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.
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|
|Kia Soul EV||CHAdeMO||Standard||75–100|
|Mercedes B-Class Electric||–||–||–|
|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|