Is EV Range or Fast Charging More Important to You?

Manufacturers are racing to launch EVs with bigger range and faster charging to overcome barriers to entry.

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Is EV Range or Fast Charging More Important to You? © Is EV Range or Fast Charging More Important to You?

Automakers are putting big money (billions with a capital B) and muscle into figuring out how to charge electric cars at a faster clip and create batteries with more range. Range anxiety is a real thing, and on top of that consumers want their charging experience to be as fast as it is to fill up a gas tank at the pump. In general, a stop at a gas station takes an average of five minutes or less. 

Tesla’s Supercharger network has 30,000 stations around the country, which allows drivers to charge up to 200 miles in about 15 minutes. And GM announced in 2021 that it’s making a $750 million investment into electric vehicle charging. These companies understand the key to adoption is to make it as painless as possible, and both range and fast charging are at stake.

With EVs becoming more and more mainstream every day, I want to know: as you're observing the electric car boom and considering one for yourself, is the total range or faster charging more important to you?

According to Cars.com, the all-electric vehicle with the highest range can go a whopping 520 miles with one full charge. That honor currently belongs to the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition R; specifically, with AWD and 19-inch wheels. At $169,000 or so, it’s not a vehicle that will be within reach for most of the U.S. population, but it could be a harbinger of progress. Hyundai’s impressive Ioniq 5 is much more affordable at about $45,000, but the range is cut to 303 miles. Henrik Fisker says his new Ocean will have an estimated 350 miles of range for less than $40,000. 

When Ford launched its all-electric F-150 Lightning, people wanted to know why the standard range was only 230 miles. Automakers don’t make a move without having a good handle on all the data, and the Blue Oval's response to the skepticism about the Lightning’s usefulness was that data showed that the truck’s estimated range is more than enough for the average user.

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On the charging side, the 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS is among the fastest to charge. The brand says the sedan takes up to 200 kilowatts of charge and it can add 186 miles of range in just 15 minutes. Comparatively, Tesla’s flagship Model S can add 200 miles in 15 minutes on its Supercharger network. Fifteen minutes seems pretty quick. However, if you compare that to the five minutes it takes to fill up the gas tank of a Hyundai Sonata hybrid, which gets an estimated 686 miles on one tank, a quarter of an hour feels like a long time. 

Speaking of Hyundai, less than six months ago the company announced its plans to invest $7.4 billion in EV manufacturing and infrastructure by 2025. Specifically, to speed up the development of solid state batteries, which recharge faster and last longer than the EV batteries on the road today. 

The race for both fast charging and more range is on. Which one is more important to you? 

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