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What is the difference between a rapid charger and high speed chargers?

It’s Friday afternoon and you’re on your way to the mountains. Both your passengers and your EV are low on energy, and you want to arrive at the cabin before it is too late. Should you choose a fast charger or a rapid charger?

Potentially seven times the charging speed

Rapid chargers provide higher power charging, i.e. faster / speed. A rapid charger, with 350 kW, will potentially be able to charge an EV at seven times the speed of a fast charger with a maximum charging speed of 50 kW.

It should be easy to recognise the different types of chargers at our charging stations. All charging stations are clearly marked with maximum charging speed and type of charger (normal, fast, or rapid) both at the charger and on our digital map of chargers.

Most of our fast chargers deliver a charging speed of max 50 kW, and we estimate charging times of 15 to 120 minutes, depending on vehicle type and battery level. A rapid charger can deliver charging speeds from 150 to 350 kW, and we estimate charging times of 10 to 45 minutes, depending on vehicle type and needs.

Actual charging speeds are limited by your vehicle

So, you are standing at a charging station on the way to the cabin and wondering what will get you back on the road fastest, the rapid charger or the fast charger. However, it is not actually the type of charger alone that determines how fast your battery will charge – it also depends on the make and model of your vehicle.

How fast an EV can charge is limited by how much power it can receive. For example, if you have a 30 kWh Nissan Leaf, it will be limited to be able to handle a maximum charging speed of 50 kW. EV manufacturers are constantly coming up with new models that can charge at a similar or higher power.

Faster charging speeds cost more

It is usually more expensive to use a rapid charger than a fast charger. You will be able to receive as much power as on a fast charger, but because the power is delivered faster, a rapid charge costs more. There are also higher operating and maintenance costs associated with delivering power faster.

If your EV can charge on a rapid charger, it will of course go faster, but it will also cost a little more. If you choose the fast charger, it may take a little longer, but you can stretch your legs a bit and prepare for the rest of the ride.

See our prices

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the difference between kW and kWh?

    Kilowatt (kW) corresponds to charging power/speed.

    Kilowatt hours are probably familiar from your electricity bill: A kWh is the unit for the amount of energy you have received/used.

    For example: A charger that provides 50 kW of power, will under ideal conditions deliver 50 kWh of energy in one hour. 

  • What is the difference between a slow charger, a rapid charger and a high power charger?

    The three types of charger say something about charging power/speed, i.e. how long it takes the charger to supply power to the EV. Not all EVs can utilize the charger’s maximum charging speed. If you are unsure about which charging type is suitable for your EV, you can check with your vehicle supplier.

    • Slow charger: 3.6–22 kW. Estimated charging time (80 per cent) 3–10 hours.
    • Rapid charger: 50–150 kW. Estimated charging time (depending on battery level) 15–120 minutes.
    • High power charger: Over 150 kW. Estimated charging time (depending on battery level) 10–45 minutes.
  • Why does my EV charge slower in the winter?

    Fast charging takes longer when the battery is cold. This simply has to do with battery chemistry; the ions move more slowly when the battery pack is cold than they do when it is warm. The cold does not affect the charging station itself. The charger provides the same power as it is marked with. It is the car’s battery management system that limits the charging speed to protect the battery.

    Useful tips: In order to speed up charging in cold weather, it may make sense to charge the EV while the battery is warm. For example, plan a charging stop towards the end of your trip.

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