The Porsche Taycan may end up being the most talked-about car of 2020: It's the first electric Porsche, has the highest voltage powertrain ever put in a production car, can charge (more or less) in 22 minutes, and do 0-60 in 3.2 seconds -- and that's if you buy the slow one. But in spite of all the breathless talk about this car, there are still some intriguing tech tricks up its fenders you may not know about.
5. It makes a business out of fast charging
Porsche says that before this car there was no accepted, calibrated way to measure and bill for a DC fast charge the way your home's power meter does for house current. Taking its word for that, I'm intrigued by its answer: The Porsche DC Energy Meter which can ID what car is charging, when it's charging and how much charge it's taking, all in a verifiable, accountable way. That helps open the door for a broader fast charging business and incentive for more fast charge locations.
4. Charge your battery from a battery
The 270 kW charging current a Taycan can draw is so high that many charge locations won't even have a sufficient grid connection to provide it. So Porsche's ChargeBox charging bays can use big storage batteries on site that deliver a fast charge from their stored potential, then recharge from the grid to get ready for the next Taycan that shows up. This may have some scale issues, as the local batteries may not recharge fast enough to do serial Taycan fast charges without delay, but it's better than a Taycan creating a brownout.
3. Cool(ed) charging cable
Due to the Taycan's peak fast charge current of 270 kW, a fast-charging Taycan will use a liquid cooled charge cable, with water and glycol flowing through it to control the heat coming off the copper conductor in the center of the cable. You won't need one of these at home: Your entire house could probably only muster 48 kW of power, and that's if everything in it is turned off. Home charging is generally limited to an industry standard 11 kW which can charge your Taycan in about nine hours.
2. Porsche loves Apple, still doesn't get Google
The Taycan is the first car to have Apple Music built in, with no phone involved. That's part of a bigger trend of putting mobile operating systems at the heart of tomorrow's cars, sans tether, as evidenced by at a core level. But the Taycan, like all Porsches, still doesn't support Android Auto or other deep Google integration.
1. Four screens and a funeral (for buttons)
Option your Taycan right and you'll have four dashboard screens:
- 16.8-inch all LCD instrument panel
- 10.9-inch center stack display
- 8.4-inch console display with haptic feedback and handwriting recognition
- 10.9-inch passenger display which replicates many of the functions of the other display
Until we get to see theon the road, the Taycan may reign as the most screen-centric car extant. All of this is something of a funeral for just about every knob, switch and button normally found in a Porsche (or other car), but that puts it at risk of disappointing us with a fussy interface, . You can't even adjust the vents in a Taycan without going through a menu.