Maarten Steinbuch

Providing fast-charging infrastructure to a growing electric vehicle fleet

Manufacturers won’t say so in public, because too many people still depend on the production of ‘fossil fuel’ vehicles, but behind the scenes they are working on a total switch to electric. Tesla has demonstrated that the demand is there: within six years, it has captured a 32% share of the electric vehicle market.

Fast-charging infrastructure is needed for the upcoming increase in the number of electric vehicles. A racing car in Formula E can already be charged within five seconds. One year from now, cars will be fully charged within three minutes. However, this will require high-power chargers of more than 350 kWh, i.e. DC chargers of more than 350 kWh.

They will only be needed on motorways, because only 10% of charging sessions take place there. Cars won’t need to be charged so quickly elsewhere. For the weekly shop, a charging time of between 20 and 90 minutes, or 50 kW, will be sufficient. At work, or while shopping, a charging time of one to three hours (20–25 kW) will suffice. At home, charging could take between four and 16 hours (3–22 kW).
Most electric vehicle users only charge the vehicle as much as is required. Of course, rapid charging on the motorway will be more expensive than at home.