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IT'S MORE THAN JUST OIL. IT'S LIQUID ENGINEERING.

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  5. CHARGE TIME TIPPING POINT

Charge time: The 31 minute challenge

How can the industry address misconceptions around electric vehicle charge times and meet consumer expectations?

THE TIME IT TAKES TO CHARGE AN EV IS THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT ‘CRITICAL CHALLENGE’ FOR THE CONSUMERS IN OUR STUDY.

The tipping point charge time at which most consumers told us they would consider buying an EV is 31 minutes*.

 

Charge times for EVs can currently range from 30 minutes to 24 hours, depending on the battery capacity and charging station. In order for half of our consumer respondents to consider switching to an EV, charge times need to be around 31 minutes, about the same length of time as a typical lunch break.


According to our research, consumers are prepared to wait considerably longer for an EV recharge than a typical ICE refuel. This is positive news for manufacturers, but the ultimate goal is for EVs to charge as quickly as an ICE refuel. Two out of three of the consumers surveyed said they believe that this is necessary for EVs to become the majority.

In my view, the optimal charging time would be similar to what it takes to fill up a full tank of petrol and that has to be the goal. But, I think with EVs there might be a little higher tolerance. 20- 30 minutes is quite desirable and should be acceptable.PresidentEV based Consultancy Company, US
The most important critical challenges as ranked by consumers (left chart); 38% price, 27% charge time, 20% range, 11% infrastructure, 4% vehicle size/type and that by fleet managers (right chart); 34% range, 22% vehicle size/type, 20% infrastructure, 15% price, 9% charge time.


Fleet managers in our study ranked faster charging times as the lowest priority out of the five ‘critical challenges’. This may be due to better access to charging infrastructure compared to consumers. They told us their ideal charge time was between 36-39 minutes.


However, over half (57%) of OEMs we surveyed reported that a 30-40 minute charge time is already possible for vehicles with access to rapid charging stations.

As with perceptions about price, this reveals an opportunity to educate consumers about the existing capabilities of EVs and charging stations. It also underlines other critical challenges for consumers and fleet managers: access to charging infrastructure and the range of their vehicles.


Over three-quarters of the OEMs in our research told us that the future of the EV market lies with the relationship between battery manufacturers and car makers. Researching and developing improved battery e-Fluid technologies will be essential, and could  play a significant role in achieving the charge time tipping point and accelerating the mainstream adoption of EVs.


A 31 minute charge time will mean a significant boost to EV sales, with electric vehicles representing a market of $224 billion per year by 2025 across the eight markets in our study if this tipping point is achieved. Globally this could represent 10% of all new cars sold across the world by 2025 (head to page 43 of the report to read more about the methodology).

For more insights on EV adoption, download the Accelerating the EVolution report or view the infographic.
As electric vehicles perform better and charge faster, the thermal stress on their batteries is increased. To deal with this increased pressure, next-generation battery electric vehicles are moving to direct cooling for battery thermal management. Advanced coolant e-fluid has important properties to enable this enhanced thermal management, keeping the batteries cool and the car running even in extreme conditions.Rebecca YatesCastrol Product Development Director, Industrial and Driveline Lubricants

Castrol e-Fluids

Our range of e-Fluids has been developed to meet the needs of vehicle manufacturers, enabling electric vehicles to run smoothly, efficiently and stay cool. Find out more about how our range of e-Fluids are powering the future of mobility

*Tipping points and supporting figures on this page are based on our 2020 survey. More information can be found in the Accelerating the EVolution report and infographic.