Charging Speed Influencing Consumer Adoption of EVs

The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is rapidly increasing as societies shift toward more sustainable transportation options. However, concerns regarding charging time, particularly during long-distance travel, remain a significant hurdle to widespread consumer acceptance and EV purchase decisions. A recent report highlights the impact of charging time on consumer attitudes towards battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and emphasizes the need for manufacturers to address this crucial aspect of EV ownership.
The report indicates a substantial discrepancy between the maximum charging speed that BEVs can accept and their average charging speed across different models. For instance, while some BEVs, such as the Hyundai IONIQ 5, support fast charging at up to 350 kW and boast an average charging speed of 169.4 kW, others, like the Chang’an Lumin BEV, feature a weak 2 kW onboard charger, requiring significantly longer charging times of 6.5 to 8.8 hours for a full charge. The analysis underscores the significance of charging time as a determining factor in the appeal of various BEV models’ charging options.

To evaluate the average charging speed of BEV models, the report adopts a sales-weighted approach, considering the charging speed of each model sold by manufacturers. Focusing solely on BEVs and excluding fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) due to technological differences, the study collects data on net battery capacity and charging time from compatible chargers. In cases where net battery capacity information is unavailable, a regression analysis is employed to estimate the gross battery capacity, with a multiplier of 0.95 applied to ensure accuracy. The charging speed calculation accounts for both normal chargers (Level 2) and fast chargers (DC) with varying power ratings.

For normal charging, the average charging speed is determined by dividing the net battery capacity by the time required to charge from 0% to 100%. In the case of fast charging, the average charging speed is based on 70% of the net battery capacity and the time needed to charge the battery from 10% to 80%. This range is considered representative of real-world fast charging scenarios since most drivers opt for charging between 20% and 80% state of charge. As the battery approaches full capacity during fast charging, the charging rate slows down to preserve battery life.

The report reveals substantial variations in sales-weighted average charging speeds among automakers, with the highest-scoring manufacturer being 8.6 times faster than the lowest-scoring one. Tesla leads the pack with an average charging speed of 172 kW for fast charging, closely followed by Hyundai-Kia with an average speed of 134 kW. Notably, both manufacturers offer high-selling models known for their fast-charging capabilities. Other automakers headquartered in Europe, as well as two U.S.-based manufacturers, along with BYD, Toyota, and Geely, have average charging speeds ranging from 65 kW to 98 kW. Renault lags behind its European counterparts with an average charging speed of 38 kW, primarily due to a lack of fast-charging capabilities in a significant portion of its BEV sales and the slow charging speed of its top-selling model.

Automakers such as Chang’an, Tata, and SAIC face considerable challenges in terms of charging speed, as their popular BEV models are predominantly lower-to-mid price range vehicles that only support home charging. SAIC, in particular, ranks the lowest with an average charging speed of 18 kW, mainly attributed to the limited charging capability of its best-selling Hongguang Mini, which features a 1.5 kW charger, taking seven hours to fully charge its 10.5 kWh battery. It is worth noting that Suzuki did not contribute to the metric as it did not sell any BEVs in 2022.

The charging speed of BEVs plays a crucial role in consumer adoption and willingness to purchase electric vehicles. As the report highlights, automakers must address this concern by improving the average charging speeds of their models, especially for long-distance travel scenarios. By investing in faster charging technologies, manufacturers can enhance the overall attractiveness of their BEVs and contribute to the wider adoption of sustainable transportation options. The future of electric mobility hinges on the ability of automakers to continually innovate and meet consumer expectations in terms of charging convenience and efficiency.

Source: The Global Automaker Rating 2022 | ICCT

Source: The Global Automaker Rating 2022 | ICCT

 

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