Thankfully, the video is played back at 15-times normal speed.
Above, behold a sped up video of an Opel Ampera-E — basically, a badge-engineered Chevy Bolt — fast charging. At first glance, the footage might seem only mildly more amusing that a time-lapse of paint drying, but there's actually quite a bit going on here. Filmed by Bjorn Nyland of driving-every-sort-of-EV-in-Norway-on-YouTube fame, it captures, in three-and-a-half minutes, the process of recharging the car's depleted battery with a 175 kW DC fast charging station to a Mario Brothers-like soundtrack.
The scene opens on the car's display showing 53 km (32.93 miles), or about 17 percent of a full charge left in the battery. Shortly thereafter it indicates that charging to 80 percent will take almost 24 minutes. But Nyland isn't interested in just 80 percent of a charge this time around. No, he's going all the way to the top! A feat that will take nigh onto two hours!
We should point out that, if the Ampera-E were plugged into a regular 50 kW DC fast charger, the initial portion of the electron transfer would only reach the 45-48 kW level at best, adding even more time to the process. But because the source, in this case, is capable of pumping out 175 kW, the initial flow happens at the full 50 kW rate, or slightly above.
Now, no one has ever accused the Ampera-E / Bolt of being the perfect long-distance road trip vehicle. The cabin may be perfectly fine for zipping about town, but we can think of other seats we'd rather be stuck in for hours on end. But the occasional trip may be far more tolerable than this video might indicate. The trick is to only charge until the rate slows too much. By the time the battery is 75 percent full, for instance, the rate is only 23 kW, and it only gets worse from there.
Our InsideEVs resident Bolt owner says he's done a 600-mile trip with only one long charging session and two 15-minute hookups. Perhaps that one longer stop might be inconvenient, but overall, it's not a bad strategy and keeps the overall trip time down to a minimum. Of course, everyone's journey is different and so your mileage will, as they say, vary.
From the video's description:
At 50 kW DC fast chargers, charging speed would normally be between 45 and 48 kW. Because this was done at Fortum's 175 kW fast charger, the speed was marginally higher. It's not possible to show SoC in percent in the car. Each bar on the left side equals to 5 %. The charging speed starts throttling around 55 % (37 kW) and again at 75 % (23 kW).