Chargepoint has begun “large scale deployment” of it new Express Plus Power Link 2000, a DC charging station capable of delivering up to 500 kW – twice as fast as Tesla’s V3 Supercharger. The only issue is we only know of one car that can handle it.
The chargers are being rolled out as part of the Mercedes-Benz HPC NA network, and consist of “Power Blocks” housing up to five “Power Modules” that send electricity to “Power Link” stations, where you can plug your car in.
The new Power Blocks can feed up to half a megawatt to a given Power Link, which can charge up to two cars simultaneously. But if only one is plugged in, the liquid-cooled cables and “proprietary cooling architecture” are ready to handle a full 500-kW charge for “sustained periods of time” – although realistically it’ll only hit this kind of speed briefly when sending electrons into an empty battery.
Or not at all – Mercedes-Benz will be running these machines at a maximum of 400 kW, since its EQS electric flagship can only handle charge rates up to 207 kW. The Porsche Taycan and Audi E-Tron GT, for their part, can handle up to 270 kW, and the Lucid Air, which topped Car and Driver’s 2022 EV charging speed test, peaks at nearly 300 kW, a decent chunk faster than the Tesla Model S Plaid at 250 kW.
So Chargepoint’s new ultra-fast charger is more about simultaneous fast-charging of two existing cars, and future-proofing for the next 5-10 years, than it is about delivering a service that anyone really needs right now.
Well, unless you own a Rimac Nevera – which along with smashing some 23 production car acceleration and braking records in one day earlier this year, and setting the world record for the highest speed in reverse just last week, is also ready to handle charge rates up to half a megawatt according to founder and CEO Mate Rimac.
The first of Mercedes-Benz’s ultra high speed Charging Hubs is located at the company’s USA headquarters in Sandy Springs, Georgia, and open to vehicles of all brands. The company has committed more than US$1 billion to deliver at least 400 charging hubs across North America, and 2,500 chargers, by 2030.