Rapid Charging – The Champions League of EV Charging
AC fast charging, DC rapid charging, DC ultra-quick charging. The realm of fast chargers comprises a large variety of EV charging stations. Most EVs are compatible with more than one charging type. Since charging speed is determined by a variety of factors, rapid chargers are important to even out these differences.
Our rapid charging guide explains the different types of fast chargers in detail. Furthermore, we provide an overview on compatibility requirements for the most common sockets. Finally, we address costs, applications, and effects on electric car batteries of rapid charging points.
Definition & Types
Most rapid charging devices are based on DC charging. However, there also rapid AC charger models with a charging speed of up to 43kW. Rapid DC chargers and ultra-rapid chargers can provide from 50 to several hundreds kW, depending on connector type.
Rapid chargers tend to be found in places where it is important to charge an electric car in under 30 minutes. These are usually highway reststations, public charging points or car parks at shopping malls and supermarkets.
Connectors & Compatbility
Rapid AC chargers are generally equipped with a Type 2 or CCS socket. DC rapid and ultra-rapid chargers feature CCS, CHAdeMO or CCS2 sockets. Most EVs are compatible with Type 2 and CCS plugs, while CHAdeMO is not as common for European EVs.
Rapid Charging & Battery Life
The general recommendation is not to use rapid charging if it’s not necessary. Rapid charging reduces battery life more than other chargers due to sustained high currents and temperatures.
Rapid chargers usually cost significantly more than slower chargers. Our supply chain eliminates most expenses by directly connecting manufacturers, dropping rapid charger cost to near factor price. The charging cost itself depends on the charging network.
What are Rapid Chargers?
Rapid Charging Explained
- Charging Rate: 43kW-350kW
- Current Types: AC (22kW – 43kW), DC (50kW – 350kW)
- Charging Time: 3-4h (AC), 10 – 30 mins (DC)
- Charging Sockets: Type 2, CCS, CHAdeMO, CCS2
DC chargers offset this effect by bypassing the converter.
AC vs DC Rapid Charging
AC rapid chargers have a nominal power of up to 22 kW. They take alternating current from the grid and rely on the car’s converter to turn it into direct current. A typical AC rapid charging station can fully recharge a small electric car in three to four hours. It is usually deployed where cars park for a few hours, for example main streets or shopping mall parking lots.
The table below shows charging times with 22kW AC and 60kW DC for the most popular electric cars.
Rapid Charging Times
|Car||Battery Capacity||Charging Time at 22kW AC||Charging Time at 60kW DC|
|Tesla Model S||75kWh|
The table allows for two key observations:
- Charging at 43kW drastically reduces charging time compared to 22kW charging.
- Some EVs take longer to charge even if their relative battery size is smaller (see Hyundai Kona vs. Porsche Taycan).
The reason why the smaller Hyundai Kona battery takes longer to charge than the Porsche Taycan is simple. The Hyundai Kona has a lower DC converting capacity, which leads to an extended charging time.
DC Rapid Chargers
While AC charging speed is capped by the car’s converter capacity, DC chargers pass DC current directly to the car battery. Thus, EVs charge much faster with DC, especially if they are equipped with a weak converter.
In other words: DC chargers offer an equal opportunity solution for all EVs.
DC fast chargers operate at 50 kW or more. Compared to AC fast charging, a 50kW DC charger will charge a Nissan Leaf from flat to 80% in 30 minutes. Nowadays, suppliers are installing more and more ultra-fast DC chargers. With a maximum power of 120 kW or more, DC rapid chargers are also more expensive to install.
Quick & Versatile: DC Fast Series
Solutions in need of DC charging are more than well served with the DC Fast Series. The series includes a variety of commercial fast and rapid chargers and even a solution for DC charging at home.
Apart from formidable charging capacities, they are equipped with a range of next generation features. This guarantees maximum convenience for customers and operators alike.
The exclusive cost advantage of our supply chain makes this future proof low-risk/high-reward investment pays for itself quickly.
- DC fast & DC rapid charging
- Simultaneous charging of up to 3 cars
- Three phase charger
- Intelligent control
- Load balancing
- CC2S/Type 2/CHAdeMO
Sockets & EV Compatibility
Rapid Charging Connectors
- Rapid Chargers mostly use one of four differenet connector types.
- Charging Capacities differ depending on connector type.
- Compatibility depends on an EV’s maximum charging rate and connector support.
- CCS: 50kW (AC & DC charging).
- CHAdeMO: 400kW (DC rapid & ultra rapid charging).
- CCS2: 350kW (DC ultra rapid charging).
Whether a given type of charger works with an EV depends on the type of connector. Most electric cars on the market come with a Type 2 socket. Some older models, however, may have a Type 1 or Commando connector.
Whether a car can use DC charging depends on it’s maximum charging rate and compatibility with different EV charger types. Fast, rapid and ultra-rapid DC chargers generally use CCS, CCS2 or CHAdeMO plugs.
For Manufacturers: EV Charger Accessories
Are you an EV charger manufacturer looking for spare parts? Explore our EV charger accessories >>
CCS (Combined Charging System) sockets are widely accepted in the modern EV market. CCS builds on the Type 1 and Type 2 socket, but is equipped with two additional DC contacts. This gives the CCS socket the capacity for DC charging.
CCS2 uses the same DC pin architecture and communication protocols as it’s predecessors. Therefore, manufacturers can easily switch the AC plug portion between Type 1 and Type 2 formats. The key difference is that Type 1 is dominant in the US market, while Type 2 is the standard European format.
EVs with CCS/CCS2 Support
- Tesla Model 3
- BMW I3
- Kia e-Niro
- Jaguar I-Pace
- VW e-Golf
- Polestar 2
- Porsche Taycan
- Volkswagen ID.3
- Volkswagen ID.4
Best CCS/CCS2 Charger: FC120 “Rocket”
- Best CCS/CCS2 charger
- Power: 120kW
- Smart meter
- Interface: App/RFID/Plug & Play
- 2x CCS2
- Max. current: 200A
- Voltage: 200~1000V DC
- Cable length: 5m
CHAdeMO is a particularly powerful connector type developed in Japan. Currently, it has the highest maximum charging rate of all socket formats. However, only relatively few EVs have CHAdeMO support.
EVs with CHAdeMO support
- Nissan Leaf
- Toyota Prius
- Mitsubishi Outlander
- KIA Soul
Best CHAdeMO Charger: FC60 “Turbo”
- Best CHAdeMo charger
- Power: 60kW
- Voltage: 200~500V
- Interface: App/RFID/Plug & Play
- CHAdeMO (500V DC/60kW)
- Type 2 (400V AC/43kW)
- CCS2 (1000V DC/60kW)
- Cable length: 5m
How Expensive is Rapid Charging?
Cost of Rapid Charging
- Rapid Charging devices are the most expensive chargers on the market.
- Higher ROI makes up for the increased unit price for rapid chargers.
- Customers pay higher fees when using rapid charging devices.
Regarding the mere cost per unit, rapid chargers are the most expensive. This is because they are typically the largest and most sophisticated electric vehicle charging devices. Likewise, it is usually more expensive to install and use than household EV chargers.
Rapid Charging Yields Highest Amortization Rate
On the other hand, rapid chargers generally have the highest ROI in the commercial EV charging market. Because rapid chargers are mostly deployed in areas where demand for quick charging times is highest. Therefore, rates for fast and super-fast charging are naturally higher than those for slow or fast charging.
However, prices depend on the charging provider and some business models successfully drive down rapid charging costs while remaining competitive. Average rapid charging rates in mainland Europe and the UK range from € 0,19 (GBP 0,16) to € 0,81 (GBP 0,69) per kWh. Generally, higher charging rates coincide with faster charging speeds.
Even in hectic places like highway stations, customer needs will differ. In our experience, the most economic rapid charging facilities have at least two or more different rates.
Where do Rapid Charging Solutions Generate Most Value?
In general, rapid charging solutions generate exponentially higher revenue than any slow charging solution if deployed in the right place. This is because the number of EV drivers tends to be fairly equal across locations. At the same time, rapid charging fees are significantly higher than those for slower charging modes.
Potential profits mostly depend on the location’s capability to attract customers that don’t have enough time for slow charging . At highway rest stations, for example, guests typically don’t want to stay longer than an hour. Obviously, an effective highway charging station should focus on rapid and ultra-rapid charging, while reducing priority for slower charging rates.
The most profitable business models set flexible tariffs based on customer behavior. For example, an individualized pricing strategy based on daytime could charge customers less for EV charging at night. Another possibility are stratified pricing models where premium customers or those who buy a certain amount of goods (e.g. snacks or drinks) pay less.
Rapid Charging & EV Battery Life
Like all batteries, electric car batteries degrade over time. Unlike laptop and cell phone batteries, EV batteries can’t be destroyed by sustained high charging rates,
On the face of it, the consensus seems to be that rapid charging degrades battery capacity quicker than slower charging solutions. In practice, however, these effects remain largely negligible. This is mainly attributed to intelligent safety and energy management mechanisms which are present in most modern EV batteries.
JustWe offers top-notch smart energy management solutions that can be scaled for a highly dynamic EV market. Our EV charging expert team is at your service and provides free and noncommital consultation for projects of any size.
Schedule a discovery call and start developing your rapid charging solution with us today.