Swiss company ABB, which supplies EV chargers to Ionity and Electrify America, has unveiled what it calls the “world’s fastest electric car charger,” Reuters has reported. As its name suggests, the Terra 360 has a 360 kW capacity, meaning it could fully charge a (theoretical) EV in 15 minutes. More realistically, it can charge four vehicles simultaneously, saving space at charging stations.
The Terra 360 isn’t the most powerful charger by much, as companies like Electrify America, Ionity and EVGo have been using 350 kW chargers manufactured by ABB and others since at least 2018. However, it’s the “only charger designed explicitly to charge up to four vehicles at once,” the company said. “This gives owners the flexibility to charge up to four vehicles overnight or to give a quick refill to their EVs in the day.” They also have a relatively small footprint, allowing installation in small depots or parking lots.
There aren’t a lot of EVs that can handle that kind of charge. The fastest-charging EV available is Hyundai’s Ioniq 5, which supports DC fast-charging at up to 350 kW, in theory. The only two approaching that are Porsche’s Taycan, with 270 kW of charging capacity and the new Lucid Air, which allows for up to 300 kW fast-charging. Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y EVs can charge at up to 250 kW.
Such high charging levels aren’t necessarily great for an EV’s battery. Porsche, for instance, has a battery preservation setting on its Plug & Charge Taycan feature that lowers voltage to 200 kW from the maximum 270 kW allowed — so it’s essentially acknowledging that faster charging degrades the battery. On top of that, extreme charging levels don’t necessarily save you much time, as Car and Driver found. Tesla recently promised to upgrade its own Supercharger V3 network from 250kW to 300kW.
ABB’s new chargers will be able to add 100 km (62 miles) of range in less than three minutes. They’ll arrive in Europe by the end of the year and start rolling out in the US and elsewhere in 2022.
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