Getting a quick plug in

Everything you need to know about the availability, cost and duration of the recharging process

TOBY HAGON

ITíS THE MOST commonly asked question by potential EV buyers: how long will it take to charge, and what will it cost? Fact is, there are significant variables at play here.

Times vary depending on the vehicle and the charger. On a home charger Ė typically 30 amps for 7.2kW of electricity Ė itís a straight division by the size of the battery. For example, the 90kWh battery in the Jaguar I-Pace would take about 12.5 hours.

But for higher output chargers itís trickier, partly because it depends on the car being able to accept the charge. If the rated input of the car is lower than the maximum output of the charger, then the rate of charge will be throttled back to accommodate the car.

Also, battery damage can occur if the final part of the charge is performed quickly. So, EVs have software to ensure the final top-up is done at a trickle.

This is why car makers will often give claimed charge times up to an 80 percent charge Ė all of which can be done at the maximum speed.

TOBY HAGON

CHARGING PLUGS

AC

TYPE 1

An earlier AC charger often used at homes or shopping centres

TYPE 2

A revised AC interface that allows for faster, three-phase charging

TESLA

Tesla home and destination chargers use a lower-power

DC

CHADEMO

A DC charger typically used by Mitsubishi and Nissan

CCS DC option favoured by European OEMs thatí becoming an industry standard

TESLA SUPERCHARGER

A high-output fast DC charger typically installed near major freeways or in CBOs

AVERAGE CHARGING TIMES (80% CHARGE)

Assumes 80kWh battery but is dependent on the carís ability to accept higher power deliveries. 100 percent charging times vary depending on vehicle throttling software used to protect the battery.

Charging station costs

Home charger

$2000+

22kW AC charger

$15,000

50kW DC charger

$50,000

350kW DC charger

$750,000

CHARGING COSTS

Electricity usually costs 25-30c per kilowatt hour. For an 80kWh battery that would equate to about $20 if the battery was completely flat. But some charging networks, including Tesla Superchargers, charge more; in the case of Tesla ití 42c/kWh.

And thereí nothing stopping charging station operators charging more to cover the cost of the infrastructure. That said, most public charging stations are currently free, or at least free for a limited time.

Assumes 80kWh battery that is completely flat with an electricity supply charge of 25c/kWh. Public charging costs vary; some will offer free or discounted charges, others may charge more.

Tesla Supercharger rates are 42c/kWh.