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Clean Transport

Porsche Is Now Entering The 19.2 kW Charging Fray, & It Might Not Be A Good Sign

A couple months ago, I told readers about Lucid’s plan to offer a 19.2 kW home charger. At the time, I pointed out that 80-amp home charging is something that Tesla used to offer, but that the industry (including Tesla) has moved away from such high home charging speeds. But, with Lucid offering its well-heeled customers fat charging wires, now Porsche is doing the same.

Porsche’s Offering

Taycan owners who want to get more out of their at-home charging experience can now upgrade their car’s on-board charger to a whopping 19.2 kW and double the amount of power they receive (when using a compatible level 2 AC charger). Porsche says this feature provides a faster charge time, more convenient charging options, and additional peace of mind in some cases. The new 19.2 kW module reduces charging time from 0-100% for Performance Battery equipped cars to a mere 4.8 hours, compared to the previous 9.5 hour timeframe! For those with Performance Battery Plus fitted vehicles, charge times are even more efficient — just 5.3 hours as opposed to 10.5 in its predecessor!

Located behind the front trunk area, this new module replaces the existing on-board charger and associated wiring included with the car. So, it’s not major rocket surgery to switch out for a faster onboard charger. Once that’s done, it’ll draw up to 19.2 kW if you’ve got a compatible EVSE that can supply that much juice.

And, if you aren’t sure where to get a fast home EVSE/Station, Porsche has you covered there as well. A new 19.2 kW Wall Charger Connect is now available via the Porsche Shop, so you can have a station in your garage to match your car. But, I have to warn you that it isn’t for peasants. The wall station and cord are almost $1600, and that doesn’t include taxes or installation.

Before you run and order that, be sure to get your car upgraded first.Upgrade your Porsche Taycan with the new higher capacity OBC option (part number 9J1.044.900.31). The kit, which retails for $1,850.15, can be ordered and installed at any authorized service center (for an additional 12 hours of labor). Or, if you’re buying a new vehicle, be sure to option it that way from the factory.

Why This Isn’t As Useful As It Appears On The Surface

I’m not going to say that a 19.2 kW charging option isn’t useful for some people, but for most of us, it’s just a waste of money.

The biggest reason is that you can only drive so many miles from home in a day. If you’re going more than the range of the car between night time sleep sessions, you’re probably going far enough from home that you need a DC fast charging station, and not a faster AC charging set at home. For most people on almost all days, being able to charge up while you sleep is good enough, and you don’t need more than 6-8 kW to do that in 8-12 hours from dead to full.

Given the limited or non-existent benefits to this, the cost of actually setting up home 19.2 kW charging look even worse. In the case of a Porsche owner who wants to upgrade, you’re talking about almost $4,000 of parts alone (the on-board charger and the wall connector). Then, add 12 hours of dealer labor (at least $1,200, but probably a lot more). Then, add that you’ll need some very big wires and possibly an electrical service upgrade to deliver that power to your garage ($1,000-$5,000+). I’d rather spend that money on tires or home solar if I had a Taycan.

What this will be useful for is someone who basically drives all day and stays near home. Uber drivers, delivery drivers, some types of on-call medical workers, and perhaps government officials working in some capacities would find this kind of home or business charging speed useful.

A Race The Industry Probably Doesn’t Need

If somebody wants to waste their money on faster home charging they’ll probably never actually use, I’m not going to sit here and say they don’t have any right to make that call. It’s their money, and none of our business.

But, that having been said, super fast home charging is a potentially troubling trend in the EV industry. A Taycan has a battery pack with a capacity of just under 100 kWh. A Lucid Air comes with up to 118 kWh of storage onboard. F-150 Lightnings (not available anywhere near the promised $40k) come with up to 131 kWh. Rivian is supposed to eventually offer a 180 kWh pack in their trucks, and Tesla could offer up to 200 kWh of capacity in the highest spec Cybertruck. The Hummer EV is already there.

It’s these enormous battery packs that will end up actually making use of these fast home chargers, and the industry seems to be preparing customers who wish to go in that direction.

But, there’s a big problem. The industry is already struggling to come up with battery materials and cell production to build these huge packs. If wealthier buyers suck up the whole battery supply for a few cars that won’t environmentally break even for around a decade, this leaves the average buyer in the cold when they want to use around 1/2-1/3 of what these battery-sucking luxury vehicles take to build.

Yes, battery manufacturing will grow and eventually this won’t be a problem, but that can’t happen overnight. It takes years for battery mining to come together and start, and months to years to build plants that process that material into battery cells. Eventually it won’t matter if every idiot with money wants a 200+ kWh luxury vehicle, but it will be a while before we get there.

As cleantech enthusiasts and people working in the industry, we need to be smarter about this and discourage companies from making inefficient moves this early in the game. Equipping people with big bucks to charge luxury trucks (probably their third EV or more) isn’t the best way forward in 2022. Instead, we should be encouraging manufacturers to work on performance improvements that come through greater efficiency and strategy, not raw power.

Featured image by Porsche.

 
 
 
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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

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