Porsche Taycan upgrade cuts vehicle charging time in half

Porsche has updated the Porsche Taycan’s on-board charger to cut charging times in half.

While the Porsche Taycan gained notoriety as an EV for more traditional performance enthusiasts, its battery specs lag behind rivals like Tesla and Lucid. Most importantly, the Taycan’s range and charge times stand in stark contrast to rivals like the Tesla Model S or Lucid Air, which charge faster and travel farther. Now, Porsche is changing that by upgrading the vehicle’s on-board battery charger.

According to TTAC, the focus of the new update is to improve the Taycan’s Stage 2 loading speed, roughly halving it. While many are looking to upgrade to Tier 3 charging speeds, the popularity of Tier 2 charging in homes also makes it a welcome upgrade.

With the new onboard charger, which can be fitted to new or older Taycans, the Porsche cuts its charging time from 9.5 hours to 4.8 hours with its smaller battery or from 10.5 hours to 5.3 hours for the larger “Performance” battery.

While Porsche has not specified how much the upgrade would cost to be retrofitted to the vehicle, the new option costs $1850 and must be paired with Porsche’s propriety wall charger, which is available for $1500.

Level 2 charging remains one of the most popular charging standards for many EV owners, not only due to its prevalence in people’s homes but due to its relatively low cost. And with meaningful upgrades like this one, manufacturers ensure that their vehicles can be charged quickly and efficiently overnight without the owner having to worry about finding a public level 3 charger.

With even higher-level performance versions of the Taycan reportedly in the works and Porsche’s next EV announced, more upgrades to range and charging time should be expected in the near future. Hopefully, more upgrades like these can be issued by other manufacturers to help keep older EVs on the road and to offer ever more people the best possible ownership experience.

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The Porsche Taycan already ranks as one of the best-performing EVs you can buy. With an upgrade, it can also be one of the fastest-charging EVs at home.

Porsche earlier this week announced that U.S. Taycan models going back to the 2020 model year will be eligible for an extra-cost upgrade that isn’t usually offered retroactively for EVs: a new onboard charger with double the power—19.2 kw—versus what most U.S. Taycans originally received.

With the Taycan’s 93.4-kwh Performance Battery Plus that means a full charge from 0-100% in just 5.3 hours; and with the smaller 79.2-kwh Performance Battery, a full charge takes just 4.8 hours.

But it’s not for everyone. In order to take advantage of the full capability enabled by the onboard charger, you’ll need to dedicate a 100-amp circuit to the mission, plus you’ll need high-power home hardware capable of delivering that power level—Porsche’s 19.2-kw Wall Charger Connect, for instance.

That’s an upgrade that those with ubiquitous American 200-amp residential service might not be able to make the space for—and it’s certainly not for those with old houses with lower-amp service, or those with condos or apartments.

As Porsche points out, those ordering a new Taycan can already add the more powerful onboard charger to their build by adding the KB4 option—a $1,680 premium. It’s been offered as a factory option on the Taycan since early 2022, for model-year 2022 vehicles.

The upgrade has one other extra benefit for those with 2020 Taycan models, according to Porsche: with its replacement of associated wiring, it also enables Plug and Charge, a feature that allows owners to pay for public charging by simply plugging the vehicle in. Taycans from 2021 and later are already compatible with this.

Increasingly, there may be urban 240-volt chargers capable of delivering the higher power to take advantage of outside the home. GM, for instance, is having its dealerships install 19.2-kw Level 2 chargers in their communities.

The onboard charger costs quite a bit more to add to existing vehicles. The kit costs $1,850, but that’s the smaller piece of the expense. This pretty significant surgery on the car takes an expected 12 labor hours. Figure on about $250 per hour of labor, plus other incidentals, and that means a total of around $5,000.

That doesn’t take into account the current $1,269 price of the Porsche Wall Charger Connect home unit, or its installation, which Porsche says must be done by a professional electrician. The total cost to have this combo for the fastest-charging Taycan could end up around $7,000 or more—but then you’ll also have a home unit that can charge other models with this rating, like the Cadillac Lyriq, GMC Hummer EV, or Lucid Air, at the fastest rate possible.

Is that worth it? As we know from various polls and studies, most EV owners charge at home 80% of the time or more. For busy executive types, the convenience of leaving in the morning with a full charge, no matter how late you’re out at night, may well bring a lot more peace of mind.

As more people experience electric vehicles, the uncertainty around issues like the range and driving feel is starting to evaporate. Even affordable EVs offer 250-plus miles of range. But there’s one area where all EVs have room for improvement: charging times.

Today’s fastest-charging EVs include the GMC Hummer, Lucid Air, and Porsche Taycan, which can add 10 or more miles per minute charging. Plugging in at home yields sluggish charging times, even for those vehicles, so Porsche has come up with a solution to double the amount of power the Taycan can receive.

Porsche’s upgrade brings a 19.2 kW onboard charger. Installation includes replacing the charger and associated wiring, which are located behind the frunk. Owners of 2020 Taycan gain Plug and Charge capability, which was previously only available for 2021 cars and newer. Owners can access the feature with their My Porsche account.

The catch here is that buyers must also purchase Porsche’s 19.2 kW Wall Charger Connect to “take full advantage of the increased performance.” The $1,586 wall box has to be hard-wired directly to a 100-amp circuit, but it can be adjusted for lower-capacity circuits.

For comparison purposes, Level 1 charging at home uses a standard household plug on a 110-volt circuit, and some EVs with large batteries, such as the Ford F-150 Lightning, can take days — 67 hours in this case — to fully recharge at such a trickle. Level 2 charging on a 240-volt circuit is significantly faster, usually by five to six times, but the 9.6 kW onboard charger that comes standard with the Taycan still takes several hours to reach a full charge.

Cars equipped with the Taycan’s new Performance Battery option can charge from zero to 100 percent in 4.8 hours, vs. 9.5 hours via the previous standard onboard charger. Cars with the Performance Battery Plus can fully charge from flat in 5.3 hours, down from 10.5 before.

Taycan owners can view the charging status on the five-inch touchscreen, and the unit comes with Wi-Fi to receive over-the-air updates.

Those stats are impressive, especially considering that many higher-end home chargers top out at well under 100 amps, and many cost much more than Porsche’s charger. The $1,850 hardware upgrade is available for all Taycan models. Porsche says the installation takes 12 hours of labor. Customers can select the feature as an option for new-car builds.

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