Prototype charging station lets you drive 100km on a three-minute charge

BMW AG and Porsche unveiled a charging station that can jolt electric vehicles with enough power to drive 100 kilometers (62 miles) in less than three minutes, pushing ahead of Tesla Inc. in the race to make battery-powered cars more convenient.

The ultra-fast prototype charger has capacity of 450 kilowatts, more than triple Tesla’s Superchargers. Test vehicles developed to take that much power were recharged to 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes.

Tesla’s stations need about 30 minutes for a similar charge, according to its website.

Developed by a consortium comprising the two German car brands, engineering giant Siemens AG and charging specialists Allego GmbH and Phoenix Contact E-Mobility GmbH, the station in Bavaria was opened to the public on Wednesday.

It’s free to use for existing models, BMW said Thursday in a statement.

One drawback — the charger offers more power than current models can handle. The BMW i3 limits its power intake to 50 kilowatts, while the battery-powered iX3 will triple that to 150 kilowatts when it rolls out in 2020.

Now read: Porsche bets big on electric cars

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Prototype charging station lets you drive 100km on a three-minute charge