Off-topic: charging an electric car

Again a post not about bicycles and riding, but about battery electric cars. This might not be important for bikers and if you are not going to buy a car, you’re lucky - do not read on. But if you decide to buy a car and you chose not to buy one with an internal combustion engine (ICE), I suggest you think about charging your car before buying it.

I assume the topic may be relevant to international readers also. Therefore this post is in english as you might have already recognized. :-)

As I mentioned in a previous post (in German) I am thinking about buying an electric car. So I went to see and test the ones that seem to suit my needs. During my preparation for the test and also while I was driving a Hyundai Ionic two weeks ago, I found out the charging of the cars is not as easy as I thought. The problem is not a lack of charging facilities (in Germany). What bothers me most is the wide rage of charging types and charing times for the various cars. To find out what’s really going on I’ve collected information for some cars, their onboard chargers, their charing power and time for the various charging types. This is an important topic for the everyday use of an electric car, I assume.

In Germany most charging stations in cities are Type 2. They offer up to 22 kilo watts (KW) charing power, which is pretty good. Unfortunately only very few cars are able to charge with 22KW on a Type 2 charger. This depends on the amperage (16A oder 32A) and on the number of phases (1-3) the car’s on board charger can handle.

If you charge at home with a wall box, the charing power (and time) depends not only on the wall box and your electric installation at home, but also on the onboard charger of your car. If it can charge only with 1 phase on Type 2 then you will not get more than 4.9 KW out of your wall box at home (at least in Germany). This differs from country to country and depends on the regulations of the electric network and the legislation. In Germany 1 phase power consumption is restricted to 4.9KW to avoid unbalanced load on the electrical network (aka. Schieflast). This might be different in other countries.,

To collect the data in table below, I’ve asked the manufactures and read a lot of internet forums. If there is anything wrong, please send me the correct data. This is just a collection of data that seems relevant to me. I hope, you might find it interesting, too. The explanation of the rows is below the table.

BMW i3 2017 VW eGolf 2017 Nissan Leaf 2018 Kia Soul EV 2018 Tesla 3 standard Hyundai Ionic 2017
Capacity in KWh 33 35.8 40 30 50 28.5
EPA range in km 183 201 243 164 330 200
KWh/100 km 18.4 17.8 16.5 18.3 15.2 14.25
230V charging in KW 3.4 2.3 2.3 2.3 3.4
100% at 230V in hours 10 17 17 12 12
Wallbox charing in KW 11 3.6 4.6 4.6
Type 2 charging in KW 11 7.2 22 6.6 18 6.6
no. of type 2 phases 3 2 3 1 3 1
Type 2 amperage 16 32 32
100% Type 2 in hours 3.5 5.4 1.8 4.6 2.8 4.5
+ 100km Type 2 in hours 1.7 2.5 0.75 2.77 2.2
Highspeed Charging CSS CSS ChaDeMo CSS Supercharger CSS
Highspeed in KW 50 40 32 100 120 100
80% Highspeed in hours 0.75 0.75 1 0.24 0.33 0.23

Explanation

  • Capacity in KWh: Battery capacity
  • EPA range: Real word range according to https://www.epa.gov
  • KWh/100 km: Calculated energy consumption for this EPA range
  • 230 V charging: Electric power in kilo watts when charing at a regular 230V socket outlet, like in Germany
  • 100 % at 230V: How long does it take to charge up your car at home
  • Wallbox charging: Electric power in kilo watts when charing at the wallbox recommended/provided by the car manufacturer. This is just a limeted Type 2 charging
  • Type 2 charging: Electric power in kilo watts when charing at Type 2 charging station
  • no. of type 2 phases: Number of electrical phases used to charge at a Type 2 charger
  • Amperage for Type 2; How many Amperes does you car’s charger handle when charing a a Type 2 charger (16A or 32A)
  • 100% Type 2 in hours: How long does it take to charge up your car at a Type 2 charger
    • 100km Type 2 in hours: How long would it take to add 100km range at a Type 2 charger (calculated)
  • Highspeed Charging: What kind of plug/cable and charger does this car use for highspeed charging. In Germany most highspeed chargers provide CSS.
  • Highspeed in KW: Electric power in kilo watts when charing at a highspeed charger
  • 80% Highspeed in hours: How long does it take to charge up to 80% at a highspeed charger