First, Let's Talk About Charging and Range
There are more all-electric vehicles on the market today than ever before and more are coming soon. One thing that consumers want to know is how many miles they can get on a charge and which electric cars charge the fastest. The number of miles you can get on a charge has to do with how many electric motors the vehicle has and how large the battery pack is. Automakers are able to get very reliable numbers for how many miles an EV will average on a charge. But what about charging times?
Different Levels of Charging
DC Fast Chargers are becoming more plentiful from coast to coast with EV charging stations popping up around shopping malls and office buildings. Plus, the average EV owner has discovered that they don’t generally drive that many miles per day and charging up overnight at home. This has had the effect of reducing “range anxiety” quite a bit. But for this look at the fastest charging EVs, let’s take a look at the various levels of charging available today.
Level 1 Charging
All electric cars sold today come with a Level 1 charger. This plugs into any standard 110-volt electrical outlet in your home. You come home, plug in your car and let it charge overnight. This method will charge roughly five miles per hour of charging. It’s slow but does the trick while you’re sleeping.
Level 2 Charging
A Level 2 charger uses a 240-volt setup and can charge your EV 25 miles per hour. If you have a washer/dryer in your house or garage, it uses a 240-volt outlet. Many EV owners have an electrician come out and install a 240-volt outlet in the garage next to their electric car so they can enjoy faster charging times.
Level 3 Charging (DC Fast Charging)
DC Fast Charging is primarily used when you are on a road trip and need to recharge your car in about the time it would take you to stop for a coffee or lunch. You’ll find these chargers at Tesla’s Supercharger Stations or Electrify America’s universal charging stations. While Level 1 and 2 uses AC current, Level 3 uses DC direct current and can charge your EV at a rate of 20 miles of ranger per minute.
Why Charge Times Vary Between Electric Cars
Electric cars don’t charge at a constant rate. They generally charge more quickly when first plugged in and then slow down the rate of charge as they fill. Charging time also depends on the size of the battery pack in your vehicle. Often you will find that different trim levels of EVs offer different size batteries. Bigger battery packs have more capacity and can be on the road more miles between charges.
While the EPA can verify fuel economy figures for gasoline powered cars, charging times involve facts from vehicle manufacturers and these can vary. Manufacturers can claim that a new EV has a range of 303 miles when packaged with one motor and a particular size battery pack, but there is currently no specific agency that verifies such claims. On average, automakers suggest how much time it will take to charge a vehicle from 10 to 80 percent of charge using DC Fast Charging.
Another ever-changing variable involves new battery technology which is one of the fastest-growing fields of research in the world at present. New batteries are being developed every day and changing the charge ratio of our EVs. Soon, solid-state batteries may mean that our all-electric cars will be capable of 600 miles on a charge.
Today's Fastest Charging Electric Vehicles
With all this in mind, GreenCars has taken a look at vehicles that are currently on the market that have been tested for accuracy of charge times, based on today’s technology. What follows is our estimation of the current fastest-charging EVs based on “miles per minute” of charging on a Level 3 DC Fast Charger. Note that cars do not charge at a constant rate and these estimates do account for how long a vehicle reaches a full charge. All charging rates and ranges are manufacturer and EPA estimates respectively, actual time and mileage may vary.
#1. Lucid Air
These luxury EVs reach a charging time of 20 miles per minute and boast a maximum range of 520 miles. Using DC Fast Charging, you can get 300 miles of range in just 20 minutes.
#2. Porsche Taycan
According to Porsche, the Taycan is capable of charging 62 miles in just four minutes. That rate will slow as the car charges, however. Estimated charge time is 15.5 miles per minute.
#3. Tesla Model 3
The Model 3 holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest charge. It is also America’s best-selling electric car at present. Charge time is estimated to be 15 miles per minute.
#4. Kia EV6
This popular hatchback has a range of 310 miles between charges. Its 800-volt battery pack will charge at an estimated 14.5 miles per minute.
#5. Hyundai IONIQ 5
The IONIQ 5 is a clever crossover with sleek styling and fully reclining seats. It charges at an estimated 13.4 miles per minute.
For a closer look at these electric cars and more, visit our GreenCars Buyer's Guide.