We tested the charging power of five powerful e-cars on the fast charger. We almost expected the Porsche Taycan to win here. But a real surprise lands in second place.
A Porsche Taycan charges with 270 kW, a Tesla Model S Plaid with 250 kW and a Genesis GV60 with almost 240 kW. That's all the electric regulars need to know to be able to assess the fast charging performance of an electric car. The maximum charging capacity has become the zero-to-100 value for the Stromer: striking, but rather unimportant in practice.
The electrical engineer is more likely to ask himself: How high is the average charging capacity in absolute terms and in comparison to the energy content of the battery? The user, on the other hand, only wants to know one thing when travelling: How quickly can I get my electric car and how much range? The question of time even says something crucial about the quality of an e-car, because charging capacity and efficiency are important for this. We compare 5 e-car models to that effect.
Five top models in comparison
To illustrate, we have compared five particularly talented fast chargers: BMW iX50, BMW i4 edrive40, Genesis GV60, Porsche Taycan GTS and Tesla Model S Plaid. They are not the five fastest chargers from the auto motor und sport super test. But their performance shows the differences particularly well. According to the maximum charging power, the sequence should look like this:
- Porsche Taycan: 270 kW
- Tesla Model S Plaid: 250 kW
- Genesis GV60: 237 kW
- BMW i4 edrive40: 205 kW
- BMW iX50: 195 kW
But in practice, this ranking is shaken up. Almost all models reach their maximum charging capacity or come very close to it for a short time. However, the average charging power of 10 to 80 percent SOC results in a completely different order. Because the charging curves behave very differently over the charging process, as the following diagram shows.
Tesla at the top at the beginning
The comparison of the charging curves shows a clear picture. In the 400-volt league, the Tesla clearly outperforms the two BMWs in terms of peak performance and, with 250 kW up to 30 percent SOC, can even keep up with the two 800-volt electric vehicles from Genesis and Porsche. This is where a special feature of the Tesla Supercharger generation V3 comes into play: it allows a maximum current of up to 675 A. This results in (400V x 625A) 250 kW of power. Tesla wants to increase the current even further. Speaking of Tesla: The Americans are the only ones (in the Model 3 Standard Range) to use batteries with the aforementioned lithium iron phosphate chemistry, which are less efficient, especially at low temperatures.
But even with a charge level of 30 percent, a typical Tesla peculiarity becomes apparent: The start is brilliant, but then the charging power drops massively.If Tesla thinks about increasing the maximum charging current again, this is initially a marketing decision, because it would be more important to deliver more current even with higher charge levels.
Steep learning curve at BMW
The BMWs, on the other hand, have to stay in the 500 ampere range of the CCS chargers. With the i4, despite the smaller battery, BMW expects more maximum power with 206 kW than with the iX50 with 190 kW. Here you can see that the manufacturers are constantly learning. VW also started with the ID generation with a maximum of 125 kW, then increased it to 135 kW in the course of software version 3.0. In the meantime, the first are already reporting a maximum of 170 kW and more from the fast chargers.
This can also be observed in the BMW models, but with different characteristics. While the i4 only keeps up to 17 percent SOC over 200 kW, the iX pulls through constantly with almost 190 kW up to 40 percent before it also drops. Overall, the iX50 with 156 kW offers on average a quarter more charging power than the BMW i4 eDrive 40.
Porsche very long up
The Porsche increases its charging power slightly up to 45 percent SOC, up to a maximum of 267 kW. However, the charging current remains the same. How does it work? With a higher charge level, the battery voltage also increases slightly. Even if the amperage stays the same, the power also increases. Then the charging power begins to decrease continuously with the typical gradation of the 800-volt systems. However, with an SOC of 57 percent, the Taycan offers almost twice the performance of a Tesla - although its battery with 93.4 kWh gross is smaller than that of the Tesla with 100 kWh. The Porsche thus achieves a sensational 220 kW on average from 10 to 80 percent SOC - not much less than the Tesla at the top. The Model S Plaid creates 165 kW on average.
Genesis allows high temperatures
The Genesis charging curve is very similar to that of the Taycan from 50 percent SOC - although its battery is even smaller at 77.4 kWh. The Hyundai Group allows high maximum temperatures of up to 50 degrees for its 800 V models before it is reduced. The Genesis also achieves an average of 203 kW.
With the 400 V models from Tesla and BMW, it is noticeable that they are pretty much in agreement on how a charging curve should drop from a SOC of 40 percent, regardless of the battery size. The differences are marginal. Below 40 percent, however, it gets exciting: the BMW i4 only dares to go up to a C factor of 2.5 for a brief moment. The iX battery, on the other hand, does not dare to achieve C values above 1.7. There may still be potential for a software update here - provided the cell chemistry is the same. The 800 volt systems now stand out with average C factors of over 2.4 and up to 3 C. Above all, the Genesis GV60 shows outstanding charging capabilities in comparison to the battery size.
Who has the shortest loading time in practice?
The important user question is still missing: How long do you have to wait for the next section of the Autobahn? Since the Model S Plaid has not yet been in the official super test, we are working with values from the driving report. Then the following result is obtained for the first, second and third 100 km of autobahn range:
Even if the Porsche Taycan GTS and the Genesis GV60 are not the most economical, this is more than compensated for by the high charging currents. A break of eleven to twelve minutes for a range of 200 kilometers is great. The 800-volt electric vehicles thus charge 20 percent more range in the same time as the 400-volt systems. But there is still potential here too: Because a very efficient BMW i4 edrive 40 with the charging capabilities of an 800 volt system could be the star at the time for range: 300 km of autobahn range in 15 minutes would be possible. The distance to the combustion engines is not that big anymore.