Owning an electric car involves planning ahead. Here’s a best case estimate for how long it takes to add 100 miles of range to an EV using the different charging options*. The three columns to the right represent a broad range of EV-efficiency:
- 2.5 miles/kWh: large EVs such as the Tesla Model X, Audi eTron, Mercedes EQC
- 3.3 miles/kWh: mid-sized EVs such as the Tesla Model S
- 4.0 miles/kWh: smaller and more efficient EVs such as the Kia eNiro or Tesla Model 3
You can see that anything below 50kW is only good as a destination charger. You’ve got to leave your EV plugged in for over an hour no matter how efficient it is.
If you want to charge mid-journey you really need something over 100kW. This table is only for 100miles, so you need to double the times if you want 200 miles (technically it will be more than double because charging gets slower as the battery fills up).
50kW is a bit of a loner — it’s not fast enough for en-route charging and it’s too fast for destination charging. I guess it’s better than nothing if you’re stuck, but you’re going to be hanging around for at least 30mins.
The real game changer are the 350kW chargers. The problem is that your car needs an 800 volt architecture to use them to their full potential [link]. Very few cars have that at the moment (exceptions being the Kia EV6, Hyundai Iconiq 5 and Porsche Taycan) — most have a 400v architecture, and so, while any car with a CCS connector will be able to use them, they will only get a maximum of 150kW (that’s still pretty good though).
*this table is really a best-case approximation based on simply dividing 100 miles by the miles/kWH and diving that by the charger power. In reality it will take longer because you never actually get the full charger power, and the charge rate is also slower when it’s colder