Which electric vehicle charges the fastest? Here's what a new study found

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Thursday, February 22, 2024
This electric vehicle charges the fastest, study finds
Charging EVs can take a long time. So which electric vehicle charges the fastest? Here's what a new study found.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- You can charge an electric vehicle quickly these days - that's the claim most every electric vehicle manufacturer makes, promising mere minutes to get back on the road after using a public quick-charge station.

"Everybody just quoted different figures to make themselves look good. What we did is create an apples-to-apples comparison, and what we're looking at is how long you'll be standing at the charger, waiting for your car to charge," said Alistair Weaver, editor-in-chief at Edmunds.com.

The online automotive giant enlisted the help of EV testing firm P3 to precisely measure how far an electric vehicle will go after being connected to a DC fast charger.

The results are a variation of "miles per hour" - how many miles can an electric car travel if, in theory, it was being recharged for one hour.

The study found that more money doesn't necessarily get you the fastest charging times.

"The fastest vehicle we've tested, Hyundai Ioniq 6, which is not one of the most expensive," noted Weaver.

The Ioniq 6 that topped the list starts at just under $40,000 and tops out at just over $50,000.

Forty-three vehicles were evaluated, and that Hyundai electric sedan was followed by a version of the Kia EV6, and another Hyundai, the Ioniq 5 compact SUV.

And toward the bottom?

"Mustang Mach-E," said Weaver.

Technically, that Ford Mustang Mach-E GT landed third from the bottom of the results at 41st, but the two below it are variations of the Chevy Bolt, which is now discontinued, though many Bolts are still on dealer lots as leftover 2023 models.

The growing pains of widespread EV adoption are two-fold. First there are the vehicles, maybe not always living up to their promises of efficiency. And then there's the recharging. The public charging infrastructure network isn't always up to the task.

Charging stations near busy roads and at busy times are frequently fully occupied, or the units themselves are malfunctioning. Trying to charge will sometimes get you an "out of service" message on the display.

That was the case at an EVgo station in Manhattan Beach we randomly selected to charge Edmunds' long-term Fisker Ocean as part of this story. Two DC quick chargers, side by side, and both were not working at the time.

And stories of road-trip charging issues abound, even ones planned out in advance. Weaver embarked on a family trip himself last year in another of Edmunds' long-term test vehicles, the Rivian R1T electric pickup. He chose a motel near Monterey to spend the night, since it had DC fast chargers right nearby.

"We turned up at 10:30 at night, two little kids asleep in the back seat. All four 350 kilowatt chargers were out of order. Electrify America. Not one of them was working," said Weaver.

There was a lower-capacity charger there too, offering 150 kilowatt charging, but it was occupied by a Polestar EV. Usual protocol suggests that once a car is charged to 80% and other cars are waiting, a user should stop the session and free up the space. Weaver said in this case, the other driver chose not to, as he told Weaver that he and his wife were relaxing in their car watching a movie on the center screen and wanted to stay there.

That sums up the pioneering days of electric vehicle road travel in a nutshell. And pioneers haven't always had an easy go of it.

"We are seeing more and more fast chargers come in, but it's just taking too long," noted Weaver.

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