Thinking of buying an EV? EV Charging basics Speed and Range explained.

So you're thinking of buying your first EV! But you're thinking what do I need to know? Here's a brief explanation of everything you need to know from EV charging speeds, types of EV charging and range anxiety.

Firstly unlike liters per 100 Km or Co2 per Km one only needs to worry about EV charging speed and range. EV Charging Speeds are measured in Kilowatt hrs (Kwh) and range in Km (no different to the Km range est on a fuel driven vehicle).

Tesla Model S EV Charging Station

Charging Speeds explained. EVs charge normally both types of currents AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current). However EVs use both current types to operate, an EV battery stores electricity on DC. Which is why EVs have inbuild AC and DC onboard chargers.

The AC onboard charger converts the AC current into DC and then feeds that energy to the battery (which is DC). However a DC onboard charger is also needed when charging an EV. A DC onboard charger regulates the amount of voltage and amps going into a battery. Depending on the size of both your AC and DC chargers this can make or break your EV charging speed.

Most EVs come with a 7kwh AC and 50Kwh DC onboard charger. However premium and performance EVs such as Tesla, Porsche Taycan, Audi eTron and Polestar have larger capacity AC onboard chargers (11Kwh up to 19Kwh) and DC (up to 150Kwh). Keep in mind most EVs have a battery size starting for 50Kwh up to 100Kwh. Hence per Kwh charging speed is very important because the higher the Kwh entering the vehicle the faster you're back on the road. 

Range. Firstly if you haven't already rented or borrowed an EV, you should probably know that it's advised to only charge the EV battery to 80% (not 100%). Charging to 100% on a regular basis will lead to a shorter battery life. Which is why range is so important, especially in Australia.

Sydney to Melbourne EV driving Test

If you want to be carbon neutral and avoid flying to say Brisbane, Byron or Melbourne, using an EV is the best option. For example it's 863 Km from Sydney to Melbourne so every Km of range counts. We estimate for the ideal EV for Australian conditions (all short and long range) purchasing an EV with a minimum range of 500 Km. The reason being is the Sydney to Melbourne trip you're going to be using 72% of battery capacity driving on motorway conditions and to the recommended battery capacity. The reason being is a 500 Km range actually translates to 360 Km range for long distance motorway driving (-10% range) and with the (80% battery charge cap).

EV Charging Parking Spot

Therefore the real range of 360 Km (3.5 hrs) is the absolute maximum one can and "should" drive I believe without at least a 30 minute rest! To our math that means at least 2 stops (3 to be safe) to charge and rest driving Sydney to Melbourne. Which most of us can do anyway. Lastly your EV could be charged up in as little a 30 minutes on a 150 Kwh DC rapid charger or 2-3 hrs on a 22Kwh AC Charging Station. To our math that means at least 2 stops (3 to be safe) to charge and rest driving Sydney to Melbourne. Therefore 500Km range is the precise range no more or less in our view, that you'll ever need for driving on Australian roads.

On a funny note, it is not too uncommon to see a confused recent Tesla purchaser at a Petrol Station. (FYI EVs don't emit Co2 nor do they need gas, they only need electricity....)

Disclaimer: JUCER does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the data and accepts no liability whatsoever arising from or connected in any way to the use or reliance upon this data. Special thanks to Sung Wang, Andreas Dress and Ralph Hutter.