Avoid the fast charging trap
To save money and time when you need to fast-charge, you need to know a bit a little about the car that you own. We want to help you with that, so we have produced an overview of some of the most popular electric cars on the market.
Every month we read about new sales records for electric cars in Norway. These cars are bought by people with previous experience with electric cars, and by those who are new to electric car driving. Whichever of these categories you fall into, you should know how best to charge your car before you set off. We would be grateful if you could help us make this blog post better by sending us documentation or sharing your experience.
Hyundai Ioniq (28 kWh)
A very popular car in Norway is the Hyundai Ioniq. It has plenty of space and lots of equipment, is easy to drive and runs and charges efficiently. On ultra-fast chargers, the car can take a charging effect of up to 70 kW (video), while on a standard (50 kW) fast charger it takes 40-50 kW, up to approx. 80%. The effect is then reduced to 22 kW. That means you should stop charging and drive on. As the car charges quickly and has low energy consumption, it does not pay to reduce your speed when you are on a long journey. If you drive at 110 km/h in the winter, you will manage about 140 km with the 28 kWh version. If you reduce your speed to 90 km/h, you should manage 160 km. In the summer, you will manage about 250 km. The Ioniq has battery cooling which allows you to fast-charge several times on the same trip without the battery getting too hot. Electric cars protect their batteries by reducing the charging effect if it gets too hot. For best results charging an Ioniq at home, you should have a 32A 230V circuit which supplies up to 7.4 kW to the car. It will then take around 4 hours and 10 minutes to fully charge the car (28 kWh version).
Charging curves for Ioniq - photo from Fastned
BMW i3 (22/33/42kWh)
The i3 is one of the most popular electric cars in Norway, largely because it is fun to drive and offers exciting and unusual features. On our 50 kW fast chargers, the i3 (60ah) can almost manage 45 kW up to 65%. The 94ah version that came in 2017 charges a bit faster and maintains full power up to 85%. If you still want to charge to 100%, it is cheaper to move to a medium-speed charging station. See graph below. The i3 has a slightly higher energy consumption (about 14.8 kWh/100 km average consumption) than the Ioniq, which means that higher speeds are penalised more. The latest version of the i3 has been upgraded to 42 kWh, or as BMW likes to say, a 120ah battery. The car (94ah and 120ah) is one of the few electric cars on the market that supports 3-phase 11 kW AC charging. If you have a couple of hours for charging, the i3 will charge quickly and cheaply at our semi-fast charging stations. Always remember to have a 3-phase type 2 cable with you in the car if you have the 94/120ah version. If you have the 60ah version, home charging is limited to single-phase 230V and 32A - 7.4 kW output. Several of us at Fortum drive the i3. Here you can read about going to the mountains with an i3:
Charging curves for i3 - Photo: Fastned
Nissan LEAF (24/30/40 kWh)
The LEAF is Norway’s best-selling electric car. It is easy to drive, and an attractive price tag means a lot. It is currently available in three versions with 24/30/40 kWh battery. The car can be fast-charged with the CHAdeMO plug found on our fast chargers.
The 24 kWh version charges well up to 25%, then it gradually decreases. Drivers with this model should make several short stops to get more efficient charging.
The 30 kWh model has a great charging curve and performs well up to 82% before charging slows down considerably.
The 40 kWh version should be charged to 60% but preferably not too often on the same trip as it does not have active battery cooling. 400 km in one day is relatively unproblematic. If the car is fully charged, you can expect a range of 220 km on one charge and an energy consumption of around 16 kWh in the summertime.
The 40 kWh version, which is also referred to as LEAF 2.0, supports single-phase charging up to 6.6 kW. This should therefore have a single-phase 32A home charger. The 24 kWh version supports up to 3.6 kW and should have a 16A home charger (6.6 kW was an add-on). The LEAF is also a popular car among Fortum employees. LEAF Charging curve - photo from Fastned
VW e-Golf (26/36kWh)
The e-Golf is popular because it is nice to drive, has a good interior and a design that many people like. The e-Golf should be fast-charged with a tempered battery to charge as efficiently as possible. The two versions have slightly different charging curves. On the 26 kWh version you should finish charging at 75%, while on the 36 kWh version you should finish at 80%. If you see an e-Golf that charges over 85%, please let us know if it is inefficient. The first generation e-Golf supports up to 3.6 kW with 16A home charging. The second generation supports up to 7.2kW with 32A. The energy consumption of the e-Golf (32 kWh available) is good and will be around 12.4 kWh in summer, giving a range of up to 240 km.
e-Golf charging curve - photo from Fastned
Kia Soul EV (27/30 kWh)
This is a popular electric car in Norway. The slightly square body means that you can take a lot of boxes with you in the car. It is also easy to drive and attractively priced. When it comes to charging, the Soul EV does very well. It uses the CHAdeMO plug and can handle up to 62.5 kWh DC fast charging on ultra-fast chargers that have this plug. The charging rate with fast charging drops off after 80%. In summer, you can expect around 13.6 kWh/100 km, which means a range of up to 220 km. Home charging is limited to 6.6 kW, which means that a 32A 7.4 kW home charger is the most suitable. The new e-Soul has now been displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new e-Soul has the same battery/motor as the Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona, rated at 64 kWh and 204 hp.
Renault ZOE (41kWh)
This electric car has a slightly different charging technology than the others. It uses AC for faster charging instead of DC. So it does not use a CCS or CHAdeMO plug, but a type 2 3-phase cable. The version of the ZOE with fast charging supports up to 43 kW AC, which will give you a range top-up of 100 km in 25-30 minutes. The version without fast charging supports what we call semi-fast charging up to 22 kW. The car charges quickest up to 80%. In the Fortum Charge & Drive app, you will find a map showing which of our fast chargers have a 43 kW AC outlet. It may be useful to know that several of these chargers allow you to use the AC outlet while the DC outlet is also in use. The energy consumption in the summer will be approx. 14.6 kWh/100 km, which gives a range of 280 km, which is very good for a small electric car.
Type 2- IEC 62196-2
Type 2 - IEC 62196-2
Phase conductor 1
Phase conductor 2
Phase conductor 3
Hyundai Kona (64 kWh)
The Hyundai Kona is a small car with a very large battery. The size of the battery allows it to take a bigger charge from ultra-fast chargers. You should ideally charge a Kona EV to 73%, but as it has such a good range, it rarely needs fast charging. The car has a battery heater which makes it perfect for Norwegian conditions. Bjørn Nyland has produced a very good video about the Kona (the car). Emilie Tømmerberg has tested the car from Bergen to Oslo. She put in one charging stop. We have heard that the car has done this trip without a charging stop.
Kona charging curves - photo from Fastned
Audi E-Tron (95 kWh)
Impressive charging curve for the Audi E-tron - Photo from Fastned
Opel Ampera-e (60 kWh)
Photo from Fastned
A popular car thanks to its good driving characteristics and sporty design. On a 50 kW fast charger, the I-pace will charge at full speed to 80%. Owners of this car will probably choose a ultra-fast charger if this is available, as it supports faster charging. In March 2019, Jaguar delivered new software for the car which made charging a bit faster. The curve below shows the dual charging rate up to 40% with a 175 kW charger. After 40%, the car will gradually limit the speed to protect the battery.
Mercedes’ long-awaited electric car can charge up to 110 kW on our ultra-fast chargers. The EQC charges with CCS.
Photo from Fastned
Useful information about charging speed (slightly technical)
The charging rate is limited by the battery size. A larger battery can be charged faster. So there is no point, for example, in fast-charging a hybrid with a small battery, so these cars are generally supplied without a CHAdeMO or CCS plug.
The charging speed is also limited by the amount of energy (the voltage) in the battery. The battery cells in your electric car consist of a positive and a negative electrode and an electrolyte that allows the lithium ions to move between the electrodes in one direction or the other, depending on whether the car is being charged or the battery is being discharged. When the battery is charged, positive lithium ions are pushed over to the negative electrode until it is full.
When it starts to get full, the space for the lithium ions in the negative electrode also becomes tighter. The electrode needs more time to free up space for the lithium ions that are crossing over. The charging rate will therefore decrease when you have reached a certain voltage level in the battery cells. This is usually around 70 - 80%. If you still want to charge to 100%, it may be better to move to a medium-fast charging station.
The temperature in the battery should ideally be 20-24 degrees. The charging effect is reduced if the temperature is too low or too high. This is determined by the car and not by the charger. It is therefore advisable to buy an electric car with active cooling and heating of the battery. When it is cold, the lithium ions will move more slowly in the electrolyte. Electrochemical processes are sensitive to temperature. With the same charging effect, the cell voltage may be higher than at more ideal temperatures. This can destroy the cells. The consequence is that the charging effect has to be reduced. The chemistry in the battery will affect the speed. Which chemistry the manufacturer chooses largely depends on the price of the car/battery.
Here you can read more about charging effect and the difference between AC and DC. Why doesn’t my electric car take a full charge when I recharge it?
Everything you need to know about charging an electric car? See our summary page.
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