Reading electric vehicle specs: charging speeds and connectors
Charging rate or speed (kW)
When fuelling a combustion vehicle, you pump and go without much thought. With electric vehicle charging, there’s another important factor: different vehicles can handle different rates of charge. This will affect how quickly a vehicle can recharge. For instance, the maximum rate the Kia EV6 can handle from a charging station is 350 kW (although stations that fast are currently hard to find). The Volkswagen ID.4 has a maximum charge rate of 125 kW.
Every electric vehicle has an onboard charger, or rectifier, that controls the rate at which electricity can flow to the battery during AC charging.
We’ll get into this in much more detail in Lesson 4: How you fuel an electric vehicle. For now, it will help to know that charge rates explain how quickly an EV can have charge recovered to its battery.
You’ll often see fast charge times measured from 10 to 80 per cent of capacity.
|Charging connection||Time to charge|
|Level 2 (240V / 48A)||7 hours, 10 minutes|
|DC Fast Charge (50 kW)||73 minutes (from 10 to 80 per cent)|
|DC Fast Charge (350 kW)||18 minutes (from 10 to 80 per cent)|
Maximum charge rates can be unpredictable, and conditions like extreme temperatures have an impact. Because of this, our fleet electrification experts don’t suggest that fleets rely on fast-charging public stations for charging. The most reliable solution: set up enough overnight charging to meet your needs.
Electric vehicle charging connectors
If you’ve ever fuelled a diesel vehicle, you know the fuel nozzles are sized differently from those for gasoline. This prevents drivers from putting the wrong fuel in their vehicles by accident.
EVs can also come with different charging connectors, but the reason is different: they all do the same thing, but different standards were invented at the same time. It’s kind of like VHS versus Betamax back in the day.
Plug types common in North America
Every EV has a maximum distance, or range, that it can travel when fully charged – learn more about range in the next topic. Don’t forget to save your progress!
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