The unfortunate truth about electric vehicles and charging infrastructure here in the U.S. is that Tesla is still far and away the best vehicle charging experience on the road. Nobody even comes close. The CCS-style ‘EVSE’ units are clunky and difficult to connect, and often are just plain broken. It makes a luxury experience—like owning a Porsche electric vehicle—much worse. While the vast majority of charging in the world is done either at home or at work, there is still a need for on the road fast charging public infrastructure to facilitate road trips and the insecurities of daily life. Tesla does so well because it builds the charging infrastructure for its own cars. It’s an easy experience because they’re very rarely broken and they interface with the cars immediately.
Porsche is looking to develop a better relationship with charger builder ABB E-Mobility, one of the contractors for major charging infrastructure company Electrify America (known as Ionity in Europe). In a deal announced today, Porsche Automobil Holding SE (Porsche SE) has agreed to a “double-digit million euro” investment in ABB E-Mobility Holding AG.
Lutz Meschke, member of the board of management responsible for investment management at Porsche SE: “With the fast growth that we are seeing in electromobility, the need for the expansion of the corresponding charging infrastructure is increasing. We expect that the demand for chargers will continue to increase rapidly in the years to come. As a leading provider of charging solutions for electric vehicles, ABB E-mobility will participate significantly in this market growth.”
ABB has been building EVSE “chargers” since 2010 and has sold over one million of them in 85 markets worldwide. Of those, 50,000 have been so-called DC Fast units, and ABB claims that it has more of this style unit in the ground in service right now than any other manufacturer. Over the last two years ABB has invested heavily in production capacity, building a new facility in Valdarno, Italy in 2022, and currently working on a new facility in Columbia, South Carolina slated to open this year.
While Porsche already facilitates “plug and charge” with Electrify America units, it’s not always a breeze to hook in and juice up. The hope is that with more higher quality units on the road, the charging experience will increase in quality as well. The Taycan is far and away the best electric car I’ve ever driven, so it’s extremely good news that Porsche is working on a plan to make the charging experience better. With 80% of Porsche sales expected to be electric by 2030, the company is really going to need it.