Even though most people charge their vehicles at home while they sleep, I’ve seen this concern come up quite a lot lately when discussing newer EV like the Porsche Taycan, Jaguar I-Pace, and Audi e-tron. This is largely understandable since a fast charging network takes an EV from around town commuter and adds the ability to use the vehicle for long road trips.
As a Tesla owner I benefit significantly from Tesla’s dense and reliable network of fast charging 100-120 kW stations, with rumored soon coming 200 kW charging, that allow me to go from coast to coast without worry.
Before we jump into the meat of the topic, let’s go back in time to where this nation wide fast charging precedent all began, Tesla’s September 2012 launch of the Supercharging network.
Supercharger event video: https://youtu.be/wgk5-eB9oTY
Since Tesla’s launch 6.5 years they have built a network of over 1,400 stations and more than 10,000 stalls that we see across the globe. In North America alone, we see more than 670 stalls all accessible from the in-cast touchscreen. Source: https://supercharge.info/charts
How does that stack up to the most commonly used non-Tesla EV charging standard, Combined Charging System or CCS?
Using plugshare.com, it shows that I have access to nearly 800 CCS stalls in North America. Where it becomes incredibly confusing is how to know which ones are, let’s say, 100 kW or faster.
The Electrify America network, which is included on Plugshare’s map, says they offer between 50 kW - 350 kW on chargers near highways and 50 kW - 150kW in metropolitan areas. Furthermore, how do I know if as a Taycan owner, which will be able to take up to 350 kW, what speed I will get?
The next question is, could someone successfully get from, for example, California to New York, solely on a CCS network.
In summary, for most scenarios, it is possible to get around with a non-Tesla EV with CCS charging as most use at home or in-city chargers. Where it could get a tab inconvenient as of February 2019 is when you want to go on an extremely long road trip. Keep in mind, electricity is literally everywhere in the developed world so you shouldn’t have a problem charging, it’ll just depend on how fast that charge is.
My advice for those considering a Porsche Taycan, Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron or any other non-Tesla EV is to check a third party EV map like Plugshare to verify that you’ll be able to get to the places you most travel using the CCS charging network before buying an EV.