When you buy a Tesla, you also get access to the vast network of Superchargers, now over 20,000 around the world. Since Tesla makes the Supercharging experience so easy, it is just as easy to underestimate how much of an advantage it gives Tesla over other electric vehicle (EV) automakers.
That advantage was put in clear focus this weekend as a couple in the UK shared their ordeal of attempting to find a fast charger for their new Porsche Taycan 4S with The Guardian.
Linda Barnes and her husband were returning to their home in Kent in southeastern England. The 130-mile (209km) drive from Bournemouth should have taken about two and a half hours, but due to poor EV charging infrastructure, it took more than nine hours instead.
With only 45 miles (72km) of range left and needing a charge to get home, the couple visited 6 different charging stations in an attempt to get a boost. Unfortunately the charging stations were either out of order, had a long line-up, or were slower Level 2 chargers that would have taken too long to charge their Taycan (although in hindsight it might have been quicker).
After coming across a Tesla Supercharger that was also equipped with a generic DC fast charger, the couple was able to get enough electricity to reach home with 11% of their battery remaining.
So far Tesla is the only EV automaker to invest in its own fast charging network. Others, like Porsche and Volkswagen have instead chosen to partner with third-party charging companies like Electrify Canada and Electrify America. A partnership like that is easy as it gives instant access to their network of chargers, but it also comes with its drawbacks.
When your Tesla needs a charge, you can navigate to the nearest Supercharger using the car’s navigation. Not only will you get directions, but it will also tell you how many stalls are available and out of order, and even tell you how long of a wait to expect if it is full. When you arrive, you simply have to plug your car in, and the system does the rest.
Compare that to this couple’s ordeal. Since Porsche doesn’t have its own charging network, the car has no ‘connection’ to the chargers around to know if they are working, full, or even where they are. This leaves owners frantically driving around wasting precious energy trying to find a suitable EV charger.
With over 20,000 Supercharger stalls around the world, and that number rapidly growing each month, one has to wonder when another automaker is going to start realizing the errors of their way and begin investing in their own charging network.
This is why the value of the Tesla Supercharger network cannot be understated. These Porsche Taycan owners spent ~7hrs looking for a fast charger. https://t.co/SaTguC9pJ1 pic.twitter.com/rbsxmpCN6k
— Drive Tesla 🇨🇦 #FSDBetaCanada (@DriveTeslaca) November 28, 2020