Logistics of Charging the 2022 and 2023 Taycan Battery Electric Vehicle
This article, hosted by Dive Gear Express, has absolutely nothing to do with SCUBA diving. Authored by Mark Derrick with help from Lisa Edwards (two of our employees) it discusses in detail their experiences and advice regarding battery charging for the 2022-2023 Porsche Taycan 4S with an optional Performance Battery Plus in the US. In so far as charging functionality, the 2023 model appears to be the same as the 2022 model with the 2023 firmware update. This article is focused on charging and does not discuss methods used to extend the driving range of the Taycan. It is accurate as of January 2023 but is not accurate for earlier model years or outside the US. The article also assumes you have a homeowner understanding of electrical terms: alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC), kilowatts (kW) and kilowatt hours (kWh), volts (V) and Amperes (A), circuits and circuit breakers. You can find plenty of articles and reviews about charging using data based on theoretical calculations that assume ideal circumstances for charging power and time. In the real world, the values discussed here are more likely to mirror your own experience.
The Porsche Taycan 4S maybe configured to include a high voltage "Performance Battery Plus" with 800VDC output and a raw storage capacity of 93.4 kWh. However, the accessible capacity is intentionally limited to a lesser value because the Taycan battery management system does not allow the cells to be discharged until completely empty or charged until completely full – which could result in permanent damage. The EPA estimated driving range for a 2022 Taycan 4S with a new Performance Battery Plus that is fully charged (i.e., State of Charge is 100% and driven to SoC of 0% of accessible capacity) is 227 miles (242 miles for 2023 model year), and the new vehicle itself originally used this value as the range for 100% SoC. Numerous Taycan 4S owners say the EPA estimated range is too conservative and that conscientious drivers are getting significantly better range than the estimate. It appears that Porsche have issued several Taycan firmware updates across the model years that changed their upper and/or lower limits on the accessible battery capacity. The 2023 firmware update also has modified the front wheel drive motor behavior to gain some additional efficiency in Normal mode. After the 2023 firmware update (actually installed in the fall of 2022), my vehicle is now indicating the range for 100% SoC is 266 miles. If so, that might explain some minor differences in their current Taycan charging recommendations as well as older observations by drivers and reviewers.
Battery Electric Vehicle Charging Overview
There are three broad classes of battery electric vehicle (BEV aka EV) charging, Level 1 (120VAC), Level 2 (240VAC), and DC Fast Charging aka Level 3 (400VDC or 800VDC.) Porsche does not recommend the use of Level 1 charging except in emergencies. BEV owners typically charge at home using Level 2, and many destinations such as workplaces, hotels and restaurants also offer Level 2 charging as a free or low-cost amenity. For longer trips outside their local area, BEV drivers normally rely upon public paid DC Fast Charging (DCFC) stations.
The nature of all BEV lithium chemistry means as the battery accumulates an ever-increasing number of charge and discharge cycles, the maximum energy storage compacity of the battery is gradually reduced and thus the maximum driving range is also permanently reduced. However, do not assume you should minimize the number of charging cycles by only charging when the battery is deeply discharged and always charging until the battery is full. While in theory the battery SoC can be run from 100% down to 0% of its capacity, studies have shown that consistently operating a BEV with a battery SoC significantly below 20% or significantly above 80% of total capacity will also more rapidly reduce the BEV maximum driving range.
Another accepted wisdom in the battery industry is the faster the charging, the faster the rate at which battery storage maximum capacity will permanently degrade. For local daily driving, this suggests avoiding DC fast charging when practical. Long-distance travel away from the home charging station is the most common circumstance that justifies coming to a DCFC station. However, don’t worry; while DC fast charging may have some influence on battery life, the effect is minimal when it is not the primary charging method. For all but some edge conditions, if you follow the general Porsche charging recommendations expect your Taycan maximum range to unavoidably decline about 2% per year and that ten years is a reasonable expectation of the 800 VDC battery service life.
Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) for Charging the Taycan
The Taycan can accept a battery charge via a J1727 socket located on the driver side of the vehicle or a CCS1 socket located on the passenger side. The design of the CCS1 socket is such that it is also backward compatible with the J1727 plug, thus the Taycan may be AC charged from either side of the vehicle while it may be DC charged only on the passenger side. The Taycan is only capable of charging using one or the other of the sockets at a time, it cannot simultaneously charge from both sockets. The Taycan on-board charging system can accept power from the connectors at theoretical maximum rates up to:
- 1.9 kW (standard) from a 120-volt supply (AC via J1727 connection)
- 11 kW (standard) from a 240-supply (AC via J1727 connection)
- 19.2 kW (optional *) from a 240-volt supply (AC via J1727 connection)
- 50 kW (standard) from a 400-volt supply (DC via CCS1 connection)
- 150 kW (optional *) from a 400-volt supply (DC via CCS1 connection)
- 270 kW (standard) from an 800-volt supply (DC via CCS1 connection)
* FYI, Porsche offers optional upgrades to the Taycan on-board charging systems. The 19.2kW on-board charging option (KB4) enables it to accept a maximum charging rate of 22kW via a 240VAC supply (although 19.2kW is the maximum allowed by the J1727 connector standard), otherwise the North American market Taycan is limited to a maximum charging rate of 11kW via 240VAC supply. Taking advantage of the increased AC charging capacity for home use requires a very high amperage dedicated branch circuit that many residential electrical systems cannot support without expensive upgrades. The 150kW/400VDC on-board charging option (KM2) enables the Taycan to accept 150 kW via a 400VDC supply, otherwise the Taycan is limited to 50kW via a 400VDC supply. The KM2 option is currently of no benefit in the US where the non-Tesla charging stations over 50kW are 800 volts. Tesla has announced new Supercharger equipment that will enable a Taycan with the KM2 option to use Tesla Superchargers, however as of early 2023 this functionality does not appear to be available in the US.
Porsche includes a portable Level 2 EVSE accessory with the Taycan. The Porsche Mobile Charger* Plus is a plug-in EVSE that comes standard with Taycan. The Porsche Mobile Charger* Connect option (NW2) has similar charging capacity to the Plus, but has a touch screen control and information display. The PMCC may be paired to your Porsche ID with information about the charger and the charging processes able to be displayed in the Porsche Connect website and My Porsche smartphone application.
* The term “Charger” is a misnomer, these devices are more properly termed Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE). The EVSE provides an interface to the electrical mains supply, then controls and monitors the amount of power delivered to the on-board charging system of the car. The charger in the BEV then controls and monitors the amount of power delivered to the storage battery. When connected, the EVSE and the BEV on-board charger cooperate to determine how much power the EVSE can deliver and how much power the BEV can accept, then agree on a rate of charging. As the charging proceeds the amount of power delivered will vary with changing conditions such as the battery temperature and state of charge. The charging specifications are typically expressed for ideal conditions but in practice except for brief periods they are not ideal and usually neither the EVSE will deliver, nor can the BEV accept, the maximum amount of power described in their specifications.
The Porsche mobile EVSEs can provide up to 9.6 kW* of energy to the on-board EV battery charger via a 25-foot-long vehicle cable with an industry standard SAE J1727 connector from a 240VAC electrical outlet. In North America they include two short supply cables: one cable with a plug for a NEMA 5-15 three-prong household 120VAC outlet and one cable with a plug for a NEMA 14-50 four-prong 240VAC outlet. The amount of charging current they are allowed to draw from the electrical supply circuit must be limited in order to prevent overheating of the EVSE, the circuit wiring or tripping the circuit breaker at the panel. There is a manual setting that must be configured to adapt the charging current to a maximum of 80% or less of the amperage rating of the 240 VAC electrical supply circuit breaker. If a 240VAC outlet is not available, they can be reconfigured to provide roughly 1 kW from a 120VAC electrical outlet although Porsche recommends using 120VAC for charging only in emergencies.
* In Summer 2022, Porsche stated their chargers had issues with overheating at higher charging current settings, with a resulting increase in risk of fire, and recommended the current setting be reduced to a maximum of 50% for the PMC+ or 30A for the PMCC regardless of a greater supply circuit capacity, severely impacting charging times. In January 2023, Porsche revised their recommendations, stating that there is nothing wrong with their mobile charger; blaming the issues on "inadequate" household electrical systems and more specifically calling out the 50A electrical outlet. They state charger may be operated at 100% current setting when using the recommended Hubbell brand receptacle with an adequate household electrical system.
For their mobile chargers, Porsche recommends selecting a charging current draw of no less than 8A @ 120 VAC to protect the auxiliary 12VDC battery. The 12VDC auxiliary battery is used to power standard vehicle functions as well as the driver instrument cluster and controls, lights, windows, and seats. The 2020 and 2021 Taycans, along with the Porsche Mobile Charger apparently had issues with properly maintaining the auxiliary battery at very low settings. The failure of the auxiliary battery will deactivate the entire Taycan electrical system and prevent the car from operating. This necessitates a service technician having to manually recharge the auxiliary battery using a specialized external lithium-ion battery charger or in rare cases replace the auxiliary battery itself. In mid-2021, Porsche issued firmware updates which seem to have addressed most of these issues.
As of 2022, among Taycan owners the Porsche branded EVSEs are not well regarded for their quality. I originally used the PMCC plug-in, which with a 40A current draw setting never delivered anything close to 9 kW on my 60A @ 240VAC circuit with the appropriate Hubbell receptacle, typically 7.2 kW was the most I ever saw. Upon changing the current setting to 30A, the PMCC was delivering high 5 kW as reported by the Taycan. There are plenty of alternative choices for EVSEs. At home I now use a wall-mount Juicebox 48 connected directly to the same 60A @ 240VAC circuit and which is consistently delivering 10.2 kW as reported by the Taycan.
AC Charging the Taycan Battery at Home
The Taycan can be charged with the typical residential 120VAC power, although not recommended. Any Level 1 EVSE, plugged in to a 120VAC circuit is limited to delivering roughly 1 kW of power to the Taycan on-board battery charger and takes several days to fully trickle-charge the battery. The ordinary household 120VAC wall outlet is typically on a 10A (older homes) or 15A (newer homes) circuit shared with several other outlets. A prudent practice may be to consider ordinary household 120VAC outlets the last choice for plugging in any mobile EVSE due to the risk of overloading the circuit. Many residential garages are pre-wired with two dedicated circuits for an electric clothes washer and dryer appliance set, and with their higher amperage ratings these are better choices for use with any mobile EVSE. The 120VAC wall outlet for the washer is typically a single three-prong NEMA 5-20R socket on a 20A dedicated circuit. The washer outlet will directly accept the NEMA 5-15P plug included with the Porsche mobile EVSE.
A Level 2 EVSE plugged to a dedicated 30A @ 240VAC dryer circuit is limited to delivering about 5 to 6 kW and takes about 11 to 13 hours to charge the battery from 10% to 80%. An hour of charging will typically add roughly 15 miles of range to your Taycan. The wall outlet for the dryer is a three-prong NEMA 10-30R (houses built 1996 or earlier) or four-prong NEMA 14-30R (houses built 1997 or later) socket. Using the dryer outlet requires an adapter for the NEMA 14-50P plug that comes with the Porsche mobile EVSE. If the 240VAC outlet has an appliance plugged in and you don’t want to bother with having to repeatedly unplug and plug to switch, then SplitVolt has a smart switch with built-in overload protection that allows the dryer and charger to both remain plugged in at the same time without the use of adapters, providing automatic power switching between its dryer and EV power sockets.
For faster charging with a plug-in EVSE, many EV owners install a 50A dedicated circuit with a NEMA 14-50R outlet near where they wish to charge their vehicle. A level 2 EVSE drawing 40A plugged in to a 240VAC @ 50A outlet will deliver about 7 to 8 kW (theoretically 9 kW) and typically takes about 7 to 8 hours to charge the battery from 10% to 80%. An hour of charging will add roughly 20 miles of range to your Taycan 4s. This about the extent of what can be achieved with a plug-in EVSE.
The fastest Level 2 charging at home requires an EVSE with a dedicated circuit that is directly wired (no plug and socket, aka “hardwired”) to the circuit breaker panel. A J.D. Power study concluded that owners who installed a permanent Level 2 EVSE also had the highest level of satisfaction with home charging. Level 2 directly wired home EVSEs capable of 48A on a 240VAC @ 60A breaker can deliver about 9 to 10 kW (theoretically 11kW) and typically takes about 5 to 6 hours to charge the battery from 10% to 80%. An hour of charging will add about 30 to 35 miles of range to your Taycan 4s. There are more powerful directly wired Level 2 EVSEs that can deliver the full 19.2 kW a Taycan with the KB2 option will accept via an AC supply, but they are relatively expensive because they require a dedicated 80A or 100A branch circuit that many residential electrical systems cannot support without expensive upgrades.
Installing a Plug-in Outlet for a Level 2 EVSE
Rapid AC charging an electric vehicle via a plug-in EVSE ordinarily uses a dedicated 240VAC 50A non-GFCI circuit with an industrial grade NEMA 14-50R outlet installed near where you plan to park the vehicle when being charged. Basically, that's all you really need to know if you are hiring professional electrician who knows about requirements for electric vehicles to install it for you. However, for do-it-yourselfers, there are some more detailed recommendations.
The reliability of charging via a NEMA 14-50R outlet can be affected by the design and quality of the actual outlet itself. Low-cost residential grade outlets typically found at home stores may not be adequate to support frequent EV charging; they are primarily intended for plugging in kitchen range ovens. Unlike a kitchen appliance which is only used for brief periods and rarely at maximum power, fully charging a depleted Taycan EV battery using a 240VAC circuit can draw maximum amperage for many hours. For EV charging applications, select an industrial grade NEMA 14-50R outlet such as those manufactured by Hubbell, Bryant, or Cooper; Porsche now specifically recommends the Hubbell HBL9450A. The outlet requires a 4-wire 240VAC electrical circuit directly wired to the main electrical panel inside your house. (In North America, the terms 220VAC, 230VAC, and 240VAC all refer to the same system voltage level.) However In most homes, the main electrical panel is located inside the garage, and the EV charging outlet might be positioned about waist to chest high and relatively near the panel.
Unless otherwise specified, the installer will normally use #6 AWG wire (a specification for the thickness of the wire) and a 50A circuit breaker. An alternative to consider is a heavier (and uncommon) #4 AWG wire size along with a stronger 60A breaker, especially if the outlet will not be located close to the breaker panel and requires a long length of wire between the panel and the outlet. That is because under maximum load a long #6 AWG wire run and/or 50A circuit breaker can get warm over the hours of charging; not hot enough to be a hazard but it can sometimes cause the breaker to trip. The increased temperature of the wire will also cause it to carry less power, making the charging time longer. If charging is consistently causing the 50A circuit to overheat, there is a setting on the EVSE that can be adjusted to reduce the power demand.
Recently updated electrical codes may require the breaker on 240 VAC circuits with plug-in outlets also include a feature called a GFCI or "ground fault circuit interrupter”, especially if they are on a weather exposed outside wall or stand. Including a GFCI feature on circuits used to charge EVs is something to be avoided when possible. The EVSE and vehicle charger itself both have protections already built in, but EV charging can cause occasional “nuisance tripping” of GFCI breakers that stops the EV charging session and requires manual resetting of the breaker. If you are unable to install a plug-in outlet without using a GFCI type breaker, then using a 60A breaker may help. The best option for fast and nuisance-free home charging is probably to install a hardwired Level 2 EVSE.
Public DC Fast Charging the Taycan Battery
The fastest possible EV charging is available from DC Fast Charge EVSEs (aka DCFC, aka Level 3) that can deliver power rapidly but require commercial grade electrical service. Level 3 EVSEs suitable for use with the Taycan in the US will deliver up to 50 kW @ 400 volts. Newer Level 3 EVSEs suitable for use with the Taycan can deliver significantly more power, typically 150 kW @ 800 volts or in some cases up to 350 kW @ 800 volts. These charging stations are usually located near major commercial facilities with a lot of highway traffic and access to three-phase electrical service such as shopping malls and big box stores (Walmart & Target) as well as some truck stops and travel stores (Love’s & Wawa).
EV batteries cannot maintain a constant maximum fast rate of DC power acceptance through a full charge cycle. The Taycan rate of acceptance will vary substantially during the charge depending on the battery SoC as well as how close the battery is to ideal temperature. The Taycan will DC charge faster initially if the battery SoC is less than 30%, with power acceptance initially approaching the 270kW maximum for the Taycan if battery-friendly fast charging is not enabled. With Taycan battery-friendly charging enabled the maximum rate of acceptance is capped at about 200kW. Regardless, DC charging is significantly slower when the SoC is greater than 80% with power acceptance typically declining to around 50kW and sometimes less. Depending on the circumstances, it may not be an efficient use of time to use DCFC when charging a Taycan battery much above 80%.
As a practical matter, it is rare you will be DC charging starting with SoC of under 10% or continuing to DC charge above 80%. In the real world, as opposed to ideal circumstances, using DCFC to replenish a Taycan battery at nominal temperature and an SoC from 10% to 80% with a 350kW EVSE typically takes around 25 to 30 minutes if battery-friendly fast charging is enabled. (Porsche says 5% to 80% in 23 minutes, but I’ve never had that experience.) A 150kW EVSE takes about 5 minutes more. Depending on conditions, continuing to DC charge from 80% to 100% has the potential to substantially extend the charging session total time.
Keep in mind that the Taycan will only DC charge at the rate it can accept, not the rate the EVSE can deliver, thus for the Taycan there is only modest wall-clock time benefit to seeking out a 350kW EVSE; typically less than 3 minutes, and almost no benefit if battery friendly charging is enabled. If you are waiting for a 350kW EVSE when a 150kW EVSE is immediately available there is rarely benefit to waiting for the 350kW EVSE. Only if the battery SoC is relatively low (less than about 30%), and battery-friendly fast charging is disabled, then will the Taycan initially accept over 200 kW. Even at a 350kW EVSE the highest rate you could ever see the EVSE delivering is 270kW because that is the maximum rate the Taycan can accept and then only briefly under ideal conditions. As the SoC increases the kW rate of charge rapidly declines, with the result that much if not most of the charging session time on a 350kW EVSE is typically no better than when using a 150kW EVSE. Many Taycan drivers also report that the typical Electrify America 150kW rated EVSE will deliver 175kW, and this is also my own experience.
Unless the SoC is relatively low AND minimizing the charging session time is the top priority, then a 150kW EVSE may be preferred over 350kW by conscientious drivers for Taycan battery-friendly and annoyance-free DC charging.
Finding Public Charging Stations
Public charging networks are like major brands of gasoline stations in that some drivers prefer one or another brand, and some drivers have no preference for a specific brand. For the purposes of this article, we are calling a publicly accessible location with two or more individual EVSEs on a single branded charging network a “station”. However, terms are often used interchangeably and even a single individual EVSE may be referred to elsewhere as a station or charger.
Currently, some of the larger nationwide public charging networks are Tesla, ChargePoint, EVgo, plus the Electrify America (EA) network preferred by Porsche. Consumers often rate Telsa and EA highest among the EV charging networks. ChargePoint is easily the largest US charging network, accounting for over 40% of all charging locations. There are also many smaller “regional” networks of mostly Level 2 and 50kW DCFC stations. There are also a great many independent non-networked public charging locations. The tapestry of charging stations in the US is rapidly evolving with the ever increasing adoption of electric vehicles.
Tesla has a network of Level 2 “destination” EVSEs at hotels, restaurants and shopping malls, as well as their intelligent “Supercharger” network of DCFC stations. Tesla cars in the US use a unique Tesla only connector, but Telsa Level 2 EVSEs can be connected to the Taycan using a third-party Tesla to J1727 plug adapter. Although Porsche does not include such an adapter, many third-party versions are available. A few newer Telsa Level 2 public destination EVSEs can deliver up to 22 kW, although most Tesla AC EVSEs typically only deliver a maximum of 6 kW to 8 kW. The Tesla Supercharger stations in the US currently can NOT charge a Taycan. As of July 2022, Tesla has announced they will begin production of new Supercharger equipment that will enable non-Tesla EV drivers in North America to use Tesla Superchargers.
In some cases, two or more adjacent EVSEs at a station may be configured to take advantage of the varying rates of power acceptance during charging by sharing a single electrical supply. Power sharing, allows stations with multiple EVSEs to distribute the available energy capacity proportionally across all active EVSEs. Another term for this arrangement is “balanced”, and it works in practice because power demand from multiple vehicles during charging varies greatly through the charging cycle and is unlikely that all will have peak demand at the same time. Unfortunately, few public charging stations identify which if any of their EVSEs are balanced, but that can explain why at a busy station your Taycan is not receiving the charging power you expect.
The price at public charging stations can vary widely, depending on the network region and type of EVSE as well as whether you are paying the “guest” price or “member” subscription price. Because some states have restrictions on anyone other than public utilities billing by the kWh for electricity, the price may be expressed as “EV parking” by the hour instead of a price per kWh delivered. ChargePoint is a network of privately owned charging stations, and the individual owners set whatever price they wish. It is worthwhile to check prices if you have a choice of among charging stations and EVSEs.
All the major EVSE networks have branded smartphone apps that are best at finding their own network charging stations and making payment. The session management functionality among the networks and their apps varies. For example, the EA app can start, monitor, stop and make payment as well as the EA network itself can send notifications of significant charging session events such as when the Taycan SoC reaches 80% and charging slows. Drivers should also install one or more of the network-agnostic EV apps on their smartphone. They are essential for finding and navigating to virtually every available public charging station in the US, including many non-networked stations, but provide relatively limited charging session management functions. One of the most popular is PlugShare, offering a rich amount of crowd sourced information about the stations and nearby amenities.
The “Porsche Charging Service” free subscription allows the driver to use the Taycan PCM to locate and navigate to nearby public charging stations. The latest version of the “My Porsche” smartphone app can also manage and pay for charging at EA stations as well as locate or navigate to preferred charging stations. There is a deprecated and poorly reviewed Porsche “Charging NA” app that as of fall of 2022 has been replaced by the "My Porsche" app.
Establishing a Charging Session
Park so that you are close enough for the power cable from the EVSE to reach the charging socket on the vehicle. Especially with DC fast chargers in the EA network, the power cables on some EVSEs are notoriously short, this can sometimes require repositioning the Taycan because the charging ports are not located near the front or rear of the vehicle rather just in front of the doors. Then plug in the power cable and authenticate the EV charging session - once authenticated, the charging session should begin. Establishing a DCFC charging session can have issues if either the Taycan, the app or the charging network itself are having communications problems; in this case a phone call to the support number posted on the EVSE is usually required. Establishing a charging session at a public EVSE works slightly differently with each of the smartphone apps and with each of the charging station networks, plus the exact sequence of steps are not always intuitive. If you are new to EV's allow some extra time, figuring out the configuration and learning the app differences when under time pressure as they are encountered can make for frustrating early charging experiences.
“Plug & Charge” is a feature that allows an EV to establish a charging session without external authentication methods. It is a seamless process that allows a vehicle to automatically initiate a charge once it is simply plugged into a Plug & Charge enabled charger. As far as I can determine, 2022 Taycan EVs support Plug & Charge only at Electrify America stations. For the Plug & Charge feature to automatically authenticate and start a charging session it must be pre-configured before the first use: Porsche Charging Service subscription must previously have been activated and a credit card stored (even for the free EA charging that comes with new vehicles.) Plug & Charge must also be enabled in PCM settings on the Taycan. If everything is configured and communicating correctly, then just drive up and plug in. It can take up to 60 seconds to establish the charging session automatically; be patient and do not interrupt the process.
A new 2022 Taycan includes three years of free DCFC charging sessions (first 30-minutes of the session is free) at any of the Electrify America (EA) stations. If you wish to take advantage of Porsche free charging at EA stations, then you must establish the session using either the My Porsche app or Plug & Charge. The free charging session will not automatically end after 30 minutes, it must be manually terminated or else any charging that exceeds 30 minutes will be billed to your Porsche Charging Service account.
Temperature Preconditioning: Interior Cabin vs Battery
Just to be clear, any control setting mentioned in the Taycan manual or the Taycan instrument panel itself that refers to “Preconditioning” or “Precool/heat” is only for managing the Taycan cabin interior temperature. The Porsche documentation in English confusingly also refers to “preconditioning” other items such as the seat belts preparing for a possible collision and the battery prior to charging; however, use of the word “preconditioning” in those contexts has nothing to do with controls and indicators available to the driver. The “Precool/heat” button available on the charging status screen of the lower center console display is related only to activating the cabin climate controls while charging (i.e. you are sitting the car while charging and need the climate control running in order to remain comfortable.) Also, the “Preconditioning” indicator symbol on the instrument panel and elsewhere is only referring to the fact that the Taycan interior cabin climate control precool/heat function or timer is active.
The Taycan has a heat pump that the battery management system (BMS) can use to adjust the temperature of the high-voltage battery as it deems appropriate. Battery temperature cannot be directly controlled by the driver, nor are there any instrumentation symbols to specifically indicate the BMS is active although this might be inferred by tracking the displayed battery temperature. On longer trips, the Taycan driver might improve charging efficiency by navigating to DCFC stations using the PCM Charging Planner. This allows the Taycan to adjust the battery temperature in anticipation of the upcoming charging session (what Porsche confusingly terms “preconditioning” the battery.) For the battery management system to optimize the battery temperature for charging, the PCM navigation system destination MUST be set by selecting a specific charging station using the PCM Charging Planner and not simply entering the street address of a charging station. Regardless, living in South Florida where solid water never falls from the sky, I've never detected any meaningful difference between using the PCM Charging Planner or just driving to the charging station.
Interpreting Porsche’s “General Charging and Care Instructions”
Text on Page 276 of the 2022 Taycan Owner’s Manual is confusingly worded as it relates to charging. Here is my “rewrite” that hopefully is less vague:
For typical daily driving, 240 VAC (aka Level 2) charge when the battery SoC falls near or below 10% and end the charging session when the battery SoC reaches 80%. Avoid charging to 100% except for extended trips where the Taycan SoC will be driven below 80% shortly after charging. Frequent DC fast charging, unnecessarily ‘topping off’ the battery SoC or maintaining the battery SoC above 80% for long periods may permanently reduce the driving range of the Taycan. Porsche has specific additional recommendations for charging during long term storage of the Taycan.
You may hear or read conflicting advice from various sources regarding the upper limit, 2020 and 2021 model years apparently recommended 85%, which differs for 2022. Quoting from the page 289 of the 2022 Taycan Owner’s Manual (dated 09/2021) – “Use the timer or profile function to set the high-voltage battery to charge to a maximum battery charge level of 80% for daily use of the vehicle, excluding long-distance trips.” The manual also says, “If required, a battery charge state of 100% can be programmed before starting long journeys.”
The ambient temperature, as indicated by the value displayed on the left-hand side of the driver’s instrument cluster, can be a factor to consider in deciding when, how and how much to charge. Charging a battery that is too cold or too hot will significantly slow down the rate of charging, and in extreme circumstances shorten the useful life of the battery. Porsche does publish some guidelines regarding ambient temperature and charging, although in practice it is debatable if the guidelines will have a meaningful effect on battery service life.
- When possible, avoid charging the battery if the ambient is below -4°F or exceeds 86°F.
- In ambient exceeding 86°F, avoid charging the battery beyond 85% SoC.
- In ambient exceeding 86°F, AC charging is preferred over DC charging.
- In ambient exceeding 86°F, for DC charging enable the “Battery-friendly Quick Charging” setting.
- In ambient exceeding 95°F, avoid driving in “Range” mode immediately after DC charging.
Charging will be most efficient when the battery temperature is between roughly 80F and 90F. However, in our Florida summer climate where the ambient daytime temperature is often within the same range, during DC fast charging the battery temperature can reach between 110F and 120F. If DC fast charging in very high ambient temperatures, the charging session may automatically stop with an over-temp error and charging will have to be manually restarted once the battery cools down. EVSEs also have over temperature protections as well, and during a weather “heatwave” on a long-distance trip I experienced charging sessions interrupted by EVSEs with over-temp errors.
Understanding Porsche’s Charging “Timers and Profiles”
Taycan settings can be used to establish a charging SoC target for a charging session and then the Taycan will automatically start and stop the charging based on those parameters. There is also a “Direct Charge” setting which overrides profile-based AC charging. Timers and profiles also do not apply to DC Fast Charging.
A Profile has a “Minimum SoC” setting value which can override the “Preferred Charging Hours” settings when the Taycan is plugged in to a 240 VAC (aka Level 2) EVSE. If the Taycan battery actual SoC is below the Minimum SoC setting in the profile, then charging will begin immediately regardless of the “preferred charging hours” and charge until Minimum SoC is reached and then cease. When the actual battery SoC is above the Minimum SoC, then charging begins (or resumes) during the Preferred Charging Hours.
A Timer has a Target (maximum). Set up a daily Timer, just to charge, with “departure” time when you want charging to be completed. It won’t start until it needs to. That is, if your Taycan determines it will require 2 hours of charging to get to your target at 5am, it won’t start charging until 3am.
Enabling “Direct Charging” will disable all profiles and timers, and the Taycan will continuously charge until the SoC reaches 100% or power is removed. This all only applies for 240 VAC (aka Level 2) charging; profiles and timers do NOT apply if you are DC Fast Charging, which always functions in Direct Charging mode.
Longer Road Trips in the Taycan
The Taycan PCM has an on-board trip planner suitable short trips, but for longer multi-day trips, two popular EV trip planner smartphone apps are PS (PlugShare, free) and ABRP (A Better Route Planner, paid subscription.) There is no perfect solution and experienced EV drivers on longer road trips typically use a combination of tools for planning. PS is better at finding hotels with charging facilities and rates the quality of many charging stations. ABRP is better at optimizing the number of and location of charging stops for longer trips, particularly when preferring Electrify America EVSEs. Branded charging network apps are better at providing near real-time status of their own EVSEs at the charging stations.
One caution for on-the-road logistics in long distance trips: I do not trust any single tool for calculating driving distances between charging stations -- always verify the anticipated driving distance to the next station with another source. Also, for a variety of reasons all the various tools seem to consistently underestimate the actual driven miles between two charging stations. A good rule of thumb is to expect each planned segment will be at least 2 miles more true driving distance than the planning tools claim, but much more on rare occasions such as construction detours. When planning charging stops on long road trips a prudent practice would be to always reserve 25 to 50 miles of range as a hedge against unforeseen circumstances.
One factor responsible for variability in travel times on long trips will be the availability of higher capacity DCFC stations. In practice for longer highway road trips, I find driving in segments of 125 to 175 miles before charging at a DCFC is reasonably time efficient; easy on both the battery and the bladder, as well as a bit less hassle. Logistically the stops are never quite as time efficient as you might hope, and for planning purposes expect stops on long distance trips to average 10 to 15 minutes longer than the actual charging session. Planning charging stops combined with eating at restaurants that are within walking distance of DCFC stations can be efficient use of time.
For overnight stays, best to find lodging with a Level 2 (aka "destination") EVSE; which can be used to fully charge the Taycan to 100% while you sleep. For road trips, I carry a Telsa to J1727 adapter in case their Level 2 EVSEs are only compatible with Telsa. Prudent drivers will try to plan to arrive at the destination for overnight charging while the remaining SoC provides enough range to reach a DCFC station. That’s because many destinations will have a limited number of EVSEs and, especially by late evening, there may not be any available thus requiring a DCFC shortly after departure the next day. Some facilities can reserve a charging station for you, but in my experience the staff may not even be aware their facility offers an EV charging amenity.
In practice, small variances from the plan such as a few minutes late getting started, detours, traffic delays or conversely making better time than expected, getting a different amount of charge than planned, and many other factors such as weather and who is driving will ripple through a tight multi-day plan with substantial effect. With each successive charging session, the planned future charging stations can change and that will often affect the choice of hotel. The key takeaway is to be flexible!
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