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E-cars charge electricity for 100 kilometers in just five minutes

EnBW is building Europe's largest fast charging station near the Kamener Kreuz. It is designed for 52 e-vehicles and intended for all e-cars. But only the latest models can fully utilize the generous power range of 300 kW.

EnBW is building Europe's largest fast charging park at Kamener Kreuz. At the end of the year, more than 50 cars can be charged there simultaneously. Image: EnBW

Certain e-cars can fill up with electricity for the next 100 km within five minutes at the latest fast charging station from the Karlsruhe electricity supplier EnBW. This is possible because the charging stations provide a generous 300 kW. The largest charging station park in Europe will be added this year. Near the Kamener Kreuz, the intersection of motorways 1 and 2, 52 e-cars are to be supplied with certified green electricity at the same time from autumn. A bit of it comes from the roof of the huge station. The solar system installed there has a peak output of 120 kW.

Full performance only for a few cars

Although the batteries of all e-cars can be charged at the Kamener Kreuz, only a few can use the full power, i.e. be back on the road in no time at all. In addition to the Model 3 from Tesla, these include the Audi e-tron, the Porsche Taycan, the VW ID.3, the Ford Mach-E and the Polestar 2 from the Swedish company Polestar. The charging station adapts to the respective cars. Some can only tolerate a small amount of power, others say “full capacity”. In older vehicles it can therefore take two hours or more before their batteries are charged, while the batteries of modern cars are sometimes full again after 30 minutes.

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Older vehicles are usually connected to AC power sources. These cars are equipped with power electronics that convert the alternating current into direct current with the required voltage. These electronics are the limiting factor for the maximum power that can be transmitted. Modern electric vehicles "fill up" with direct current that already has the correct voltage. However, this does not work on all pillars by a long way. On those that are set up near the Kamen Cross, yes.

Reach plays a crucial role

When deciding for or against an electric car, the range plays a decisive role, except for people who only want to use the vehicle for short journeys. They hang it on their home socket in the evening so that the batteries are full again the next morning. But if you are planning vacation trips or long journeys for other reasons, you want a car that doesn't have to be charged for hours every few 100 km.

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The manufacturers have something to offer. EnBW has compiled a hit list of the vehicles with the greatest range, which, however, are based on the information provided by the manufacturer. The real range can be considerably lower because it depends on two factors in particular. First of all, the individual driving style plays a role. Those who love strong acceleration and like to drive at high speed will not get as far as those who roll gently. The weather has an even greater influence. On cold days, when the heating is required, the range can drop by more than 10%.

Tesla's Model S at the top

According to information from EnBW, the Tesla Model S has a range of 650 km, followed by Ford's Mustang Mach E with 60 km. Third place is the VW ID.3 with 550 km. Among the ten best electric cars, the Audi e-tron comes in last with 420 km, behind the Porsche Taycan, which has a distance of 450 km. The most expensive vehicle, the Polestar 2, is available from € 93,800. The cheapest are the VW ID.3 and the Hyundai Kona Elektro, which are available from € 42,000. However, the state takes on several thousands of them.