Charging is still the primary concern of any new potential electric vehicle buyer. They want to know where they can charge the car and how long it takes. Now with the numerous charging standards and the difference between car models and battery pack sizes, it can be a difficult landscape to navigate. The bigger the battery pack, the longer it takes to charge, but at the same time, you can get an higher charging rate.
Netherlands-based charging station start-up Fastned is making the (safe) bet that battery packs will soon get bigger and, more importantly, they will be able to take higher charge rates. Fastned recently committed to having all their locations ready for 300 kW charging. The company currently operates an extensive 38-station network of fast charging stations all around the Netherlands and plans on expanding.
In comparison, the highest charging rates of a production electric car is 135 kW for Tesla’s Model S. 300 kW would be a significant improvement. It could potentially add 930 miles of range per hour (1,500 km), which will give most long range electric vehicles a full charge in less than 20 minutes.
The company is citing recent announcements by Porsche and Audi about newly unveiled models capable of handling such a charge: Audi’s e-tron quattro and Porsche’s Mission E.
Fastned is term because these new concepts are not expected to hit production before 2018. In the meantime, the company recently inked a deal with Nissan to offer free charging to new LEAF owners.
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300 kW charging rate is massive. Any idea how the infrastructure for this is going to be built? Won’t this need new connectors?
Fred, your articles are great. Can i suggest a topic for a future write up? The biggest perceived obstacle to EV adoption is range anxiety. Tesla is doing its part by building a supercharger network. But in order to drastically cut charging times to the supposed 300 kW power levels or higher, what kinds of progress needs to be made (changes in local sub station, on site battery storage, the wires, the connectors, the ability of the cars to take in such power, and the safety protocols)?
Keep up the awesome articles.
Thanks a lot Bobby. What it takes to rready charging infrastucture for extreme charging speed? This is indeed a very interesting subject. In Fastned’s case right now it simply consist of making sure they have grid connections of at least 630 kVa, which should be enough for 300 kW once the tech catches up. I think right now the main constraints are the battery packs. Charging an average production battery pack today with a 300 kW charge rate would be the equivalent of filing a glass with a water pressure washer… not ideal. But yeah I’ll look into that. Thanks again.
I disagree that “range anxiety” is the biggest obstacle. The biggest obstacle is in people’s heads, and big $ corporations that make money off current business models, (Tesla’s business model is a threat to big carmakers’ business model). People need to unlearn how we drive and fuel our vehicles and learn that charging (fueling) an electric car is by far the most convenient of all other options. People who own electric cars know that you plug in everywhere you can…in other words, every time you park, plug it in and it charges while you are doing other things, whether that be sleeping at home, shopping, or working. The only time fast charging is needed is for longer trips, as most people drive 40 miles or less in their typical routine day for 5 days of daily driving, and, electric cars are “full” every time you wake up at the beginning of your day. You don’t need to go to the gas station once a week or whatever the routine is now. You don’t need 320 miles range so you don’t have to go to the gas station more than once a week because you fill up at home every night. It just takes a little education. And, for those longer trips, charging stations are being built daily. What we need is for all the carmakers to make 200 mile range BEVs, then prices will come down. Range anxiety is a term passed on by those that are against EVs because of fear of losing profits from their current business model…a business model which takes advantage of people.
That being said, yeah, sure faster charging is always welcome. It will come with new tech, not just new chargers, but new batteries, super capacitors, solar PV (better panels on car roof), more efficient motors, and improvements with controllers, re-gen braking and everything else involved.