What electric-car charging will satisfy a mass market? Twitter poll results

Tesla Model S at Supercharger site in Ventura, CA, with just one slot open  [photo: David Noland]

Tesla Model S at Supercharger site in Ventura, CA, with just one slot open [photo: David Noland]

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One of the obvious challenges of even the latest electric cars is that you can’t drive them coast-to-coast as quickly as you can gasoline cars.

It’s far from impossible to do such a trip—especially if you own a Tesla and can use the company’s DC fast-charging Supercharger network—but it will take longer.

Even under optimal circumstances, a Tesla trip at highway speeds will require a 20- to 40-minute stop about every 2 hours to recharge.

DON’T MISS: What will get more people to consider electric cars? Take our Twitter poll

It’s important to note that very, very few people actually use their cars for trips beyond, say, 500 miles (which would require a stop or two).

But the need to recharge for longer trips remains a huge perceptual hurdle among mass-market buyers.

What speed of recharging will it take to lay this concern to rest?

What electric-car charging will satisfy the mass market?

One maker has very definite ideas on that topic, but we were curious to see what our followers at large felt about the matter.

We surveyed our Twitter folloers on the question of what kind of electric-car charging would satisfy a mass-market audience.

The responses were spread out, but the consensus number with 53 percent of the votes was “250 miles in 15 to 20 minutes.”

READ THIS: Porsche’s 800-Volt fast charging for electric cars: why it matters

Next most popular, with 23 percent, was “Faster than the above,” meaning more than 250 miles or quicker than 15 to 20 minutes, or both.

The current state of the art, “today’s fast charging”—which we’ll interpret to mean the non-Tesla 50-kilowatt maximum in all installed CCS and CHAdeMO fast-charging stations today—was enough for just 9 percent of voters.

And only 15 percent chose “200 miles in 30 to 40 minutes,” today’s Tesla Supercharger benchmark.

The consensus rate, 250 miles in 15 to 20 minutes, is exactly what German sports-car maker Porsche is targeting with its planned “Turbo Charging” 800-volt, 350-kilowatt fast-charging protocol already being tested.

While its corporate sibling Audi has said it will provide 150-kw fast charging on the 2019 Audi e-tron all-electric crossover utility vehicle that goes into production later this year, that will only roughly equal the Tesla Supercharger rate.

CHECK OUT: Porsche prototype 350-kw electric car fast-charging station installed

Porsche said from the beginning that its customers expected much faster charging rates that would roughly equal the speed and convenience of gasoline stops. Our survey respondents clearly agree.

As always, please note that our Twitter polls are far from scientifically valid, due to small sample size and self-selection by those who choose to participate.

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