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Chinese EV maker XPeng unveils Tesla-beating ultra-fast charger

The electric vehicle charger wars are amping up, with XPeng Motors revealing a new charger in China that can charge an EV more quickly than Tesla’s V3 Supercharger.

Dubbed the S4 supercharger, the new EV charger has a maximum charging speed of 480kW with a maximum current of 670A.

As part of its presentation uploaded by CnEVPost, XPeng showed an example charging session with its newly launched G9 electric SUV.

According to the video, the XPeng G9 received 210km of CLTC range in five minutes of charging.

As a comparison, the Tesla Supercharger V3 has a maximum charging speed of 250kW with a maximum current of 631A.

Tesla’s V3 can deliver 150km of CLTC range in five minutes, according to XPeng.

The XPeng G9 is the brand’s first vehicle that can take advantage of the full 480kW of charging speed thanks in part to its 800V electrical architecture.

The current benchmark for charging speed in EVs is 350kW, which can only theoretically be achieved by the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6, Kia EV6, and Genesis GV60. All of these EVs have an 800V electric architecture, too.

“In the past, it would typically take an hour to charge a battery from 10 per cent to 80 per cent,” said XPeng Motors chairman and CEO Xiaopeng He.

“Moving forward, we’ll make supercharging technology available on all of our cars, allowing them to be charged in only 20–30 minutes.”

The ultra-fast S4 supercharger is IP67 dust- and weather-protected, and also has a “built-in safety monitoring chip”.

XPeng has already installed its first S4 supercharger at the Sunac Mall in Guangzhou, which also marked the 1000th charging point for the Chinese automaker.

It’s unlikely any of these XPeng S4 ultra-fast chargers will ever make it to Australia, but the technology is expected to inspire the next generation of EV chargers.

The most well-known electric car charging network in Australia, and arguably in the world, is the Tesla Supercharger network, which locally has a number of V3 superchargers as well as many 120kW V2 superchargers in operation.

Tesla has previously hinted at working on a next-generation V4 supercharger, with former executive Jerome Guillen saying during the company’s Q3 2020 earnings call that it was working on a “350kW or so” supercharger.

Previous leaked images of these V4 superchargers have shown they are similar in appearance to the Tesla Semi Megachargers and are therefore taller than the current V3 superchargers.

There are only a few public DC ultra-fast chargers that are rated to 350kW locally, but they are growing in number.

The fastest 350kW electric car chargers used by Chargefox and Evie, among other smaller charging networks, are manufactured by Queensland-based company Tritium.

MORE: Chinese Tesla competitor XPeng reveals G9 electric SUV
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