Ampol explains why most electric cars charge up to 75kW rate at AmpCharge EV chargers

I asked my contact at Ampol AmpCharge

Why is it that at quite a few AMPCharge sites eg Alexandria (Sydney), 400V electric cars can only charge at about 75kW rate max? Only the few 800v electric cars like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and EV6 get the full 150kW ish charging rate. Is that correct and if Yes is a fix planned so all cars can access the top charge rate?

An Ampol AmpCharge spokesperson told me:

“All our DC chargers provide the full supported output range of up to 920Vdc”.

“Some of our chargers do have low current cables (200A) in order to help improve overall usability and reliability for individual and concurrent usage at each charging point”.

“With the low current cables if your vehicle’s battery voltage is 800V then you should be able to get up to 150kW of power under the right conditions”.

“If your vehicle’s battery voltage is 400V then this would likely be closer to 75kW”.

“However, charging times are not guaranteed and can depend on your vehicle’s battery size, your vehicle’s charging capacity, the charge state of your battery and weather conditions”.

“We remain focused on providing a strong customer experience as people transition to EVs”.

“All things considered, we feel higher current cables can have a detrimental effect on customer experience, reliability and safety given their weight”.

“We are consistently monitoring customer feedback as well as technological advancements to ensure we get the balance right”.

What do you think of AmpCharge’s decision to prioritise reducing the cable weight with resulting trade off of slower charging speeds?

I agree that high amp DC charging cables can be quite heavy and this makes them difficult to manoeuvre for anyone who may be less physically able.

My issue is that the majority of electric car drivers who arrive at a site that advertises “150kW”, rightly or wrongly expect their car to charge at close to that rate (if the car is capable).

It would be good if the AmpCharge sites that have low current cables could be clearly marked in the app and on the physical hardware to say that 400V vehicles will only get appx 75kW rate max and only 800V vehicles will be capable of charging at the full advertised rate of 150kW.

Several EV drivers have told me that they are frustrated and puzzled about why Ampcharge is charging a premium 69c rate/kW and advertising 150kW rate when their EV was supplied at 1/2 that charging rate. They are unaware it is an on purpose design choice intended to make cables lighter and more reliable.


2 responses to “Ampol explains why most electric cars charge up to 75kW rate at AmpCharge EV chargers”

  1. Neerav Bhatt

    EDITOR: these are some of the thoughtful responses to this article on Aussie EV social media groups

    Hans: Its analogous to hi-flow vs lo-flow diesel, which tends to be selectable at the pump. And, BTW, those fuel hoses can be QUITE bulky. I suggest a control group of chargers with heavier cables and faster speeds to measure consumer preferences…

    Christine: I had my first experience of attaching my car to a BP charger the other day. The cable was so difficult to carry that I literally fell over 😞 Luckily only my pride was hurt. Not sure what it would have been like if it was even heavier! My car can only charge at max 48 I think so happy with 75 cables which are not so heavy. I guess signage is the key to managing expectations. I would have liked an “It’s very heavy” sign myself:)

    John: As an i5 owner I don’t see any issues 😉…. But seriously, having just done another road trip some of the 350kw cables are heavy to handle and I can see some people would have issues. Agree that they could better advertise the capabilities.

    Damian: Used AmpCharge on Saturday. Good design. Good to have coffeeshop ‘Foodary’ there. Loved how I didn’t have to add personal deatils to the app. Worked fine. Cable was hard to stretch to car but OK. I’ll try to only use them on long trips as they are very expensive for regular charging. 40% to 86% in 29 mins – $26.70

  2. Wayne Harris

    It is not so much a problem of the EV Charger misleading customers but the Vehicle Manufacturer not properly informing/educating their customes about the characteristics of electric cars. Too often one sees a Nissan Leaf (or similar low charge rate vehicle) plugged into an “ultrafast” 350kWh (max) charger when there is a “fast” 50kWh (max) charger sitting idle in the next parking bay. Then there is the issue of the charge rate vrs SOC that is programmed into the vehicle’s battery management system and the issue of battery temperature and the impact on charge rate. These latter two often leave EV owners scratching their heads if they are unaware of the impact that they have on charge rate.
    Until the vehicle manufacturers explain these issues properly and educate their customers people will continue to incorrectly use and blame the charging infrastructure. Unfortunately most manufacturers do not want to discuss or advertise these limitations as it does not help the marketing narrative.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles