1.21 gigawatts is a number ingrained into the culture by the beloved Back to the Future movie franchise. It was used in reference to the power needed for Doc Brown’s DeLorean-based Time Machine to travel through the past, future and back again. In the movie, that first time Marty McFly drove that amazing machine took place on October 21, 1985. However, in 2021, that 1.21 GW (in other words, 1.21 billion watts) will signify the total power of the EV charging network of Electrify America and Europe’s Ionity. That milestone is being celebrated just in time for Back to the Future Day with Porsche and it’s fast charging Taycan EV. Plus a little help from the actual Time Machine.
Porsche, Electrify America and Ionity are parts of Volkswagen as either a division, a subsidiary, or as a partnership with other manufacturers. We’re sure that Porsche doesn’t need an explanation but Electrify America is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America as of late 2016. Ionity, on the other hand, is a joint venture with BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, Hyundai Motor Group and Volkswagen Group in late 2019. Both charging infrastructure companies are mainly the result of the “Dieselgate” scandal. That’s something we’re sure that you all remember and are familiar with, so we won’t go digging further into it.
What It Took To Reach 1.21 GW
Since their founding, a total of 1,042 charging stations have been constructed with 670 built by Electrify America and 372 built by Ionity in Europe. That combination also totals out to more than 4,800 individual chargers across the two continents. Each of their DC fast chargers are capable of charging between 50 kW to 350 kW while their AC chargers range from 3.3 kW to 19 kW. Adding up their total combined power equals just about 1.21 GW.
While there aren’t many EVs that are able to take the full 350 kW DC charge capacity, there is one that is very close to doing it: the Porsche Taycan. The Taycan uses an 800 volt battery architecture with a 270 kW charging speed that is designed so that it only takes about 22 minutes to charge from just 5 percent to 80 percent. That’s not far off from the average fill time for most sedans and SUVs.
Tying In With Back to the Future Day
Because the timing of this milestone is very close to Back to the Future Day, Porsche and Electrify America worked with Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and filmmaker J. F. Musial for a special video collaboration. It’s a minute long short with the Time Machine and a Taycan Turbo S driven by actor Donald Fullilove. He played Goldie Wilson in the movie and the actor is an EV enthusiast himself. The also has that familiar music and sounds that Back to the Future fans will remember.
Towards the end of the video, Fullilove takes the Taycan to an Electrify America charging station for a quick charge. Of course, the Taycan has a Re-elect “Goldie” Wilson sticker on it, in reference to his move from being a café cleaner to an elected official of Hill Valley. Always a showoff indeed, Mayor Wilson.
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