Porsche’s $208,000 electric station wagon showed me that super-fast charging can be a luxury, too

Source: By Tim Levin, Insider • Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S.
The 2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S. Tim Levin/Insider
  • The Taycan Cross Turismo is a new, electric station wagon from Porsche.
  • Its super-fast charging capability makes it more convenient to charge than other electric cars.
  • The Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S Porsche loaned us cost $208,000. It usually starts at around $100,000.

Stop at a gas station, and you can fill up and be on your way in just a few minutes, regardless of the pump you pull into or the car you drive.

In an electric vehicle, however, fueling up is a bit more complicated.

Depending on a charging station’s power rating, it could take anywhere from minutes to hours to top up an EV’s battery pack. And all electric cars aren’t created equal; some new models can absorb significantly more power at a time than others, leading to speedier charging stops.

Spending a weekend with one fabulous, cutting-edge EV, the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S, convinced me that ultra-fast charging is key to the future of electric cars. It may even be more important than total driving range, the number people typically care most about when comparing electric options.

The Taycan Cross Turismo can accept 270 kilowatts of charging power — more than most other models — leading to super-quick refueling times at stations that provide sufficient power. (Many electric cars max out at 50-150 kilowatts, and more kilowatts equals faster charging.) Porsche says a Taycan at a 5% charge can hit 80% in a brisk 22.5 minutes, a claim I was eager to test out on a recent weekend trip.

Whenever I’ve stopped to fast-charge electric cars in the past, whether it was the Volkswagen ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach-E, or Polestar 2, it always took something like 45 minutes to add significant amounts of range. A pit stop in the Taycan proved worlds quicker and more convenient.

I plugged into a 350-kilowatt Electrify America station — one of the very few locations in my area that’s powerful enough to unlock the Taycan’s full potential — and marveled at how quickly the car’s battery level started shooting up from 20%. The Taycan immediately started charging at 252 kilowatts, taking just 2 minutes to gain 10% battery and add roughly 25 miles of driving potential.

Five minutes later it reached 50%. In the end, it took a brief 18 minutes for the Taycan’s battery level to reach 80%, affording me 198 miles of driving range or 150 more than when I arrived. It was plenty for the drive home and then some. Overall, the experience felt almost as convenient as getting gas, but not quite.

Astute observers will notice these numbers don’t compute with the Turbo S’s estimated range of 202 miles. But I, like a handful of other outlets, experienced a considerably longer range than advertised, closer to 250 miles.

Stopping for 45 minutes to charge isn’t the end of the world, but it can be frustrating when you’re trying to get somewhere. And the inconvenience compounds over the course of a longer journey. The ability to charge at Taycan-level speeds could be a game changer, especially for urbanites who can’t plug in at home and instead have to rely on public charging stations.

And the technology could go a long way toward making electric cars feel as practical as combustion vehicles.

The bad news is that, unless you drive a Tesla and can take advantage of that company’s vast charging network, charging plugs rated at 250-kilowatts or more are still few and far between.

But there is good news: you don’t need to shell out six figures for a Porsche to get an EV that charges incredibly quickly. Mass-market vehicles are starting to join the party too; the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 SUVs promise to charge from 10-80% in just 18 minutes.

Surely even more great options are just around the corner.