EV Charging Shifts Gears From Range to Speed

Limp up to a public charging station in a thirsty Chevrolet Bolt and in 20 minutes you can add somewhere around 73 miles of range. However, do the same in a Ford Mustang Mach E — at the same charger — and you’ll probably make it twice as far. The Porsche Taycan driver is good for another 200 miles and change. Danke schoen.

Range anxiety is slowly giving way to charging speed as the critical metric among the swelling crowd of EV-curious consumers. On this front, the machines vary wildly. But like many things in EV-land, it’s a little wonky. Time needed to top up isn’t simply a specification as much as an equation that depends largely on two variables: the capacity of the charger and the capacity of the car itself to take a charge. The Bolt, for example, can take on 55 kW, which is the limiting factor at a 100 kW charger. If one thinks of the stream of electrons as a liquid, this would be the width of the hose and the size of the funnel.