The move to electric vehicles seems inevitable, but we are slowly getting there as early adopters purchase vehicles like the Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt. However, there are three primary negatives that make the buying public skeptical of EVs at the moment: cost, range anxiety, and the widespread availability of quick-charging stations.
With respect to charging infrastructure, the German National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW), whose members include BMW and Porsche, have developed a prototype 450 kW charging station that uses a Type 2 Combined Charging System (CCS). In early testing, the consortium supplied a test vehicle with a 90-kWh lithium-ion battery and were able to give it 100 kilometers (62 miles) worth of range with just a 3-minute charge.
The car in question was a prototype of Porsche's upcoming Taycan EV, which is a four-door sports sedan that will take on the Tesla Model S. The Taycan "achieved a charging capacity of over 400 kW" according to Porsche during the test, and didn't quite hit the 450-kW design spec (for the charger). Porsche says that it is able to achieve this rate thanks to an "innovative cooling system" to ensure that the batteries maintain a proper operating temperature. With that being said, other EVs like the Audi E-Tron Quattro are spec'd at a much lower 150 kW, which means that their charge rate would be much slower.
The new charging station is currently capable of charging both 400-volt and 800-volt EV batteries. On the plus side, the NOW has two charging stations that are available right now free of charge for CCS-enabled vehicles. The downside, however, is that they are located in Jettingen-Scheppach, Germany.
We now have to wait for BMW, Porsche and other auto manufacturers to start expanding the footprint of these new fast chargers and get them past the prototype stage. Tesla by far has the most robust global EV charging network with its Superchargers, albeit they are limited to 145 kW. However, Tesla plans to upgrade its Supercharger network to 250 kW over the new few years.