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Chinese EV Minivan Adds 310 Miles Of Range In 10 Minutes Of Charging

If you needed any more proof that many of China’s electric cars run circles around what we get here in the West, well, here you go. 

A new video out on Chinese social media, first spotted by CarNewsChina, showcases the absurdly quick charging speeds of the upcoming Li Auto Mega minivan. The futuristic, Dustbuster-shaped three-row vehicle is set to go on sale in China on March 1. It’ll start at the equivalent of around $83,000, the EV startup says.

Get Fully Charged

This Chinese minivan can Get Fully Charged very quickly

Li Auto has become one of the best-selling premium EV brands in China. Most U.S. spec EVs aren’t even close to being able to add this much range this quickly on a fast-charger. Tech like this represents just how far ahead China is in the electric race.

In the short clip taken at a fast-charging station, the Mega manages to recharge from just under 10% to 80% in just 10 minutes and 36 seconds. That’s practically as quick as getting gas and blows the entire U.S. EV market out of the water. 

Here in the U.S., getting a 10%-80% fast charge takes anywhere from 18 minutes (in a particularly advanced car like the Kia EV6) to over an hour (in something less cutting-edge like the Toyota BZ4X). To be sure, fast charging isn’t everything. Most EV owners these days charge slowly at home and wake up every morning to a topped-up car. 

Even more impressive is the amount of range that the Mega recoups in that brief charging stint. Clearly, 10%-80% can mean vastly different things depending on the size of a vehicle’s battery pack and the distance it can travel on a full charge. 

At the start of charging, the Mega displayed 68 kilometers of range remaining. By the end, it was up to 568. So that 10-minute charging session yielded approximately 500 kilometers, or 310 miles, of driving range—if you take the Mega’s estimate at face value.

In real-world conditions, it’s probably less. But that’s still a massive achievement. According to CarNewsChina, the Mega’s battery comes from China’s CATL. 

 

The key here is the monstrous amount of charging power the Mega can accept. The session’s charging rate peaked at some 521 kilowatts (kW), more than double what a Tesla can handle. Here in the U.S., we don’t have cars that can accept nearly that much power, nor do we have the charging infrastructure to dispense it.

The country’s very best charging stations are rated at 350 kW, and there are only a few vehicles that can take full advantage of them. China, which is far ahead of the U.S. in so many areas of the great zero-emission transition, already has charging plugs rated at 500 kW and up in the ground. 

The fastest-charging electric model on sale in the U.S. is the Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan, according to a recent Edmunds study. It maxes out at 236 kW and can add 100 miles of range in 7 minutes and 48 seconds, Edmunds said. Porsche, Tesla and the startup Lucid Motors are up there as well. 

It’s a given that we’ll see faster charging cars in the U.S. sometime soon. The question is: Will they come from familiar faces—or from the looming Chinese manufacturers expected to take America by storm in the near future? 

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