Green Technology

Porsche Opens 1st “Charging Lounge”


Now we’re getting somewhere! Five years ago, in collaboration with GreenWay and more than 10 private, public, and nonprofit partners, CleanTechnica produced a report on EV charging station guidelines for cities. Included in the report were specific station design recommendations. There are also opportunities for massive improvement in the EV charging experience when combining stations with pleasant and useful recreation, shopping, and entertainment options. Unfortunately, stations like these are still extremely few and far between. Porsche has just made a step in the right direction, opening its first “Porsche Charging Lounge.” Nonetheless, there are still plenty of opportunities left untapped.

Let’s start with what Porsche has done right here to offer one of the best charging options around. Actually, let’s start with Porsche’s overall aim. “Porsche is planning to set up its own fast-charging stations along Europe’s most important routes, with a premium charging experience one expects of the brand,” the company says. This first peg in the network opened up today just outside of Bingen am Rhein just off of A60/A61. Porsche plans to build more of these Charging Lounges in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.

This first Charging Lounge includes six 300kW fast chargers and four 22kW chargers. However, the station was built to be expandable and the charging rates can and will eventually be increased to 400kW. Naturally, the lounge is plush and stylish. “The lounge is glazed from floor to ceiling, creating a smooth transition between inside and outside. Bright colours and light wood provide an atmosphere that promotes a sense of well-being.”

There are also strong cleantech elements to the facility beyond the fact that it is to charge electric cars. “The first Porsche Charging Lounge in the world is heated and air-conditioned by a heat pump that operates without fossil fuels. Part of the required electricity is provided by the photovoltaic system of solar cells on the roof. The digital building management optimises power consumption, for example by automatically dimming the lighting when there are no guests.”

The lounge includes “a large selection of soft drinks and snacks.” That’s one step in the right direction. When people are taking a break from a long drive, they often want a snack and a drink — if not a full meal or comfy place to chill out and drink a fancy coffee. Offering a large selection of snacks and drinks is a good step in that direction, but Porsche could do even more by including a little restaurant or cafe. And let’s be honest — it could charge an arm and a leg! These are Porsche EV drivers. Make it all extra fancy and count on a healthy profit margin.

Going further, “Analogue and digital media and a high-performance WiFi network are also available. Workouts can be done in front of a smart mirror to keep the driver fit for the journey ahead. Interactive Porsche content can also be selected here.” Now we’re getting to truly extra features that make a charging stop enjoyable and better than a stop for gas or diesel. It’s hard to judge more specifically without knowing what the media options and interactive Porsche content are, but it sounds good on the surface, and a smart workout spot is even better!

The good news is that I don’t think Porsche is dabbling in this approach. It wants to be a (the?) premium-class leader in the new EV era, and it intends to electrify its fleet quickly. “Porsche has mapped out an ambitious path towards electrification. By 2030 we want over 80 per cent of the cars that we deliver to be all-electric. This ambitious ramp-up requires a high-performance and dense fast-charging network,” says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “The exclusive Porsche Charging Lounges are making an important contribution to this. They are a barrier-free, sustainable and state-of-the-art addition to the IONITY network.”

“With the Porsche Charging Lounge, we are creating another important touchpoint along the customer journey and showing how convenient charging can be for Porsche customers,” says Alexander Pollich, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche Deutschland GmbH. “We look forward to hearing our first feedback from customers on their experiences with this new format.”

Porsche Taycan. Photo by Kyle Field, CleanTechnica.

Note that these Porsche Charging Lounges are only for Porsche EV drivers — a Porsche ID is required to access both the charging stations and the lounge. No Teslas allowed. And last I checked, Tesla doesn’t offer anything comparable over in Europe (or at all, really). “A Porsche ID is required to access the charging stations and the lounge area. This ID must be linked to the car. If the number plate is stored in the Porsche ID, the barrier opens for you thanks to automatic number plate recognition. The car’s registration number can be stored conveniently in the MyPorsche app. Alternatively, the customer can use their Porsche Charging Card or a QR code from the MyPorsche app to access both the site and the lounge.”

Soft clap for Porsche — it has taken a lead in automaker-provided EV charging stations, or any EV charging stations. Add an actual restaurant, cafe, more sports facilities, and/or other extra-extra services or facilities and you will get a standing ovation from me.


 


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