Tesla Model 3 and Audi e-tron are the two most capable production electric cars in terms of DC fast charging power. The Model 3 is rated at up to 250 kW (at new V3 Superchargers) and 200 kW from CCS Combo 2 chargers. The e-tron, on the other hand, can get up to around 150 kW from CCS chargers, but over a wide window of state-of-charge.
Bjørn Nyland recently had the opportunity to test the two models at IONITY fast chargers, which are reportedly able to deliver 350 kW.
The test starts at 10% state-of-charge and as you can see, the Tesla Model 3 immediately takes the lead in terms of power:
- 11% SOC: 181 kW Model3 vs 140 kW e-tron
- 15% SOC: 185 kW Model 3 vs 140 kW e-tron
- 20% SOC: 188 kW Model 3 vs 141 kW e-tron
- 25% SOC: 190 kW Model 3 vs 141 kW e-tron
- 30% SOC: 192 kW Model 3 vs 141 kW e-tron
- 35% SOC: 194 kW (peak) Model 3 vs 142 kW e-tron
- 40% SOC: 190 kW Model 3 vs 142 kW e-tron
- 45% SOC: 172 kW Model 3 vs 143 kW e-tron
- 50% SOC: 154 kW Model 3 vs 143 kW e-tron
Model 3 reached 50% after just 11 minutes, e-tron after 15 minutes
From that point e-tron fast charging at higher power and was catching up SOC
- 55% SOC: 137 kW Model 3 vs 144 kW e-tron
- 60% SOC: 107 kW Model 3 vs 145 kW e-tron
- 65% SOC: 101 kW Model 3 vs 147 kW e-tron
- 70% SOC: 89 kW Model 3 vs 148 kW (peak) e-tron
- 75% SOC: 72 kW Model 3 vs 137 kW e-tron
- 80% SOC: 56 kW Model 3 vs 122 kW e-tron
80% state-of-charge was hit at similar time of 26 minutes
e-tron was charging over twice faster than Model 3 from 80%.
- 85% SOC: 43 kW Model 3 vs 92 kW e-tron
- 90% SOC: 34 kW Model 3 vs 79 kW e-tron
- 95% SOC: 66 kW e-tron
The great comparison allows us to draw several conclusions. First of all, the Model 3 can charge at higher power than the e-tron, but only in the first half of the battery state-of-charge. The e-tron, on the other hand, offers stable 140-150 kW and keeps the power higher than any other BEV in the end.
It turns out that the Tesla Model 3 with a highly depleted battery will charge at higher power and should reach 50% several minutes ahead of the e-tron. Even to 70% should be slightly quicker, but don't expect any noticeable difference at 80%. Charging to higher levels would show the advantage of e-tron.
Tesla Model 3 is smaller, more efficient and a higher range car than the e-tron (310 miles vs 204 miles EPA), which means that you don't need to charge to the higher SOC. It's simply the top model in terms of replenishing range per minute of charging. Starting at 10% and leaving at 65% (17 minutes later) should enable you go 200 miles! This is the outcome most important from a driver's perspective. Audi e-tron would need 22 minutes to reach 75% (153 miles) or 36 minutes to reach 95% (194 miles).
Provided you don't need to go hundreds of miles (few recharges along the route), the real world difference on a single use of DC fast charging will not be big (driving to the charging station would be a more important factor).
We are eager to see Tesla Model X test using the Tesla-CCS adapter versus e-tron, as the results could be similar (and the cars actually are way more appropriate to compare for consumers wondering which to buy).