Tesla Model 3 vs. Porsche Taycan charging speed tested by German publication

The Porsche Taycan is out and we’ve already declared it the best Porsche ever, but questions still remain about the Taycan’s low efficiency and how that affects its charging rate.  Early owners and reviews have found that the Taycan is more efficient than ratings suggest, so how does that affect its actual charge rate?

Nextmove, a German YouTube channel, put the car to the test against the most efficient EV, the Tesla Model 3, to see which one would win: Tesla’s lower peak kW rate and higher efficiency, or Taycan’s higher rate and lower efficiency.

Nextmove wanted this to be a “real-world” test, so they used their own charging and efficiency numbers.  Their main questions were about charging speed – is the Taycan’s rated efficiency and charge rate realistic, and how does it compare to the Model 3?

Firstly, they found that the Taycan was not capable of charging at the full rated 270kW.  Even pulling into the station with 1% battery, they never saw a rate above 255kW.  In Electrek’s own test drive, we also only saw a peak of 252kW.  This is only a miss of about 5%, so not a big deal, but it is lower than advertised.

Then they asked whether the Taycan charges as fast (in km per hour) as promised.  And the answer, again, was no – it actually charges faster.  Porsche’s marketing material states that the Taycan will go from 5-80% in 22.5 minutes, but Nextmove saw 1-80% in 21 minutes, so about 10% faster.

Finally, the question you’re all waiting for: How does it compare to the best other EVs on the market (i.e., Tesla Model 3)?  The Taycan has the fastest charge rate on the market, but what really matters to drivers is how much distance you can drive per unit of time you spend charging.

They used consumption numbers from a previous test where they found the Model 3 was 34% more efficient than the Taycan at 150km/h in the wintertime.  This is clearly an Autobahn-focused test, as 93mph is illegal on all roads in the United States.

Then they compared those numbers against their real-world charging of the Taycan and other reports they had found of real-world Model 3 charging tests.

The tests they used showed the Model 3 charging from 3-80% in 29 minutes on an IONITY station in Europe, or charging from 0-80% in 24.5 minutes on a 250kW V3 supercharger in California (as V3 superchargers have only barely started rolling out in EU).

Working out the IONITY rate against their consumption numbers, Nextmove found the Model 3 charged at a rate of 550 kilometers of range per hour of charging, and the Taycan charging at a rate of 717 km/h – a 30% win for the Taycan.

But on the faster V3 superchargers, the Model 3 attained a rate of 651 km/h, which is just 10% slower than the Taycan.

So on this test, the Model 3 is slower.  But that’s not the whole story.

It turns out the Model 3 “tapers” its charge earlier and more aggressively than the Taycan does.  That is, the Model 3 won’t maintain a full 250kW charging rate as long as the Taycan does.  It can do a burst of 100 miles in 7 minutes, but starts to taper at around 20% charge compared to the Taycan’s 50%.

This is likely partially due to the Taycan holding back some of its battery capacity for longevity purposes, whereas the Tesla lets owners use virtually all of the car’s capacity when charging to 100%.

So when a shorter charge is done, the Model 3 does better.  On a charge from 0-50%, the Taycan reaches a rate of 856km/h on IONITY, while the Model 3 reaches a rate of 766km/h.

But on a V3 Supercharger, the Model 3 jumps past the Taycan and charges at 905km/h when measured from 0-50%.

So it looks like a mixed bag.  The two cars charge at similar speeds, with the Taycan coming out on top in more situations than not, given the parameters of this particular test.

That said, this is just one test, and there were a number of factors that could change the results.  First, the Taycan’s battery seems to be more resilient to cold weather, which Nextmove thinks handicapped the Tesla slightly in these tests.  In warmer weather, the Tesla might jump ahead.

Second, high-speed chargers are still rare, and it’s much more likely you’ll be charging at a lower-power station today.

Third, sustained 93mph driving is realistic mostly in Germany, and not as much in populated places outside of Germany.  We’ve heard reports that the Taycan has good high-speed efficiency due to its two-speed gearbox, though the Model 3 also does well at high speeds due to its aerodynamic design.

Much like the original reports of early owners getting higher efficiency out of the Taycan, this all will have to be taken with a grain of salt as we collect more evidence.  But it does look like the Taycan is a more efficient EV than the (worst-ever) EPA ratings suggest and has succeeded at their goal of providing a charging experience that can be considered the fastest at least in the right circumstances.

Electrek’s Take

I’m glad to see comparisons on efficiency and charging speed rather than range.  Range, honestly, is somewhat meaningless.  As long as you’ve got enough to get from one station to the next (and skip stations sometimes), and as long as you’ve got enough to do your daily driving without needing to charge anywhere but home, then lower range is fine.

Lower range can even be better, by making a car cheaper and lighter.  So efficiency is important – because the more efficient your car is, the cheaper and lighter it can be made, so it’s a better performing vehicle.  And it will charge faster, too.

So that’s why I was disappointed in early Taycan efficiency numbers, and encouraged by reports coming out suggesting that those numbers are very conservative.

I’m hoping that this competition on efficiency and charging, rather than range, will help open up the conversation about electric cars and what specs/experience they offer.  Let’s get beyond the simplistic “I need 500 miles of range because I’ve driven that far once in my life and I never want to stop ever” statements we’ve all heard.  Let’s start talking about how these cars actually work in real-world scenarios, including realistic break stops.

Tesla owners know that electric cars are awesome for road trips, and that supercharging offers a great experience there.  Hopefully, the Taycan’s great Autobahn performance helps convince more people of the same.

Here’s Nextmove’s full video.  If you don’t speak German, click the “cc” button to add subtitles.

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Avatar for Jameson Dow Jameson Dow

Jameson has been driving electric vehicles since 2009, and has been writing about them and about clean energy for electrek.co since 2016.

You can contact him at jamie@electrek.co