200 Mile Electric Cars Are Coming! Are We Ready To Charge?



On board AC chargers compared to off board DC chargers

200 mile EVs are coming. Will we be ready to charge? First of all, home is already the primary place for charging. With 150-200 miles of range, the number of times we charge outside our home/work will be reduced even more. This new found range may however change our outlook on charging. First, a statement  on AC charging. Until now, most of our charging has been AC largely due to convenience of available AC and the ability to agree on a common connector, the J1772, but that may be about to change.

How could  DC charging be the future for EVs? Short and simple… speed. Speed-to-cost ratio to be more specific.  The SAE Charging Configurations and Ratings Terminology graph above provides the following for 25 kWh BEV comparison for on board AC chargers vs off board DC chargers:

Level 1
1.4 kW 12A AC charger =17 hours compared to up to 36 kW 80A DC charger = 1.2 hours.

Level 2
7.2 kW 40A AC charger =7 hours compared to up to 90 kW 200A DC charger = 80% charge 20 min.

Until now, the industry has also chosen to build the charger into the EV, or on board, with the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), serving as a safe method of connecting to the EV. The concept of using an off board charger is slowly manifesting in Asian and European markets.  Our own IEVs European correspondent Mark Kane previously reported on Denza DC Wallbox development found here.  Mark reports a Denza 10kW wallbox for $1600 or a 20kW for $3200. Compare that to an EVSE that can be purchased  for $500-$800 and at first glance most would  opt for the cheaper EVSE option.

That is until you realize that you could get by with a less expensive low power on board charger for ALL of your future EVs. If you have made the switch to EVs, you do not need to keep buying the high power on board charger, thus saving you money in the long run–assuming the infrastructure is there to support it. With 200 mile BEVs on the way, does this change the way we look at the long term investment of maybe a $1000-$2000 premium for a home DC charger?

Denza DC charging

Denza DC charging

DC Direct for home charging

Recently Tesla Motors announced that they would be introducing a home storage battery to help with the indeterminacy of solar and wind as well as functioning as emergency backup power. For those who purchase this DC storage, they most likely have a DC source of power in wind and solar, and if they own an EV, they now have closed the loop in their DC system no longer dependent on AC conversion. DC solar > to an AC inverter > then back to DC storage is the current model. Currently PV-EV users are losing upwards of 16% in conversions. Of all the questions asked about the upcoming Model III, the most intriguing may be to see if Tesla Motors will offer/market a complete DC direct package? Musk has stated that the home storage will be “plug and play.” Presumably they will integrate to their on board chargers, gaining  efficiency through a DC direct package. Though this model will not be limited to Tesla, they may be the first auto manufacturer to offer the package.

This model will in the future be expanded to vehicle-to-home (V2H) .  V2H systems will connect through Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) integrating roof top photovoltaic solar panels and will communicate the optimal charge and discharge patterns.

DC Public Charging

DC QC standards

DC QC standards

As for public chargers, would it not be desirable to simplify your EV’s on board charger? Could mid-range (20 kW)  fast DC chargers nudge out Level 2 EVSEs, thus allowing EVs the option of passing on high power on board chargers with every purchase? This scenario is more likely to play out on low end EVs while premium models hold on to high power on board chargers. Some form of low power on board charger is a must due to the convenience and accessibility to an AC plug.

How does DC affect commercial deployment? It comes down to the speed-to-cost ratio. Labor cost is the largest expense for commercial deployment. The difference in material cost vs the speed of public charging very well could push mid-range DC charging (think 20 kW)  forward to properly fill that which has been currently attempted by Level 2 EVSEs combined with supported on board chargers.  20 kW requirement would be more readily available in some urban and commercial setting.  Bill Howland comments that 80 amp 208 volt 3 phase or 35 amp 480 volt would be economical so feeders to existing electrical panels are minuscule, provided only 1 or 2 fast chargers per location.  This approach is not aimed at long distance highway travel, but does the introduction of the 200 mile BEV change the needs at hotels, airports and other 150+ mile destinations as well as the mall, library, and other public parking usage of the current Level 2 EVSE?

20 kW DC fast charging will never replace the need for long distance highway travel. The speed provided by the power of  50 kW – 100 kW DC charging does however increase the expense ten fold in deployment. So far, Tesla Motors, a single start-up manufacturer has tackled this issue for their customers with the deployment of their own  supercharger network. If a start-up producing 30,000 autos per year can deploy a functional 120 kW network in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America over three years, then surely there can be a solvable deployment. In a way, it has been somewhat of a hidden blessing that this has not happened yet as both rapidly changing power requirements, along-side of determining standards has limited expansion as much as the cost. Fortunately, other auto manufacturers have stepped up there commitment to supporting highway quick charging. Recently BMW and VW have teamed to provide electric  bridges across  North America.


Tesla CHAdeMO Adapter - Despite The "Coming Soon" Status, We Can Now Confirm That Tesla Is Shipping These Adapters

Tesla CHAdeMO Adapter – Despite The -Coming Soon- Status, We Can Now Confirm That Tesla Is Shipping These Adapters

A continued issue facing any type of DC deployment is standards. For the near future, it looks like many will be purchasing at least one DC adapter in the life of their EV. This is an item you most likely will hold on to between trades. Recently Tesla released information on their CHAdeMO adapter for their customers. Currently CHAdeMO is the closest thing to a standard in the US, thus what you are most likely to currently find in a public DC fast charger. Expect future deployment of SAE Combo chargers, thus driving a need for the alternate adapter in the future. With the arrival of many 200 mile BEVs supporting the SAE Combo standard, it is not too soon to start asking about a CHAdeMO adapter.

The other solution is to provide dual CCS and CHAdeMO connectors as BMW and VW have agreed to do in their bold quick charge commitment.  Would it not be great if Nissan chooses to do the same?

200 mile BEVs are coming. How will we support them and how will your charging patterns change? How would mid-range 20 kW fast DC charging affect your future usage by tripling the speed of current Level 2 EVSE charging? Would you be willing to pay a small premium for the ability to use a mid-range fast DC charger in the current/future Level 2 locations to cover deployment costs? How soon must we deploy 100 kW  quick charging DC infrastructure and do we know what to deploy?

While waiting on these high level decisions, there is going to be a lot of trouble free miles when leaving the home with a topped off 80% (160 mile) charge every day.

Leave us your thoughts.

Categories: Charging, General


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52 Comments on "200 Mile Electric Cars Are Coming! Are We Ready To Charge?"

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Great article with lots to think about. In the public realm, there is a rush to install L2 chargers, I’m not so sure that is a good idea 🙂

Also along the lines of this article, there is a rumor that Tesla will (or has already) changed their strategy for dual on-board chargers. They will only install one charger in the factory and the second charger will be installed at service centers. Instead of charging $1,500 in the factory and $3,600 at the service center, the new pricing is allegedly $2,000 for service center installation.

They’ve been installing dual chargers in every Model S?

No. When you order dual chargers with the car, they would charge $1,500 and install it when they built the whole car. If you took delivery of the car and THEN wanted the dual charger, they used to charge $3,600. Now (allegedly) if you want the dual chargers, you pay $2,000 but they install it at the service center before delivery. Also, people that have been wanting the second charger but didn’t want to pay the $3,600 may be able to get it for $2,000.

As you mention Mark, I think the most important thing is to have something standard, thereby owners who shell out money for something won’t feel stranded. You mention a 16 % loss from Solar to the Car. And that is with a DC to AC to DC conversion. I have the same arrangement at my house, but there’s a few practical points that must be mentioned: To lower cost of the solar system, ($28 k for an effective 8100 watts maximum output – actually 9120 watts of solar panels) – I only have 4 loops, which are continually optimizing the output of the 38 panels. 1). What facility are you going to provide to get the equivalent optimization out of each of the 38 panels? What will its efficiency be? My current DC to AC efficiency is 97%. 2). Are you going to massage the output of each solar panel with an individual device? Or are you simply going to put all the panels in a series/parallel configuration? A). IF this is solely going to the car, is the car expected to match levels of the solar output to whatever is required for the state of charge of the battery?… Read more »

On another EV site I asked a while ago why automakers like Nissan don’t build the the CCS into their cars right next to their CHAdeMO. I got a lot of flack from other members of the site saying it was ridiculous to build a vehicle with both standards… I guess none of them ever expect to get stranded in the desert with an electric car!

I look forward to the ability to travel for miles and charge in minutes with the future technology!

The people giving you flack are probably the same people that carry around 6 different 240V connectors for all the different types of AC connections they may find in the wild.

A number interesting thoughts, including dumping on-board charger in favor to using external charging. The article is a bit limiting in it made some (not so clear assumptions). The first is battery capacity size in determining charging time. Note: 1.4 kW * 17 hours is only 24 kWh, giving a range of ~85 miles; not 200 miles. …… 1.4 kW 12A AC charger =17 hours compared to up to 36 kW 80A DC charger = 1.2 hours. …… 7.2 kW 40A AC charger =7 hours compared to up to 90 kW 200A DC charger = 80% charge 20 min. (kW != hours unless kWh is known) Generally it is more understandable to discuss charging capability as a distance vs. power. ie: miles of range added per hour vs. kW power. Using a typical average of 3.5 miles/kWh (3-4 miles/kWh is common depending on conditions) gives: …1.4 kW — ~5 mph range — 40 hours to add 200 miles, or 10 hour for 50 miles …7.2 kW — ~25 mph range — ~8 hours (200 miles), 2 hours (50 miles) …10 kW — 35 mph range — ~6 hours, 1.5 hours …20 kW — 70 mph range — ~3 hours, 45… Read more »

Good numbers and lot better understood.
Still, not perfect, since 3 or 4 miles per kwh is 25% difference that does not comply with precision.
Some more confusion also come from the power rating of the connection used.
1 kw might be the input power drawn from the charger or the factual power feed to the battery.
Moreover or to back that, I just never took all the time specified by this chart for charging my Leaf.
I’ll doubt I am the only one.
Why not just go for kWh per hour or total time from drain to full in the worst/best case scenario with each set up, if available.

“Why not just go for kWh per hour or total time from drain to full in the worst/best case scenario with each set up, if available.”

First of all, kWh per hour IS kW. If you are talking about getting into the battery, well that depends on the charger efficiency which will vary car-to-car.

As for noting the empty-to-full charge time, there is a problem for faster chargers. Namely, they all taper off as the battery fills up. Honestly, so will a 7.2kW charger, but it will be much less noticeable than a 120kW charger. Most batteries can charge at “max” rate until about 80%, hence the xx minutes for 80% charge. In the near future, people will realize that what they care about on a long trip is just keeping the charge rate as high as possible. This means filling up to 80% at each stop, not 100%.

Right, I know that well, but kwh is what count.
The total amount of energy that you can pack in a battery in a certain amout of time.
So it translate by kW but it’s meaningless if it doesn’t pack up in the battery as kwh.
Sound fuzzy, but there is variable loss with different power input that curve a bit the charging speed as you said with different charger and at the end of charge.
The main point is that it seems not everybody count power at the same point, thus a bit more imprecision.
Not that much that it would change the topic discuss here.
What I see is the need for controlled load shedding and load management of charging apparatus that would service more charging cars.

Home charging I don’t see going above 10kW, for both issues of capacity in the average person’s service electrical load (50A/220V for 10kW, my service is only 200A, and code will only allow me to add one more 20A charger).

10kW is probably more than adequate for home charging, overnight charging will just about always replenish the battery.

“..my service is only 200A, and code will only allow me to add one more 20A charger). …”.

Which code is that?

Funny how what is old, is new again.

Victorian and Edwardian Era EVs, used external DC charging service equipment. Mercury rectifiers were really big and quite fragile. Nothing you’d ever want to put in a vehicle.

Only the big rectifiers were big; trickle chargers were small, and the Tungar Bulbs were smaller. It was a ‘cost-reduced’ solution in 1910 as opposed to having to purchase a motor-generator set as a commercial garage would have. They weren’t meant for mobile use since they had to remain level after being ‘shook’ into operation. The efficiency was relatively high, only having about a 8 volt drop through most ‘bulbs’. I think they were a relatively elegant solution, and those 2 chokes enabling single phase operation from the home was brilliant. I’m quite Underwhelmed by these ‘Double Refrigerator Sized’ L3 chargers. Mark thinks people are going to put these things in their houses? I really don’t get this ac vs dc thing anyway, to me its super-minor. I’m more concerned about them getting stuff working that they promise. And having some control over my cars again. I like driving an EV for the most part, its just all the baggage that goes along with it that is irritating. I haven’t seen anyone mention it yet, so how come we don’t have any LARGE level 1 implementations, not even on the Model S. Certainly the “S” could benefit by a 16… Read more »

I agree, but I would bypass the 100KW and go for 200KW at this point. Nobody is going to reproduce the Tesla standard for other cars (sorry, they are just not). This means that we are already headed for an improved Chademo, CCS, or perhaps an entirely new standard.

Its time to stop incremental improvements for charging. It costs to damm much to roll out new chargers, and it takes too long. We need to roll 100KW chargers, and have a view to 200KW and even 400KW chargers. That is the charger wattage that replaces the functionality of gas cars.

Huh? We bypass them and go to 200 kw, but then we “roll out 100 kw”? With a view to 400 kw?

Who would you plan on paying for this and how much would you expect it costing?

Thank you, Scott. I’m glad someone pointed out that any actual -standard- for charging (rather than a bunch of competing formats) must be a future one, and that the electrical current needed to charge newer plug-in EVs will continue to rise rapidly, as it already has over the past few years. I expect we’ll be seeing charging at 600 volts before very many years. After that, they’ll probably just increase the diameter of the conducting cables (both at the charger and inside the car) to increase current flow, since current > 600v tends to jump the “spark gap” between cable and car body; such high voltage systems also require a lot more in regulatory compliance, and there would be legal and safety/ insurance barriers to allowing ordinary citizens (not trained electricians) to use such charging systems. Nothing can stop the future increase of voltages and charging current. Competition will drive faster charge times, to the point EVs will be able to charge, let’s say, a 100 kWh battery pack 90% full in 10 minutes… or maybe even faster. Tesla says it wants to get down to a 5-to-10-minute charge time. But older EVs won’t be able to use a new… Read more »

Hmmm, I see I overlooked the fact that a properly built EVSE would allow even the oldest EVs to charge at higher voltage fast-charge stations. So: Existing EV owners could just buy an newer EVSE, not a new car!

Calling 90kw 450v charging “level 2” is only going to confuse people. Regardless of how SAE represents things, I think simple perception is:

Level 1: 110-120v
Level 2: 220-240v
Level 3: 450-480v

I would have broke it down by kW instead of voltage, and just get rid of the Level stuff. State the KW rating and whether its AC or DC.

Some examples.


One thing to consider is that soon many people will have 2 or even 3 EVs at home. So there will be a need to charge several cars at the same time. Due to limited electric service capacity, we will need to decide how we want to allocate capacity. I have two LEAFs myself, and I have to make a decision on how I want to allocate capacity. I can’t have two 7.2 kW chargers without upgrading panel and making other very expensive changes ($5k+ in total). And since I already own 3.3 kW charger I purchased 4 years ago, that plays into my decision process. What I am saying is that most people living in an average house (and not a mansion with 600 Amp service) will be limited not by how fast their car can ACCEPT electrons, but by how fast they can SUPPLY electrons to the car. By the time 200 mile cars come out, I may be up to 3 EVs in my household. And we would all get home about the same time in the evening. I we all plug in and charge at the max rate at the same time on a summer evening… Read more »

Yea, we are playing “swap the cars” now too. I don’t see that changing. I don’t have any more space in front of the house, so it is not just a matter of installing a second charger. Past that, I have thoughts of running a water tight feed to the curb, but around here (san jose), you start attracting the attention of the city if you do things like that (don’t laugh, it happened to my neighbors).

You probably drive more than I do. My plan for the second EV is to just use a 120V outlet for it. The other EV charges at 3.3kW. Even that is faster than I need at home to recharge after a typical day’s driving. My need for charging faster than 1.44kW will be reduced even farther once the 200-mile EVs have arrived. Unless I’m going out of town, I don’t drive 200 miles in a week!

Re the multiple-EV home scenario, there is a natural eventual solution. All the EVs would be physically connected to chargers simultaneously, but actual charging would be controlled by a SW app running on a computer at the home (many homes now have an always-on file server for media files anyway, or it could run on the home’s WiFi router). All EVs (AFAIK) support smartphone apps to control charging, climate pre-conditioning etc., so the SW app would use the same APIs. It would manage charging based on a priority policy between the cars, cars’ charging ability & current SoC, house power budget and inputs from the household members on any unusual needs (long trip tomorrow on car #2 which usually needs only short trips). Central SW apps that take smart meters & differential rates into account and control the major household energy consumers are going to become more common anyway in the next few years, so including EVs in the same framework is pretty natural.

Already built and sold by ChargePoint.

It’s possible that you have it backwards when you say 200 mile EVs will reduce the number of times we charge outside home/work. I rarely charge my EV anywhere other than at home. Because of the limited range and the long level 2 charging time and few public chargers in PA, I plan my travels to stay within the car’s range. But if I had a 200-mile EV with Combo or some other fast charging capability, I would take the car on trips and plan to charge as needed. And with 200-mile EVs on the market, I anticipate there will be more public chargers even in PA.


THANK YOU for pointing out what should be obvious!

Am I missing something here? Maybe it’s not the case in the US but across europe AC 7kWh, 11kWh and 22kWh chargers for home use are very common – and the connector is standardised. The current chargers are bumping up against the sensible maximum most home power supply lines can manage to provide – for instance, in the UK, 80A/230v/single phase is pretty standard as a house supply and a 7kWh charger will take 32A of that. In europe three-phase is more common and so 11kWh and 22kWh become possible. Unless you provide a tesla-style home battery to decouple the charging from the house supply then there is little point chasing faster home charging. As for public chargers, it currently comes down to cost of infrastructure. Most chargers in europe are actually the same 7kWh – 22kWh types (AC) with a sprinkling of higher-capacity options on highways. It’s great to have these 50kWh (DC) and 43kWh (AC) chargers on the highway but, as the article points out, as EV range increases they actually become less essential. Given the cost and supply capacity needs of higher power chargers it is much more sensible for destinations (shopping locations, public carparks, office buildings… Read more »

Man this new system Jay Cole has sucks. You constantly have to enter profile info, then you get silly “You’re posting too quickly” messages, then it deletes your posts, especially the long ones.

Yeah I can speak from experience that 7200 watts is fine for 2 or 3 moderate-medium used EV’s. THe other 2 ev’s besides whatever the priority ev is for the moment can get along on 110, or with large batteries, don’t have to charge at all.

Traveling salesmen of the future with 900 mile range batteries (I’m not getting into this since I just wrote a very long post and this thing deleted the whole thing again) might need 20kw at home, but their the exception.

Large batteries tend to minimize the charging requirement, not add to it. That is unless higher mileage drivers start using ev’s.

Sorry about that bill. It actually isn’t a new system…since we migrated to a new/larger server for some reason our comment filter isn’t registering people’s unique IPs, so it thinks all the comments are coming from the same person.

So if you try to post within 20 seconds of someone else, it kicks out…and also doesn’t remember your profile info.

We know about the issue, and will get it fixed shortly…just bear with us, (=

Ok Jay, thanks for all you do, and its comforting to know you are aware of the problem.

Let’s really muddy the waters here and consider future EV’s with unlimited range utilizing ‘inductive’ charging while on the move!

…aaand not one mention of Zero. Battery-level DC access via an industry-standard connector, for whatever Zero, aftermarket, public EVSE (via adapter as necessary), or homebuild charger you have. Or parallel battery packs. Or simply diagnostics, for that matter. They’ve had DC access for, oh, the entire company history as far as I know.

Terry Hershner crossed the country (3x), via accessory batteries and chargers he added to his Zero.

Sorry for the dumb question, if I buy a ev with a on board charger I can`t charge on a DC charger?

Yes you can use a DC fast charger since it automatically bypasses the car onboard charger.

In addition to my previous reply…that’s assuming an EV has a DC connector.