EVgo charging station in Union City, California with resused BMW i3 battery backup
Automakers are launching a race to build electric cars that can charge as fast filling a gas tank.
When the first electric cars launched in 2011, buyers and fans were clamoring for CHAdeMO fast charging that operates at about 50 kilowatts and could recharge a short-range electric car (to 80 percent capacity) in about a half hour.
When Tesla's first Superchargers opened in 2012, they seemed otherworldly with their ability to charge a long-range Tesla Model S to 80 percent capacity in about 30 minutes.
Now that charging networks such as EVgo and Electrify America are installing 150- and 350-kw fast chargers, they make the Tesla Superchargers' 125-kw capacity seem puny (even though there are no cars on the road yet capable of charging at 350 kw or even 150 kw.)
At its recent electric-car deep-dive in Germany, Volkswagen announced that the solid-state batteries it is working on for 2025 will be able to charge at up to 400-kw—fast enough to recharge a 300-mile battery in the upcoming Porsche Taycan in less than 10 minutes. That's just a little longer than it takes to refill a gas tank.
That led us to wonder how fast our electric-car-driving Twitter followers think is fast enough.
How fast is fast enough for fast charging?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) October 1, 2018
For our Twitter poll this week, we asked: How fast is fast enough for fast charging?
Since current limits on battery technology dictate that no cars on the market today can accept a fast-charge beyond 80 percent of their battery capacity, we'll count that as a complete charge for purposes of this poll.
The choices include 30 minutes, roughly today's technology; 20 minutes, a little faster than today's technology; 15 minutes, as several automakers are claiming for 350-kw fast charges on cars with bigger, 300-mile batteries; and 10 minutes, a rounded estimate of the VW's claim for its fastest charging once its solid-state batteries arrive.
Rather than focus on what cars might use which technologies, though, we hope this poll will be more about how long drivers are willing to wait for a charge—and run whatever other errands they need—regardless of how big a battery or the power level of the charger they find.
As always, remember that our Twitter polls are unscientific, because we don't get a nationally representative sample size, and our respondents are self-selected.