How fast is fast enough for charging? Take our Twitter poll


EVgo charging station in Union City, California with resused BMW i3 battery backup

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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