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Published on July 22nd, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan


White House Targets 350 kW, 10-Minute EV Fast Charging

July 22nd, 2016 by  

Aside from $4.5 billion for EV charging DOE loan guarantees, an Electric Vehicle Hackathon, publishing Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure with 50 industry partners, launching the “FAST Act process” to identify and streamline development of EV charging corridors across the United States, a push for EV procurement at all levels of government, a “a guide to federal funding, financing, and technical assistance for electric vehicles and charging stations,” and more DOE Workplace Charging Challenge partners, the White House yesterday slipped in some interesting targets for EV fast charging (like, real fast charging — or what I call superfast or Level 4 charging).

It’s not a huge project, but the White House announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) will partner with National Laboratories to explore the feasibility of fast charging up to a rate of 350 kW, which could charge an electric car in as short as 10 minutes.

The study, expected to be completed this year, is examining the “vehicle, battery, infrastructure, and economic implications” of such fast charging.

Tesla Supercharging

Image via Tesla

To put some perspective into 350 kW, current DC fast charging for all electric cars except Teslas maxes out at just 50 kW! That adds 75–100 miles of driving range in ~30 minutes. Tesla states on its website that its Superchargers max out at 120 kW, which provides up to 170 miles of range in ~30 minutes.

A 150 kW protocol is in the works in Europe, and Tesla’s theoretical max (in the UK, at least) is 145 kW according to a recent legal filing. Of course, 350 kW blows even these high figures out of the water, let alone Tesla’s current 120 kW (~170 miles in 30 minutes) leadership and the 50 kW “fast charging” rate that is the premier charging service for all other EVs.

The US Department of Energy and its National Laboratories aren’t the only ones evaluating 350 kW charging, though. The CHAdeMO Foundation (which creates the charging standard for the CHAdeMO charging stations/network that Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Kia use) is also exploring the potential for 350 kW charging.

I don’t see a need for such fast charging, but hey, if it is possible down the road, why not implement it?!

If you’re curious, here’s a look at current fast-charging maximums for fully electric cars on the market today:

Model Fast Charger Type Standard or As An Option Miles of Charge in ~30 Minutes
BMW i3 SAE Combo Standard 75–100
Chevy Spark EV SAE Combo Option 75–100
Fiat 500e
Kia Soul EV CHAdeMO Standard 75–100
Mercedes B-Class Electric
Mitsubishi i-MiEV CHAdeMO Standard 75–100
Nissan LEAF CHAdeMO Option 75–100
Smart Electric Drive
Tesla Model S Supercharger & CHAdeMO Standard / Option 170
Tesla Model X Supercharger & CHAdeMO Standard / Option 170
Volkswagen e-Golf SAE Combo Standard 75–100



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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.

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