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.