Fast and rapid charging guide

As the name suggests, a rapid charger is much faster than your average electric vehicle charger. These super powerful units can see your car charged to 80% in less than an hour depending on your car’s model and battery capacity. Plus, they’re extremely convenient for those who are always on the go.

However, with rapid chargers still being a relatively new concept, EV drivers have found themselves wondering how it all works, and if continuously using rapid chargers could have a negative impact on future battery life. That’s why we’ve put together this useful guide to tell you everything you need to know about rapid car charging.

What is rapid charging?

There are three different types of charging methods available: slow, fast and rapid. And, as you can guess, rapid charging is currently the fastest way to charge an electric vehicle. It’s worth noting that with most, they’ll only charge your vehicle to 80% rapidly, in order to preserve your car’s battery life, before dropping to a slower pace.

There are currently two routes to rapid charging: alternating current (AC), which offers more power than fast car chargers at 43kW. The other way is via direct current (DC). This provides DC straight to the car so there’s no need for a converter, allowing the vehicle to be charged at a much faster rate.


What’s the difference between rapid and fast car chargers?

Fast car chargers come as different varieties, from 7kW to 22kW. A 7kW charger takes between 4 to 6 hours to fully charge a vehicle, whereas 22kW will take around 1 or 2 hours. Most fast devices will be AC, but a few providers are now creating DC ones too.

Additionally, most fast car chargers are untethered, meaning the cable isn’t attached to the device, so you can use your own.

This can sometimes be more convenient than rapid chargers that have tethered cables, so only vehicles that are compatible with that connector will be able to use that particular device.

How can I find rapid car chargers?

You can usually find rapid chargers at most motorway services, which makes it more convenient than ever. So, while you pick up a cup of coffee or a quick bite to eat, you can leave your car charging and be on the road again in under an hour.

The best way to find rapid charging points near you is with apps like Plugshare, NewMotion and Plugsurfing. These handy tools allow you to quickly locate charge points near you, and they even have a route planner feature – perfect for longer drives. At the moment there aren’t as many DC rapid chargers when compared to AC, slow, or fast car chargers, but this is set to boom with more and more people choosing to go electric.


Are all cars rapid charging friendly?

To be able to rapidly charge your car, it’ll need to have rapid charging capabilities. For chargers that use AC, your car will need to have a type 2 connector.

DC chargers, on the other hand, use CCS or CHAdeMO connectors, so you’ll only be able to use one of these if your car is compatible.

Will rapid charging damage my battery?

No, rapid charging won’t damage your battery. Electric cars use lithium-ion batteries which will deplete over time, but they won’t be damaged when continuously charged at high power. In today’s world, vehicles are extremely intelligent and if your car thinks it can’t handle the high volume of power, it will automatically limit the amount to the vehicle’s maximum capacity, thus protecting your battery.

Rapid charging with the MG ZS EV

If you’re searching for a practical and economical electric car, look no further than our MG ZS EV. It charges to 80% in just 40 minutes from a 50kW charging point, making it perfect for exploring the country with the family. It recharges from a standard 7kW home charger in 6.5 hours, so you can just plug it in each evening and wake up to a fully charged vehicle, ready to start the day.

To make your life easier it also boasts both CCS and type 2 ports – mounted within the front grille for easy access – so you have the freedom to use AC and DC rapid chargers.