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Tesla Model 3 vs. Audi e-tron at IONITY 350kW charge off, who wins?

As the Tesla Model 3 and its recent 250kW software update rolls out across Europe, drivers are now testing the cars at not only Tesla charging stations but also 3rd party CCS combo stations. In one test which was uploaded to YouTube, the charging rate of the Tesla Model 3 is put up against the Audi e-tron, an EV not only with a fast 150kW charging speed but the ability to keep that charging rate over a long part of the session.

These are the two fastest charging production vehicles and now we have a head to head between them at the same station.

First of all, it should be noted that Tesla limits CCS combo charging to 200kW vs. a 250kW limit on Tesla’s own chargers in the US. It isn’t clear why that is the case but the point is mostly moot since the over 200kW charging is a very short period of time across a charging session, even on the Superchargers.

As you can see in the video below, the Tesla is only over 180kW from about 10% until about 40% and then drops significantly below its max rate of charge. Electrek reader William Hennum who did the test with YouTuber Bjorn Nyland says “it took 9 min 30sec to reach 40% from 5%.” That’s about 120 miles or 2 hours of highway driving in under 10 minutes.

William sent the following images to us as well.

Real charging

At about 50% charge, the Audi and Tesla are at parity in terms of kW charge but the Model 3 is still getting more miles per hour of charge because of its more efficient size and design. At about 80% of charge, which both cars reach at the same time (and where many travelers will opt to stop charging because of the reduced speeds of charging) the Audi is still at an impressive 125kW while the Tesla has dropped to 53kW. But at this point, and any parity percentage point, the Tesla has over 50% more range.

Audi, on the other hand, has been vocal about its ability to charge longer at a higher rate of charge even though it currently maxes out at 150kW. Audi, in meetings with us, has said that it could allow the e-tron to access more of the battery but out of an abundance of caution and its desire to keep its battery at the least amount of degradation, has opted to not allow access to the high and low percentages of the battery. So that 90kWh battery is more like an effective 80kWh. Add to that the much bigger size and less aerodynamic design and you get closer to 200 miles of range compared to the Model 3’s well over 300 miles.

Electrek’s take:

So who wins in this charging race? The Audi gets done before the Tesla, even with its bigger battery because it charges at a higher rate over a longer period of time. But when the cars are done, the Tesla has about 50% more range than the Audi. At 80%, which both cars reach at around the same time, the Audi has a range of 163.2 miles while the Tesla has 260 miles. The disparity is even greater at lower percentages.

But the Audi has a lot more reserve battery than the Tesla and could theoretically allow drivers to use this in a later update. Or maybe they have a longer “empty range”? And don’t forget the Audi is significantly bigger than the Model 3 including passenger and cargo capacity.

So who really won?

We all do. The EV community is the big winner here. These rates of charge were thought to be impossible even just a few years ago. And as more and more technologies come online including the Porsche Taycan’s ability to charge at around 350kW, we’ll see improvements for all EV drivers – less time at chargers, less time waiting for people to finish, and an energy transfer rate that approaches petroleum with a better experience.

I’m really sick of the folks who put one EV manufacturer against another (and yep, here they come in the comments) rather than comparing these amazing vehicles to the much more populated ICE field. We’re all team EV here including this guy:

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Avatar for Seth Weintraub Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites. Tesla Model 3, X and Chevy Bolt owner…5 ebikes and counting