The EV Supercharger Network Battle Begins – But Who Won?


How does Tesla’s Supercharging Network compared to Ionity in Europe, and Electrify America here in the United States?

Electric vehicle charging networks are essential for the adoption of electric cars. Those who do not drive electric vehicles sometimes mark the lack of an EV charging infrastructure as a reason they don’t own an EV.

Most people do charge at home, but if you want to drive long distances, a robust charging network is necessary. In this article, we’re going to be comparing Tesla to Electrify America and Ionity, and we’re going to be comparing them by availability, charging power, charging cost, and convenience.

Since Tesla has chargers in both Europe and the United States as well as other parts of the world, I thought it would be a better comparison if we used both of these networks and compared them to Tesla’s Network.

EV Superchager Availability

TeslaElectrify AmericaIonity
Total Locations1,870425227
Total Plugs16,5851,980923
Charger Per Station8.94.74
Locations N. America9144250
Locations Europe5270227
Locations China22700

If you were to look at these companies side-by-side, you see that Tesla has eighteen hundred and seventy charging locations, and Electrify America has 425. Ionity has around two hundred and twenty-seven.

Tesla has sixteen thousand five hundred and eighty-five individual plugs, Electrify America has 1980, and Ionity has nine hundred twenty-three.

As you can see, Tesla has considerably more charging locations and significantly more charging plugs, but on top of all that, this gives them more chargers per site.

Tesla has, on average, 8.9 Chargers per location, where Electrify America only has 4.7 and Ionity averages right around four Chargers per site.

If you look at these charging locations by region, you can see that in North America, Tesla has 914 sites, Electrify America is 425, and of course, Ionity doesn’t have any.

In Europe, Tesla has 527 locations; Electrify America doesn’t have any, and Ionity has 227 locations. Tesla also has supercharging stations throughout other parts of the world, including China, with 277 locations.

I did not include in these calculations the fact that Tesla has a large number of destination chargers that can be found throughout the world at different locations, like restaurants, hotels, and other attractions.

Amount Of Superchargers Available

According to an electric article that talked about Porsche copying Tesla’s destination car Model quote, “The automaker, meaning Tesla has deployed close to 20,000 charging stations at almost 4000 locations around the world under its destination charging Network”.

These destination chargers are level 2 chargers, they’re not fast chargers, but they are free of charge when you go to these different locations. If you add these numbers to Tesla’s charging Network it becomes even more impressive.

As we’ve shown, Tesla has a lot better coverage for both the United States and Europe, but when we talk about charging speed and charging power, how does Tesla compare to these other two networks?

0ne of the most significant factors determining how fast you can charge your EV is the charger’s output power. Out of Electrify America’s 19,080 plugs, 96 are level 2, meaning they have less than 20 kilowatts of power output.

Charging Power

TeslaElectrify AmericaIonity
Faster Chargers250 kW350kW350kW
AC Level 2 (<20 kW)0960
DC Fast (50 kW)04250
DC Fast (72 kW)14400
DC Fast (120+ kW)16,4411,459923
Total Charging Plugs16,5851,980923

They also have 425 of their Chargers, which are the Chademo chargers that only go up to 50 kilowatts. Tesla has around 144 of their chargers that are called urban superchargers, and they only charge up to 72 kilowatts.

If you take the charging locations out of the mix that are less than 120 kilowatts of charging output, you see that Tesla still has 16,441 sites that are either 120 kilowatts or greater in charging power.

That takes Electrify America’s Network down to 1459, and all of Ionity chargers are above those speeds.

The reason I’ve broken this down in this way is that somewhere around 150 kilowatts for most EVs is where the magic happens, and EV’s become very convenient for long-distance travel.

How Long It Takes To Charge With A Supercharger

Let’s talk about the actual charging times that correspond with these different outputs that we’ve talked about 50 kilowatts level 2, and then, of course, DC fast chargers 120+ kilowatts.

For this comparison, I pulled data from EVDatabase.com and compared the Model Y, the Audi E-Tron, and the Jaguar Ipace.

In this comparison, we’re talking about how long it takes them to get from 10% state of charge to an 80% state of charge, and we’ll also talk about how many miles and how many kilometers were added to the car.

Charging Time Examples

10-80% SOC*Model YE-TronI-Pace
+221 mi | +356 kM+143 mi | +230 km+164 mi | +264 km
Level 2 7+ HOurs9+ HOurs13+ Hours
50 kW72 Mins74 Mins75 Mins
150 kW31 Mins25 Mins44 Mins
250+ kW22 MIns

If you charge the Tesla Model Y from 10% to an 80% state of charge, you gain 221 miles or 356 kilometers. If you charge the E-Tron from 10% to 80%, you get 143 miles, or 230 kilometers, and the Ipace gains 164 miles or 264 kilometers.

Level 2 charging is excellent for home charging, but it’s not suitable for travel. As you can see from this table, it would take 7+ hours to charge your Model Y on a level 2 system from 10% to 80%. It would take the E-Tron over 9 hours, and the Ipace over 13 hours.

Once you move up to a 50-kilowatt charger, it takes 72 minutes to charge on the Model Y, 74 minutes on the E-Tron, and 75 minutes on the Ipace.

As I mentioned previously, where EV’s become more convenient is when you can hit speeds of around 150 kilowatts for charging.

That brings the charging time for the Model Y down to 31 minutes, the E-Tron 25 minutes, and the I-pace to 44 minutes.

The Model Y is the only vehicle on this list that can take advantage of charging output rates of up to 250 kilowatts if you connect a Model Y to the V3 charging Network, you should be able to charge from 10% to 80% in around 22 minutes.

The E-Tron can only charge up to 150 kilowatts, and the Ipace can only charge up to 104 kilowatts.

Something important to mention when we’re talking about EV charging and charge times is that the output of a charger connected to your EV is not going to be constant.

If you connect the Tesla Model Y to a V3 supercharger with an output of up to 250 kilowatts, you’ll see that the numbers may peak at one point at 250 kilowatts.

Still, that number will gradually go down until it’s a prolonged charge at the end of the cycle.

Here’s a chart from EV database.org that shows the charging curve for a Tesla Model 3 long-range all-wheel-drive vehicle.

As you can see from this chart once you get to around a 50 % state of charge the charging output starts going down until you get to a pretty low rate at the end of the charge.

The battery management system included in every EV controls how much charge can add the vehicle’s battery.

It ramps it down near the end of the cycle because that helps protect the battery against excess heat, making sure that some of the cells don’t overcharge and damage those cells.

Here’s a chart from EV Database.org looking at the Tesla Model Y long-range all-wheel-drive vehicle connected to different chargers. As you can see there it not only has the max power, but it also has the average power.

Tesla Model Y

Charging PointMax PowerAvg PowerTimeRate
CCS (50 kW DC)50 kW50 kW72 mins240 km/h
Super v2 Shared (75 kW DC)75 kW70 kW51 mins350 km/h
Super v2 (150 kw DC)150 kW115 kW31 mins570 km/h
CCS (175 kW DC)175 kW130 kW28 mins630 km/h
Super v3 (250 kW DC)250 kW165 kW22 mins810 km/h
CCS (350 kW DC)250 kW165 kW22 mins810 km/h
* Super = (Supercharger)

You can see from the table that if you connect the Tesla Model Y to a V3 supercharger with a max power of 250 kilowatts, the average speed you get is somewhere around 165 kilowatts entire cycle.

If you take a look at the same information for the Tycon turbo, which can take up to 270 kilowatts of charging power, you can see that even when it connected at the max charge rate, the average power during that charging cycle is 175 kilowatts.

Porsche Taycan Turbo

Charging PointMax PowerAvg PowerTimeRate
CCS (50 kW DC)50 kW50 kW74 mins210 km/h
Super v2 Shared (75 kW DC)100 kW90 kW41 mins380 km/h
Super v2 (150 kw DC)150 kW120 kW31 mins510 km/h
CCS (175 kW DC)175 kW135 kW27 mins590 km/h
Super v3 (250 kW DC)270 kW175 kW21 mins760 km/h
CCS (350 kW DC)250 kW165 kW22 mins810 km/h

Cost To Charge Your EV With A Supercharger

Another significant factor to consider is how much does it cost to charge your vehicle at each one of these charging Network locations. It costs around 26 cents per kilowatt-hour to charge your EV at a Tesla supercharging location in the United States.

TeslaIonity
$0.26 / kWh
£0.25 / kWh£0.69 / kWh
€0.24 – €0.33 / kWh€0.79 / kWh

In the UK, Tesla charges around 24 pence per kilowatt-hour, and in the EU, it varies by country. Tesla charges somewhere around twenty-four European cents to about thirty-three European cents in countries like Germany.

In the UK, the Ionity network charges sixty-nine pence per kilowatt-hour, and in the EU, they charge seventy-nine Euro cents per kilowatt-hour.

Whereas, Tesla and Ionity charge you per kilowatt-hour, Electrify America charges you based on how much output your vehicle can receive and how many minutes you charge.

In California, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Maine, New Jersey, and a few other states, if your max charge rate does not exceed 75 kilowatts, you are charged 25 cents per minute.

Electrify America Costs

PowerRate 1CA, OR, UP, NV, NJ +
1-75 kW$0.21 / Minute$0.25 / Minute
1-125 kW$0.58 / Min$0.69 / Minute
1-350 kW$0.89 / Minute$0.99 / Minute
*Plus $1.00 Session Fee

If you exceed 75 kilowatts but do not exceed 125 kilowatts, you are charged 69 cents per minute. If you exceed 125 kilowatts and go up to the max 350 kilowatts, you’re charged 99 cents per minute.

In other parts of the nation, these rates are lower. At the first-tier, 21 cents per minute, at the second tier 58 cents per minute and at the third tier 89 cents per minute. On top of all this, Electrify America charges a $1 session fee.

Cost To Charge Your EV Network BY Network

At a Tesla supercharging station, the Model Y can charge from a 10% state of charge to an 80% state of charge for about $13,47, that comes out also to around $0.06 per mile.

USA Charging Costs

10-80% SOC*Model YE-TronI-Pace
+221 mi | +356 kM+143 mi | +230 km+164 mi | +264 km
Tesla$13.47 ($0.06 mil)
E America 1$20.58 ($0.09 mil)£23.25 (0.16 mil)$26.52 (0.16 mil)
E America 2$22.78 (0.10 mil)$25.75 (0.18 mil)$31.36 (0.10 mil)
* Tesla US Cost $0.26 kWh | Cost at 250 kW charging speed

To achieve the same amount of charge at the Electrify America network, it would cost somewhere around $20.58, or $22.78 in the more expensive states.

If you charge the E-Tron from a 10% to 80% state of charge at Electrify America, you can see that it will cost you between $23.25 to $25.75, or between $0.16 and $0.18 per mile.

To charge the Ipace from 10% to 80% state of charge on Electrify America’s Network, it will cost you somewhere around $26.52, or up to $31.36 at the more expensive US states. It works out at an average of $0.16 to $0.19 per mile.

Charging Costs In The UK

If you look at these same numbers for the UK, it’ll cost you a little over £12 sterling to charge your Tesla Model Y from 10% to 80%. To achieve that same 10% to 80% state of charge on the Tesla Model Y when connected to the Ionity Network, it would cost you £35+.

10-80% SOC*Model YE-TronI-Pace
+221 mi | +356 kM+143 mi | +230 km+164 mi | +264 km
Tesla£12.43 (0.06 mil)
Ionity£35.74 (0.06 mil)£45.89 (0.32 mil)£43.47 (0.27 mil)
* Tesla US Cost $0.26 kWh | Cost at 250 kW charging speed

The E-Tron could cost almost £46 to achieve 80%, and the Ipace could cost somewhere around £43.

Charging Costs In Europe

The European Tesla supercharger prices vary from country to country. In Germany, Tesla charges 33 euro cents per kilowatt-hour for their supercharging stations.

That would end up costing around 17 euros for the Model Y, or on that Ionity network almost 41 euros. The E-Tron would cost over 52 euros, and the Ipace would cost nearly 50 euros.

Germany Charging Costs

10-80% SOC*Model YE-TronI-Pace
+221 mi | +356 kM+143 mi | +230 km+164 mi | +264 km
Tesla€17.09 (€0.05 km)
Ionity€40.92 (€0.05 km)€52.54 (€0.23 km)€49.77 (€0.19 km)
* Tesla US Cost $0.26 kWh | Cost at 250 kW charging speed

From these figurers we can see the Tesla supercharging network is cheaper than Ionity and cheaper than Electrify America.

All the rates I mentioned for Ionity and Electrify America are if you don’t have a plan with them. Electrify America and Ionity offer membership plans where you can get a bit of discounted rates if you pay per month.

According to an inside EV’s article, EV owners can pay a membership fee of around 18 euros per month, and if they charge on the high powered chargers, they can get rates as low as 31 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Electrify America also has a membership program that gives you a discount; they call it past plus. If you pay the $4 monthly fee, the $1 session fee is waived, you also get discounted rates per minute.

Even with these memberships and these discounts, in most cases, the Tesla network is going to be cheaper, and of course, there are more locations for you to connect.

Convenience Of Charging

When it comes to Tesla supercharging Network, you don’t need to have a special card or a membership.

You simply put a credit card on file, and when you connect your Tesla to the supercharger, it automatically recognizes your car and bills you.

For charging networks like Ionity and Electrify America, you either have to have an app or a membership or pay with a credit card. It’s not as convenient as Tesla’s Network.

Here’s how these networks compare based on these key metrics.

When it comes to the availability and number of chargers, Tesla wins that contest hands down.

Technically when it comes to charging power, Ionity takes the win because they have the largest netword of chargers at 350 kilowatts charging power. Tesla wins by far on charging cost, and on charging convenience.

In the end, I’m glad that Electrify America and Ionity exists because we need more charging networks in the world so that more people can have the confidence to buy an electric vehicle.

With all this data, it’s clear to see that Tesla has built a vast network, and maybe this is why Tesla’s vehicle sells so well. It’s very convenient, relatively inexpensive, and there for you when you need it.

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