2021 Porsche Taycan charges smarter, offers in-car subscriptions

The 2021 Taycan doesn't usher in major changes, but small conveniences go the distance for Porsche's EV.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2021 Porsche Taycan

Porsche's EV now offers more equipment.


It's no surprise the 2021 Porsche Taycan doesn't come with any massive changes -- the car originally bowed with some cutting-edge gear. But the German marque also didn't let the electric sedan zip silently into the upcoming model year, with a few new updates that the company announced Wednesday.

Notably, the 2021 Taycan offers a smarter charging setup through a partnership with Electrify America, the Volkswagen-backed countrywide charging network. The Plug & Charge system authenticates the whole process, meaning there's no need to whip out a membership card for charging or fumble with payment options. Instead, the charging station communicates with the car, connects and processes a payment all at once. The system will work exclusively with Electrify America charging stations starting early next year. A new battery preservation mode can also regulate charging, should you desire to reduce power loss while plugged in.

Now, to possibly everyone's least favorite automotive trend at the start of this decade: in-car subscriptions. Porsche calls the system Function on Demand and it opens up the ability for drivers to not only pay for features not currently installed on their Taycan, but it also provides the ability to subscribe to various niceties. The good news is if you want a feature forever, there's a fixed price attached. Otherwise, a subscription requires a monthly fee, though Porsche plans to provide a three-month trial before asking for payment.

Testing the 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo's range

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To start, Porsche plans to offer three new features for purchase or subscription, though there aren't rates or prices available just yet: active lane-keeping assist, InnoDrive (adaptive cruise control plus lane-keeping assist) and Porsche Intelligent Range Manager. The latter operates in the background to optimize the Taycan for comfort and calculates the shortest travel time to a destination. Function on Demand also continues to serve as the foundation for future over-the-air updates.

Other minor bits new for 2021 include an updated infotainment system with SiriusXM 360L capability, a head-up color display, a wider selection of colors (including Frozenberry!) and the Carbon Sport Design package trickles down as an option for all Taycan models. Previously, you had to pony up for the Turbo S to nab the kit. The Taycan also gets Porsche's Smartlift function, where cars with the optional air suspension can be programmed to automatically raise the nose for recurring locations like speed bumps or driveways. This feature was introduced on the 992 911 Turbo S.

Orders for the 2021 Taycan open late this year, with prices coming around the same time.

Watch this: 5 things you didn't know about the Porsche Taycan's tech