30 Aug 19

Top 10 fastest charging EVs

Driving an EV is one thing, topping up its batteries another. Most drivers resort to AC charging at home or at the office, which is possible at a rate of anything between 3.7kW (e.g. Citroën C-Zero) and 16.5 kW (e.g. Tesla Model S and X). It depends on the output of the wallbox, but also on the capacity of the EV’s onboard charger, which has to convert AC from the grid to DC for the battery. Even if the wallbox is rated at 11kW, you can never charge faster than the capacity of the on-board device.

In the case of DC fast charging, which is only done occasionally by most, the limitations don’t stem from AC-DC conversion, but (mainly) from cooling. Most DC fast chargers today offer 50kW, but the latest ones reach 150kW. BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Porsche have already tested fast chargers at 350kW, which are indeed seven times faster than most stations today. These would reduce the charging time for a big 100kWh battery to just fifteen minutes (from 10 to 80% State of Charge).

We thought it would be interesting to draw up a top 10 of the fastest charging sub-80,000-euro EVs (excluding VAT) that have officially been presented and can be ordered today, expressed in kilometres of range added per charging hour. This is the result:

Make, model & type Battery size (kWh) Max. DC charging capacity (kW) Max. DC charging speed (km/h)
1. Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor 75 250 900
2. Tesla Model 3 Long Range Performance 75 250 850
3. Polestar 2 78 150 670
4. Audi e-tron 55 Quattro 95 155 600
5. Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus 55 100 540
6. Tesla Model S Long Range 100 145 520
7. Tesla Model X Long Range 100 145 460
8. Peugeot e-208 50 100 440
9. Mercedes EQC 400 4Matic 85 112 430
10. DS3 Crossback E-Tense 50 100 420

Source: EV Database.org

The Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor is by far the quickest in our top 10. The Polestar 2 is the fastest (Sino-) European car, followed closely by the Audi e-tron. The trailblazing Tesla Model S and X are not far behind, with the rest of the pack rated just above 400km/h. By way of comparison, the older EVs on the market, such as the BMW i3 and the VW e-Golf, are limited to 270 km/h and 220 km/h, respectively. It goes to show that much progress has been made, both in battery and charging technology.

An important remark is to be made: because most DC fast chargers today still operate at 50kW, even if an EV is able to charge faster than another, it won’t – or at least not really noticeably so. In general, EVs with a bigger battery can absorb electrons faster than smaller-battery cars, though, meaning they can maintain the maximum charging rate for longer. A 90kWh Jaguar I-Pace, for instance, with a maximum charging speed of 360km/h at 104kW, may very well add more range per hour at 50kW than a 50kWh Peugeot e-208, which peaks at 440km/h at 100kW.       


Authored by: Dieter Quartier