to build a three-stage system consisting of a basic charging station at dealers and more attached to restaurants.
The report didn't state the third stage specifically, but if we had to guess we'd say they'll be at places like shopping malls. Of course, it'd also make total sense to add charging stations to already established gas stations. As far as dealers go, Porsche wants them to play a key role here. A pilot project is now taking shape involving 15 dealers chosen specifically by Porsche to participate.
Once the fast chargers are installed, Porsche Taycan drivers can reserve a time slot using their smartphones in order to avoid having to wait in line. Additional partners, which weren't named in the report, are being asked by Porsche to invest millions of euros across Germany to get these 350-kW stations up and running.
All told, over 300 partner brands/companies have signed up and that's in addition to the country's 88 Porsche dealers. Tesla's Supercharging network is spreading rapidly across the continent and VW needs Porsche to deliver the goods. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume previously stated at VW's Power Day that he wants each station to have between six and 12 charging points. In some cases, that's about the same number of fuel pumps found on gas stations right now.
No specific timeline was given as to when the project will kick off, but chances are significant progress will have been made by this time next year.