Genuinely we love the fact that the new Jaguar I-Pace is coming to market later the this year. The I-Pace has its live launch in just a few weeks on 1st March. However, there is a major problem that so far, Jaguar have yet to reveal how they are going to deal with.
The issue all comes around this statement "Capable of a zero to 80 per cent charge in less than 45 minutes using a DC 100kW charger". Which for UK drivers at least is not going to happen just yet. At this moment in time, there are 2 MAJOR issues for UK drivers in that statement, and here is why.
It's All About The DC Charging.
At this moment in time there are simply not many, if any at all CCS (connector type) chargers in the UK capable of delivering a DC charge at 100kW. The closest you are going to get it a mere 50kW. (we checked Zap-Map). There are just a mere 805 CCS 50kw so called "rapid" connectors available in the UK.
So what does that mean for charging times? If you are on a long journey, that exceeds the range of your I-Pace, you are likely to be sat at a charging point for 90 mins to get to 80% charge. To get past 80% you are going to have to wait even longer. This is due to the charging rate drop off as the cells in the battery pack approach balance charging. If you are using some charging networks you are limited to 45 minutes per session, then you need to restart the charging process over and over again.
Jaguar I-Pace owners looking to do long journeys over the range of the battery will be sharing just 809 "rapid" charging connectors with other EV drivers. This is due to many of the charging sites only have 1-4 connectors available of various types and they won't all be CCS on the site, by comparison the Nissan Leaf uses a CHAdeMO connector and with over 1104 connectors available UK wide.
What About The Tesla Supercharger Network?
The Tesla supercharger network can only be used by Tesla vehicles. This is due to the handshake that takes place between the car and charger. Tesla have hinted at allowing other manufacturers to use the network, but so far we haven't seen this happen. Could the Jaguar I-Pace be the first? It's rumoured that Jaguar used Tesla battery packs in early testing.
By comparison to the numbers above, the Tesla Supercharger network has just 46 locations across the UK. The number of connectors available totals 290. However they are exclusive, and these numbers also mean that the Tesla supercharing network has far more connectors per site. This drastically reduces the risk queuing for a charger connector.
The main advantage to the Tesla network is that the it runs at up to 120kW already. Tesla already has an established fast charging network. As of yet, the I-Pace doesn't seem to offer this in the UK. If you then factor in the tiny detail that Tesla owners can use a CHAdaMO connector, (all be it with a Tesla adaptor). The number of Rapid connectors available for a Tesla to rapid charge at is a staggering 949 locations with 1390 connectors. Many more than the 809 on CCS connectors.
In reality, a run up the M1 will leave the I-Pace is still charging to 80% and the Tesla already 45 minutes up the road. The Tesla network is being rolled out in such a way that a Tesla leaving home on 100% and can drive to a Supercharger location on a single charge then top up and drive on in the time it takes to get a drink and use the facilities at a service stop.
What about AC Charging?
AC charging is much slow by comparison, it's like recharging AA rechargeable batteries in a domestic battery charger. This is the type of charging you generally find at home or shopping centres and such like. AC charging will give mileage range 5 - 50 miles per hour on charge. Naturally depending on the car and charge rate. At best you will see a 200 mile range EV charge in 4 hours.
How Far Will You Drive?
How far you drive on your daily commute will be a major factor in the ownership of any EV. What most people forget is the fact that you start everyday with a full "tank" of electrons, and therefore maximum range. If you have an EV that matches your daily commute and home or work place charging you may never need to use a public charger on you day to day commute. With the roll out of lamp post chargers people that live in flats and houses with no drive can benefit from EV charging at home overnight.
Final Thoughts On The Jaguar I-Pace.
We want the Jaguar I-Pace to bring more choice to the UK EV market, but unless Jaguar have a charging network up there sleeves or a partnership with the likes of Tesla, then I-Pace drivers wanting to do a long daily commute will face lengthy charge times up to that magic 80%. Long charge times will mean chargers tied up and likely queues at charging locations. Shorter range EV's like the Leaf need to use those public chargers far more than the likes of the future I-Pace or Tesla. If Jaguar and other makes don't deploy a rapid 100kW charging network, the public charging network will be come over crowded very quickly. We are keen to hear how Jaguar will bring the 80% 100Kw charge to the UK.
Tesla are well ahead of the game with it's still rapidly growing charging network. Tesla already have a partnership with Welcome Break and they are starting to role out an urban Supercharger network with the arrival of the Model 3 in the USA. This is also rumoured to be following in the UK as the Model 3 arrives. The Model 3 will have Supercharger access. This will be on a paid basis at 20p per kilowatt-hour if rates remain the same.
Here's The Numbers On Public AC And DC Chargers. (As per Zap-Map)
- Tesla compatible connectors (3 pin up to Rapid DC) :- 14344 connectors at 5560 locations. Of which 2005 are classed as rapid chargers connectors with 905 of those being 120kW rapid chargers exclusively for Tesla owners.
- CCS compatible connectors (3pin up to CCS rapids) assuming that the I-Pace comes with 3 pin charging device and no commando capability) :- 13144 connectors at 5128 locations of which 805 are 50kW rapid charging connectors. These are all shared with other EV owners. (rapid chargers here are slower than Tesla Superchargers).
Although the numbers are similar, the 905 exclusive Tesla Supercharges are the key to Tesla's success. Those 905 are the 120kW rapid chargers that the Jaguar I-Pace doesn't yet seem to have.