Porsche stores adding charging stations for plug-in hybrids

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Porsche Canada dealers are adding dealership charging stations in the coming weeks and months to get ready for the Panamera SE plug-in hybrid.

Set to hit stores in the fourth quarter, the new luxury sedan is expected to comprise 15 to 20 per cent of all Panamera volume in Canada.

According to Patrick Saint-Pierre, manager of public relations for Porsche Canada, each of the country’s 14 retailers (two more are under construction in Oakville, Ont., and Langley, B.C.) will be required to install three to four charging stations depending on the size of the store and the annual sales volume.

“Some have opted to install more than the required amount,” he said. “Charging stations will be placed in customer parking areas, workshop and the showroom for customer demonstrations.”

Work at each store should be wrapped up by early 2014. Components costs were not finalized at press time.

The dealer body had a chance to get to know the vehicle at an event hosted by the automaker in Portugal in mid-July. Though the automaker has offered a Panamera hybrid before, the new model will be the first plug-in hybrid offered by Porsche in Canada. Because of that, Saint-Pierre said the automaker wanted to lay down the groundwork for standards related to sales and service.

“It was important to discuss how to make the Porsche Centres compliant with e-mobility, as that is part of our message for the future. We will have more and more vehicles that will offer the technology including the 918 Spyder, so it was a way for us to huddle and go over those plans.”

In addition to the charging stations, Porsche said each store would need a service technician trained on the new drivetrain technology.

“And we certainly are not going to stop with the Panamera or the 918 Spyder when it comes to plug-in technology. We are planning on continuing further down that road and our dealerships will be well served to meet customers’ needs as models and technology change.”