Charging electric cars in 5 minutes is soon a reality, but there’s a catch

Chinese authorities have just unveiled the new fast charging standard in the country. Thus, cars will be able to recharge at a power of 1,200 kW, enough to fill a battery in less than 5 minutes. But for this, China will use somewhat outdated technology…

If recharging your electric car could still be difficult a few years ago, today it is no longer really a problem. In France, there are more than 100,000 charging stations, while the power delivered continues to increase. Enough to make fears linked to autonomy disappear.

An ultra-powerful charge

Today, the most efficient terminals in Europe are capable of delivering up to 500 kW of power thanks to Nio. The Chinese manufacturer has just inaugurated its first fast station on the Old Continent, while the previous record was 400 kW at Fastned and Circontrol. But France still lags far behind another country: China.

And for good reason, the Middle Kingdom has already proven its superiority on many points, notably by becoming the world’s largest exporter of cars. Which actually makes very afraid of specialists as well as the European Union. The latter has just announced the launch of an investigation into subsidies granted by the Chinese government to manufacturers. But that’s not all.

In addition to the sale of cars, the country also offers the most powerful charging stations in the world. The record is currently 600 kW thanks to VREMT, a subsidiary of the Geely group. But China wants to go even further. At the beginning of September, the authorities announced the arrival of a new charging standard with a power of 800 kW and an intensity increasing from 250 to 800 amps.

But now we still know a little more about this advance, which would make it possible to charge an electric car from 10 to 80% in 5 to 10 minutes. Provided you have the right battery, like the Qilin CTP 3.0 developed by CATL for example. As explained the website of the CHAdeMO Associationthe Chinese government has just approved the new standard called ChaoJi-1.

A little snag

This new standard, which is in fact the latest generation of GB/T currently used in China, can deliver up to 1,200 kW (i.e. 1.2 MW), which is higher than the 1,000 kW of Tesla Megachargers designed for the Semi. Furthermore, this device ensures maximum safety since it is equipped with a system capable of detecting overheating and other failures. Enough to guarantee a safe charge.

But where it goes wrong is that this standard is based on CHAdeMO 3.1 charging technology, the latest version of this system. However, the latter has somewhat fallen into disuse and is almost no longer used by manufacturers, except in certain countries such as China and Japan. For us, we think, for example, of the Nissan Leaf, which still uses this standard.

In France, the standard is now CCS, while all manufacturers use this technology, including Nissan with its Ariya. But the Chinese authorities have thought of everything, and the new ChaoJi-1 standard is designed to be compatible with all fast charging solutions in direct current. Of which undoubtedly the Tesla NACSwhich is starting to impose itself more and more.

The latter, which is in fact the acronym for North American Charging Standard, is gradually becoming the standard in the United States, while the firm opened its connector to the entire automotive industry at the end of last year. In addition, experts emphasize that the latter would be more effective than the current CCS.

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