The Fastest Charging Electric Vehicles in 2022 

The Fastest Charging Electric Vehicles in 2022 

You want to go electric, but dread the thought of waiting around the charging station for 45 minutes to an hour. While most electric vehicle charging is done at home overnight (for pennies on the dollar), the occasional road trip necessitates visits to public fast charging stations. Also known as ‘level 3’ DC fast chargers, the amount of time spent charging here varies widely from one electric vehicle model to another. 

These are the fastest charging electric vehicles on the market today. Plus, we’ll take a sneak peek at a few EVs that are just around the corner. 

See the latest availability and wait times for every EV on the market

*Note: Charge times are reflected as 10% to 80% because in all EVs, charging speeds slow significantly beyond 80% state of charge as the battery management system (the car’s computer) balances out the energy distribution at the ‘top of the pack’. In many cases, it may take the same amount of time to charge from 10% to 80% as it does to charge from 80% to 100%.

Fastest Charging Electric Cars Under $45,000

Kia EV6

Wind Rear-Wheel Drive

2022 Kia EV6

10-80% (217 miles of range gained) in 18 minutes

Peak charging power accepted: 235 kilowatts

Range at 80%: 248 miles

Range at 100%: 310 miles

Starting price with destination charges: $49,495

Federal EV tax incentive: Qualifies

Learn more about the 2022 Kia EV6

Hyundai IONIQ 5

Rear-Wheel Drive

The 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

10-80% (212 miles of range gained) in 18 minutes

Peak charging power accepted: 235 kilowatts

Range at 80%: 242 miles

Range at 100%: 303 miles

Starting price with destination charges: $45,200

Federal EV tax incentive: Qualifies

Learn more about the 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

Volkswagen ID.4

Pro Rear-Wheel Drive

2022 Volkswagen ID.4

10-80% (193 miles of range gained) in 29 minutes

Peak charging power accepted: 135 kilowatts

Range at 80%: 220 miles

Range at 100%: 275 miles

Starting price with destination charges: $42,430

Federal EV tax incentive: Qualifies

Learn more about the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4

Electric cars cost $11,000 more than ICE competitors on average. Worried about when you’ll break even with an electric vehicle purchase? We did the math for you. See EV break-even times with and without incentives.

Fastest Charging Electric Cars Under $70,000

Tesla Model 3

Long Range Dual Motor

2022 Tesla Model 3

10-80% (251 miles of range gained) in 22 minutes

Peak charging power accepted: 235 kilowatts

Range at 80%: 286 miles

Range at 100%: 358 miles

Starting price with destination charges: $59,190

Federal EV tax incentive: No longer qualifies

Learn more about the Tesla Model 3

Genesis GV60

Dual-Motor

2022 Genesis GV60

10-80% (174 miles of range gained) in 18 minutes

Peak charging power accepted: 235 kilowatts

Range at 80%: 198 miles

Range at 100%: 248 miles

Starting price with destination charges: $59,980

Federal EV tax incentive: Qualifies

Learn more about the 2022 Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

Long Range Dual-Motor

Tesla Model Y

10-80% (231 miles of range gained) in 22 minutes

Peak charging power accepted: 235 kilowatts

Range at 80%: 264 miles

Range at 100%: 330 miles

Starting price with destination charges: $67,190

Federal EV tax incentive: No longer qualifies

Learn more about the 2022 Tesla Model Y

Ford Mustang Mach-E 

Extended Range Rear-Wheel Drive

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

10-80% (212 miles of range gained) in 45 minutes

Peak charging power accepted: 150 kilowatts

Range at 80%: 242 miles

Range at 100%: 303 miles

Starting price with destination charges: $49,975

Federal EV tax incentive: Qualifies

Learn more about the 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Fastest Charging Electric Trucks

Rivian R1T

Explore

Rivian R1T fast charging

10-80% (220 miles of range gained) in 42 minutes

Peak charging power accepted: 220 kilowatts

Range at 80%: 251 miles

Range at 100%: 314 miles

Starting price: $79,500

Federal EV tax incentive: Qualifies

Learn more about the Rivian R1T

Chevrolet Silverado EV

Mid-Trims TBD

Silverado EV

100 miles of range in 10 minutes is all GM has told us so far

Peak charging power accepted: 350 kilowatts

Range at 80%: 320 miles

Range at 100%: up to 400 miles

Starting price: Estimated $50,000

Federal EV tax incentive: No longer qualifies

Learn more about the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV

Ford F-150 Lightning

XLT Extended Range

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning charging speed

15% to 80% (208 miles of range gained) in 41 minutes

Peak charging power accepted: 150 kilowatts

Range at 80%: 256 miles

Range at 100%: 320 miles

Starting price: $72,474

Federal EV tax incentive: Qualifies

Learn more about the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

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How Did Car Dealerships Become So Powerful in America?

How Did Car Dealerships Become So Powerful in America?

What if I told you that auto dealerships are one of the largest political forces in the United States? To dealerships both big and small, business is about a lot more than selling cars. There are 17,968 new car dealerships in the United States, a figure that has grown at the same time that vehicle inventory has plummeted, and new car prices have skyrocketed. New and used car dealers have become more powerful at a time of unprecedented turmoil in the automotive industry. As the price of a new vehicle rises out of reach for millions more American consumers, the same dealers who are marking up limited inventory are reporting all-time record profits.

How did dealerships come to exert such a massive influence on the economy and even politics of America? Just how powerful are dealers in the nation’s economy and the sphere of American politics? To find out, we’ll take the backroads of America to bring this fascinating story of power and influence into the spotlight. Nine out of ten American households own a car, and 55% of autos are purchased at a dealership. This is the tale of how we got here. 

A Brief History of the Auto Dealership

first dealerships

As the nascent automotive industry came to exist in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, automakers faced a dilemma. They had figured out how to engineer and produce a transformative product, but how would they deliver and service these first automobiles? Better yet, who would educate the consumer about vehicle ownership?

It’s important to remember that automakers were selling ‘horseless carriages’ to customers who literally relied on horses (or their own two feet) for transportation. The majority of the population knew nothing of internal combustion engines. In the first and second decades of the twentieth century, automobile adoption picked up pace. How would an ordered vehicle get to a customer’s hands? Who would service these ‘motor carriages’? Would the customer foot the bill for repairs, or would the automaker offer a warranty? These are just a few of the questions up for debate when the car dealer distribution model was conceived.

early dealership

It took a few decades for the logistics of car distribution to get worked out. Not everyone was on the same page, and some pushed for solutions modeled after other industries. In fact, some early ideas sound ludicrous to us today. Many early auto industry players advocated for a mail order service modeled after the successes of Sears & Roebuck and Montgomery Ward. But that left too many questions unanswered for a young industry that was eager to get it right. Despite the world-changing invention at hand, automakers still feared their own demise. Considering how few of the early automakers have persisted to this day, their fears were not unfounded.

The first dealership in the United States was established in 1898 by William E. Metzger, who sold Oldsmobiles in Detroit. Over the next two decades, the dealership model rose to prominence, slowly overcoming competing automobile sales models. In 1917, the now-famous National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) was established with the goal of giving car dealers a voice in Washington.

The Rise of the Car Dealer Lobby

Dealership lobbying

Today, the NADA is a nationally-recognized industry and political force that represents over 16,000 auto dealers nationwide. However, one of America’s most powerful lobbies had humble beginnings rooted in the turmoil of a wartime economy. 

The NADA was founded in 1917 when a group of dealers set out to change the way Congress viewed the emerging automobile industry. Thirty dealers from state and local associations succeeded in convincing Congress that cars weren’t ‘luxuries’ as they had been classified in the federal tax code. By convincing lawmakers that cars were vital to the economy, the group prevented the conversion of young automobile manufacturing facilities into wartime factories. The so-called ‘luxury tax’ that had been levied on cars was reduced from 5 percent to 3 percent. 

In essence, the NADA has been lobbying since the very beginning. And they’re good at it. From 1919 to the present day, the group spearheaded hundreds of legislative priorities that served the interest of the ever-growing number of car dealers in the United States. 

Think Local: State and Local Dealer Groups 

vehicle ownership
Source: Vizual Statistix

In American car culture, cars are central to the economy and most of our day-to-day lives. In 2020, 91% of American households owned at least one car, a figure that continues to grow. Where do the 276 million registered vehicles in the U.S. come from? Until the rise of direct-to-consumer sales in the past decade, it was almost always from a local dealer. 

State dealer associations are prominent organizations around the country. Some states have massive state-level associations. The Florida Automobile Dealers Association has over 1,000 dealer members, and dozens of other states have associations of similar size. Political action begins at the grassroots level, and this is where state dealer associations flex their muscle. 

State auto dealer associations provide networking opportunities for professionals, a regional dealer support system, and a venue for working out solutions to challenges. There’s also the unified political voice that lobbies at the local, state and nationwide levels. Lobbyists advocate to influence political decisions on behalf of a client. Lobbying costs money, both in the form of employing professional lobbyists, and in lawmaker donations. I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine? Dealer industry associations have shown time and time again that they’re highly effective lobbyists achieve their desired outcome more often than not. Money talks. 

SOS: Save Our Service Department

A recent example of what’s possible at the state level comes in the form of an emerging legislative push that’s troubling for any electric vehicle owner or prospective buyer. In 2022, bills were introduced in both Oklahoma and West Virginia that would ban over-the-air (OTA) updates. Why? Car dealer lobbying groups are doing their best to keep drivers returning to dealer service centers for repairs. Tesla’s pioneering OTA updates have revolutionized everything from performance upgrades via wifi to recall fixes from the comfort of home. 

dealership service center profits

Why would dealership lobbying groups have a bone to pick with OTA updates? Service center visits account for nearly half of total dealership revenue, with some locations relying heavily on service to stay profitable. The electrification of the auto industry is here, and resistance to OTA updates is just a sign of what could be around the corner. 

Online car sales have disrupted the industry over the past decade, with the likes of Carvana and Vroom seemingly coming out of nowhere. Their entrance hasn’t been without problems. Carvana is under pressure for repeatedly failing to transfer vehicle titles in a timely manner. The solution? A Florida state senator took the time to hand-craft legislation to simply remove the requirement to provide the title at all. If that’s not motivated by state-level dealer lobbying, I don’t know what is. 

The Power of Dealerships Isn’t Just Political

Over 1.2 million Americans are employed at the nearly 18,000 franchised car dealerships and 60,000 independent dealerships in the United States. The power of dealerships is very much rooted in the economy of the nation. However, this power is not evenly distributed. In many communities, particularly in small-town America, dealerships have an oversized role in the local economy. 

Jim Lardner, spokesperson for Americans for Financial Reform, told David Dayen of The Intercept that communities sometimes even rely on the economic powerhouse of locally owned and operated dealerships. “They sponsor Little League teams. Their advertising dollars are crucial to local newspapers and broadcasters. When they talk, lawmakers don’t just listen — they have a hard time hearing anybody else or looking at facts.”

As is often the case, with more economic power comes the appetite for political power. Sure, probably not for the sake of power itself, but to have a say in the rules of the game.

How Do Auto Dealers Influence Politics? You Guessed It…

dealership profits

The National Auto Dealers Association has delivered $35 million to members of Congress since 2022. The NADA maintains a large lobbying operation in DC, one that costs $3 million a year to operate. The power of dealers is not limited to the doings of the NADA and state-level associations. In a recent election cycle, 372 of 435 members of the House of Representatives received campaign contributions (money) from auto dealers. 57 out of 100 senators could say the same. 

Dealers Don’t Go It Alone

On a national level, the NADA has collaborated with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and even the American Financial Services Association to push favorable legislation. In 2015, a rare bipartisan bill was a textbook example. The bipartisan bill amounted to a stand-down order to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Shouldn’t lawmakers be standing up for the consumer, not the opposite? 

It gets worse. The CFPB was established in 2011 to protect consumers to promote “transparency and consumer choice and prevent abusive and deceptive financial practices. It was partially in response to what we all went through in the 2008 financial crisis. When the CFPB was created, a special provision was added last-minute just for nervous dealers. This provision, which is enshrined in CFPB regulations, says that the agency itself can NOT directly monitor dealerships. As David Daley notes in his wonderful piece in The Intercept, “the CFPB can only fine the lenders who finance car purchases, not the dealers who make the markups”. 

Riders: The Secret Sauce

This is one of many examples of auto dealers wielding their power to influence laws and regulations in their favor. The secret to their success is something called legislative riders. Riders are provisions or ‘add-ons’ that can be added to a bill last-minute, often with hopes of its controversial aspects being buried in the hundreds or thousands of pages of more newsworthy text. The West Virginia OTA ban that was proposed and later removed is one such example. It was conveniently tucked into a much larger pro-dealer bill.

What Does the Future Hold? 

Silverado EV
2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV

The rise of electric vehicles is changing the industry unlike ever before. 

Record new and used car prices have soured consumer sentiment. Dealer markups regularly reach beyond $10,000, and more car buyers are turning to Tesla and other direct-to-consumer automakers to steer clear of the dealership experience. Nine out of ten Tesla buyers cite the no-hassle direct-to-consumer sales model as a major factor in their buying decision. Now, legacy automakers are testing the waters too.

In early 2022, Ford made headlines with the announcement that it would split into two new companies under the Ford Motor Company umbrella: Ford Blue for combustion sales, and Ford Model e for electric vehicle sales, including the very popular F-150 Lightning

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro

Ford Model e transforms Ford’s electric vehicles sales model to something between direct-to-consumer and the traditional dealership model. There will be no-haggle set pricing, online ordering, but dealers will continue with a role as delivery, test drive and service centers. If you haven’t connected the dots, Ford is taking a few big steps away from the past century of traditional dealership sales. Will other automakers follow?

Mercedes-Benz and BMW are beginning to test what they call agency sales in Europe. Essentially, it’s the same concept as Ford’s Model e business model. Are the floodgates opening in the push to direct-to-consumer sales? We’ll know soon enough. 

Car dealerships are powerful economic and political forces in America. The birth of American car culture parallel to the rise of the dealership lobby was no coincidence. However, times are changing. Can dealers lobby their way out of an industry that is evolving at breakneck speed? What will buying a vehicle look like a decade from now? Unknowns abound, but one thing is for sure: the salespeople out front are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

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The Best Electric Vehicle Battery Warranties in 2022

The Best Electric Vehicle Battery Warranties in 2022

Outside of warranty, electric car battery replacement costs range from $2,000 – $8,000 in a hybrid or plug-in hybrid all the way to $12,000 – $20,000 in a fully-electric vehicle. It’s true that batteries should be much more affordable a decade from now, but that’s a lot of money on the line. To protect your wallet, EV manufacturer warranties should be a top consideration for drivers looking to go electric. These are the best electric vehicle warranties in 2022. The top of the list was unexpected to say the least!

The Best EV Battery Warranty

Rivian (8 years or 175,000 miles)

Surprise! The best EV warranty is offered by Rivian for the all-new R1T electric truck and R1S electric SUV. Coverage includes all components inside the high-voltage battery and 70% or more of the battery capacity for 8 years or 175,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Drivetrain components are also covered for 8 years or 175,000 miles. It can be unnerving to purchase a vehicle from a startup like Rivian, so at least they’re offering the best battery warranty there is. Learn more about Rivian’s warranty here.

Tesla Battery Warranty

Tesla’s electric powertrain warranty is split into two tiers. 

  • The Tesla Model S (starting at $99,990) and Tesla Model X (starting at $114,990) have 8 year or 150,000 mile electric powertrain warranties. Battery capacity retention is guaranteed to be at least 70% under warranty.
  • The Tesla Model 3 Long Range and Performance and all Tesla Model Y’s get an 8 year or 120,000 mile powertrain warranty. 
  • The most affordable Tesla today is the Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive, which gets an 8 year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. 

Learn more about Tesla’s battery warranty. 

The Best Battery Warranty For Affordable Electric Cars

Hyundai and Kia (10 years or 100,000 miles)

2022 Kia EV6

For electric cars under $65,000, you can’t beat Hyundai and Kia’s 10 year/100,000 mile EV warranty. The Hyundai EV warranty covers batteries, motors and powertrain components. There’s also the guarantee of at least 70% battery capacity retention. “While all electric-car batteries will experience degradation over time, ours will not degrade more than 70 percent of the original capacity during the warranty period.”

Learn more about Hyundai’s electric vehicle battery warranty. You can find Kia’s EV warranty details here

The Rest of the Gang: 8 year/100,000 Mile Battery and Powertrain Warranty

In 2022, it looks like the industry standard for EV manufacturer warranties is 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. This manufacturer warranty applies to the following electric vehicles in 2022:

The Worst EV Battery Warranty in 2022

Volvo (55% battery retention warranty) and General Motors (60% battery capacity guarantee)

Unfortunately, this disappointing award goes to both Volvo and General Motors. Volvo makes some nice looking EVs, and Polestar’s much better warranty is essentially for Volvo’s with a different brand name. The battery retention warranty information was difficult to find, even a Volvo customer service representative couldn’t get me the information. I ended up finding one mention of the 55% battery capacity warranty here. Disappointing to say the least.

I’m surprised that GM is continuing to settle for last considering their much-publicized push to electrify their entire lineup quickly. The Chevrolet Bolt and GMC Hummer EV have 8 year/100,000 mile battery warranties with a notable catch. The battery retention portion of the warranty will replace the battery if it falls below 60% of the original capacity under coverage. See the full details here

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Electric Cars, Trucks and SUVs With the Best Range in 2022

Electric Cars, Trucks and SUVs With the Best Range in 2022

You don’t have to spend one hundred grand to purchase an electric vehicle with great range in 2022. EVs aren’t cheap, but with fuel savings taken into account, the electric lifestyle starts to sound a lot more appealing. There’s a saying in electric mobility: range is king. That’s especially true for frequent road-trippers and those who live in one of America’s remaining charging deserts. These are the electric vehicles with the most range in 2022. 

Note: We’ve decided to place an emphasis on affordable electric vehicles with the most range. Affordability is a moving target in 2022’s crazy auto market, but in the realm of EVs, we’ve defined ‘affordable’ as EVs under $65,000. If you’re in the market for luxury, we’ve got those covered too.

Electric Cars With the Best Range

Tesla Model 3 Long Range (Dual Motor)

2022 Tesla Model 3

Range: 358 miles

Price: $57,190 with destination

Max charging speed: 250 kW (20-80% in 20 minutes, adding 214 miles of range)

0-60 mph (fun factor):

Federal EV tax credit qualification: No, credits were exhausted. Learn about EV incentives here.

See our full review of the 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range here

Polestar 2 Front-Wheel Drive

Polestar 2 range

Range: 270 miles

Price: $49,800 with destination

Max charging speed: 250 kW (20-80% in 20 minutes, adding 214 miles of range)

0-60 mph (fun factor): 6.8 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: Yes, learn more about EV incentives here.

See our full review of the Polestar 2 here

Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive

Range: 272 miles

Price: $48,190 with destination

Max charging speed: 150 kW (20-80% in 20 minutes, adding 163 miles of range)

0-60 mph (fun factor): 5.8 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: No, credits were exhausted. Learn about EV incentives here.

See our full review of the 2022 Tesla Model 3 here

Chevrolet Bolt

2022 Chevrolet Bolt range

Range: 259 miles

Price: $26,595 with destination (most affordable EV available today)

Max charging speed: 55 kW (adding 100 miles of range in 30 minutes, or 200 miles of range in 75 minutes)

0-60 mph (fun factor): 6.8 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: No, credits were exhausted. Learn about EV incentives here.

See our full review of the Chevrolet Bolt here

Here’s our list of the cheapest electric cars available today

Electric Crossovers/SUVs With the Best Range

Tesla Model Y Long Range (Dual Motor)

2022 Tesla Model Y range

Range: 330 miles

Price: $64,190 with destination

Max charging speed: 250 kW (adding 100 miles of range in 30 minutes, or 200 miles of range in 75 minutes)

0-60 mph (fun factor): 4.8 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: No, credits were exhausted. Learn about EV incentives here

See our full review of the Tesla Model Y here

Kia EV6 Rear-wheel drive

2022 Kia EV6 range

Range: 310 miles

Price: $42,155 with destination

Max charging speed: 235 kW (15-80% in 20 minutes, adding 217 miles of range in 18 minutes)

0-60 mph (fun factor): 7.3 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: Yes, learn more about EV incentives here.

See our full review of the Kia EV6 here

Hyundai IONIQ 5 Rear-wheel drive

Hyundai IONIQ 5 range

Range: 303 miles

Price: $45,295 with destination

Max charging speed: 235 kW (15-80% in 20 minutes, adding 197 miles of range in 18 minutes)

0-60 mph (fun factor): 7.5 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: Yes, learn more about EV incentives here.

See our full review of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 here.

Ford Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 RWD

mustang mach-e range
Shrimp in an EV? Yes, of course.

Range: 314 miles

Price: $53,550 with destination

Max charging speed: 150 kW (10-80% in 45 minutes, adding 220 miles of range)

0-60 mph (fun factor): 6.1 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: Yes, learn more about EV incentives here.

See our full review of the Ford Mustang Mach-E here.

Cadillac Lyriq Rear-wheel drive

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

Range: 312 miles

Price: $64,185 with destination

Max charging speed: 190 kW (adding 195 miles of range in 30 minutes)

0-60 mph (fun factor): 6.4 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: No, credits were exhausted. Learn about EV incentives here

See our full review of the Cadillac Lyriq here.

See the latest EV availability and wait times for EVERY model

Electric Trucks With the Best Range

There are now three electric pickup trucks on American roads, but buying one is easier said than done. Everyone wants one, and wait lists extend months and in some cases, years. We’ve decided to include electric trucks that are not yet available for purchase, so long as specs have been released and reservations or orders can be placed today.

Ford F-150 Lightning XLT Extended Range 

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Lariat

Range: 320 miles

Price: $72,474

Max charging speed: 130 kW (15-80% in 40 minutes)

0-60 mph (fun factor): estimated 4.5 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: Yes, learn more about EV incentives here.

See our full review of the F-150 Lightning here.

Chevrolet Silverado EV

2024 Silverado EV RST

Range: Estimated 400 miles

Price: $42,000 – $100,000+

Max charging speed: 350 kW (adding 100 miles of range in 10 minutes)

0-60 mph (fun factor): N/A

Federal EV tax credit qualification: No, credits were exhausted. Learn about EV incentives here

See our full review of the Silverado EV here.

Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T electric truck

Range: 314 miles

Price: $80,000 – $100,000+

Max charging speed: 220 kW (10-80% in 40 minutes)

0-60 mph (fun factor): 3.0 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: Yes, learn more about EV incentives here.

Learn more about Rivian’s R1T and R1S full-size SUV.

Luxury Electric Vehicles With the Best Range

Lucid Air Grand Touring

Lucid Air

Range: 516 miles

Price: $139,000

Max charging speed: 300 kW (adding 300 miles of range in 20 minutes)

0-60 mph (fun factor): 2.6 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: Yes, learn more about EV incentives here.

See our full review of the Lucid Air here.

Tesla Model S Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive

Model S range

Range: 405 miles

Price: $101,990

Max charging speed: 250 kW (adding 200 miles of range in 15 minutes)

0-60 mph (fun factor): 3.1 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: No, credits were exhausted. Learn about EV incentives here

Mercedes EQS 450+

Mercedes EQS 450+ range

Range: 350 miles

Price: $139,000

Max charging speed: 200 kW (adding 200 miles of range in 20 minutes)

0-60 mph (fun factor): 5.5 seconds

Federal EV tax credit qualification: Yes, learn more about EV incentives here.

See our full review of the Mercedes EQS here.

What does the future hold? Not necessarily more range, surprisingly. Many auto analysts expect range for relatively affordable EVs to settle in around the 250-350 mile range. Why? Battery shortages loom on the horizon. Raw materials are in high demand, and there are only so many places on Earth to get lithium, cobalt and other materials.

Should you buy an EV now or wait? If you can find what you want for MSRP or very close to it, it just might be the right time to buy or lease. All signs point towards higher EV prices for 2023 and 2024 model years.

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The Hidden Risks of EV Fast Charging (and Free Charging Incentives)

The Hidden Risks of EV Fast Charging (and Free Charging Incentives)

fast charging battery degradation

Until there’s a Carfax for electric vehicle battery health, car buyers should bear in mind the unknowns of the used EV market. We’re used to hearing of highway miles versus stop and go, or oil changes every 3,000 miles. When it comes to the health of a 1,000 pound battery pack that costs $15,000 to replace, it’s important to know how ownership habits affect the longevity and performance of a modern electric car. How does fast charging impact the health of the battery? Is it worse than plugging in at home? We’re about to address these very important questions and more. 

The Dangers of Relying On Public Fast Chargers

In automotive media, we often harp on the quickest charging possible. I’m guilty of that myself, and it IS an important measure of an electric vehicle’s engineering. EVs will never win over the masses with charging rates like this. However, reliance on direct current (DC) fast charging is a real threat to the longevity of EVs that we all expect and embrace. A ruined battery with a stunted lifespan is not only an expensive fix, it’s horrible for the environment. 

Kia EV6 fast charging
The 2022 Kia EV6 charges from 15% to 80% in just 20 minutes.

Every new tech revolution brings its own growing pains. With the personal computer came lessons learned about viruses, scammers and how to use email without annoying everyone. EVs bring a new set of challenges, but they’re challenges that can easily be overcome with a little bit of outreach and driver education.

So without further ado, here’s a public service announcement from YAA Electric:

Don’t rely on fast charging for your daily charging needs

Why is this important enough to shout from the rooftops? DC fast charging stresses batteries to the point of degradation. Let’s take a look at a recent literature review of what scientists have found.

Authors Bhagavathy et al. (2021) summarized the last decade’s worth of research in the realm of battery degradation. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Frequent use of DC fast charging can cause battery capacity to decrease by 3% to in some cases 6%
  • High current generates more heat, and it’s the heat that damages the battery

Who cares, 3% to 6% is nothing, right? Not so. When most electric vehicles have a rated range of just 220 to 275 miles, every mile counts. Losing 6% of rated range to degradation would drop my own Hyundai IONIQ 5’s range from 256 miles on a charge down to 240 miles. I’d rather treat my battery nicely and keep that extra 16 miles of driving range. I might need it someday.

Other factors that reduce the longevity of EV batteries are:

  • Frequently operating the vehicle below 5% state of charge
  • Frequently letting the vehicle sit with a state of charge near or at 100%. 
  • Frequent fast charging in extreme temperatures

Generally, 10% – 85% is the range of optimal battery health. 

Don’t Abuse Free Charging Incentives

EV charging costs
The Volkswagen ID.4 comes with three years of free charging at Electrify America

More likely than not, the electric vehicle you’re in the market for comes with some kind of free charging incentive. This is great for road trips, but be careful not to abuse the privilege. If you rely on DC fast chargers at Electrify America or Tesla Superchargers all the time simply because you can, you may end up wishing you didn’t when your range slips away quicker than expected.

Here’s everything you’ve wanted to know about Electrify America charging stations

Battery Chemistry Matters

Almost all electric vehicles use some version of the tried and true lithium ion battery. The specific chemistry of each battery is what gives it particular performance characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. Most are named after the makeup of their cathodes, the negatively-charged electrode. 

To further explain, here are a few of the most common electric vehicle battery chemistries:

Battery ChemistryStrengthsWeaknessesFeatured In:
NCM (Lithium-Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt)High energy density, lower cost, longer lifespanCan't have optimal energy AND powerFord Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6, some Teslas
NMA (Lithium-Nickel-Manganese-Aluminum)Cobalt-free (good for Earth)Some have lower energy densityTBD
NCMA (Lithium-Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese-Aluminum)Less cobalt (good for Earth), higher energy densityLimited supplyGM's Ultium platform, some Teslas
LFP (Lithium-Iron-Phosphate)Rechargeability, long life, low cost, availabilityLess energy dense, less powerTesla Model 3 RWD
Solid-State (many chemistries in development)More energy dense, safer, faster chargingYet to be produced at mass scaleTBD

One of the greatest strengths of the lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery is its ability to withstand repeated charge and discharge cycles better than other batteries. A rear-wheel drive Tesla Model 3 with LFP batteries would not be as harmed by repeated fast-charging as an EV with other battery chemistries. Perhaps that’s why Hertz was so eager to buy 100,000 of them for their rental fleet!

What Will the Future Bring?

Solid-state batteries in development
Solid-state batteries in development

For years, engineers and EV enthusiasts alike have been anticipating the arrival of the first solid-state batteries in production electric-vehicles. When will it happen at last? It’s looking like 2025 at the earliest. And even then, solid-state batteries may only arrive in hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrains (according to Toyota’s plan). 

Other than that, the future is here folks. Competing battery chemistries are in a tug-of-war for market share and ‘strategic partnerships’, as the automakers like to call it. But more important than automaker plans is the need for drivers to learn the nuances of EV ownership. Don’t fast-charge your EV just because you can, do it when you must. Otherwise, we could be looking at a used EV market swamped with degraded and abused batteries just a few years down the road. That wouldn’t help the EV revolution one bit. 

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