Many potential EV buyers have discussed the necessity of fast charge stations and the automakers are listening. Most upcoming EVs will have fast charge capability, but there are additional hurdles to overcome before fast charging become commonplace.
Fast charging requires a lot of juice. Fast charging units operate at about 50 kW of power compared to a standard 220 volt outlet operating at a mere 1.5 - 3.5 kW of power. All of this power comes at a price, a typical fast charging unit will cost in the neighborhood of $50,000, versus about $1,000 for a 220 volt outlet. For $50,000, you get the ability to charge many EVs to 80% capacity in as little as 15 minutes, but there are additional downsides.
According to Ford's Director of Electrification Nancy Gioia, "Fast charging drives additional hardware requirements into the vehicle because of the high current flow. That means we have to beef up some components in the vehicle, which would add costs."
Statistics have shown that the general public is unwilling to pay more for an EV than a traditional car. Therefore, any additional costs must be kept at a minimum for the near future.
Additionally, Gioia said, "We want to make sure any type of fast charge doesn't degrade the life or performance of cells. Technology probably won't be viable until at least second generation EVs hit the road."
Without fast charging or battery swapping as viable solutions right now, consumers will be left plugging into typical 220 volt outlets which can take hours to recharge a vehicle. This wait time along with range anxiety could hamper the general perception of EVs.
Though fast charging is costly and could reduce the batteries life, it is one option that could significantly reduce charge time and virtually eliminate range anxiety if the fast charge stations were as prevalent as gas stations.
Source: Wards Auto