A new racing category is promising electric car charging speeds like never before.

    The FIA has revealed the cars for its new Electric GT category, boasting 700kW fast battery charging and 700kW peak regeneration.

    These race-spec chargers are twice as powerful as the fastest 350kW DC chargers publicly available in Australia. 

    If commercialised, 700kW charging technology would allow electric cars to be charged much faster than what is currently available.

    In race-spec the 87kWh lithium-ion batteries can charge from flat to 60 per cent within 4.5 minutes.

    This will also allow for rapid charging at pit stops more akin to refuelling a petrol-powered racer. 

    Carmakers in Electric GT will be able to use rear- or all-wheel drive powertrains with up to 430kW, and the FIA says performance should be similar to current GT3 racers.

    If this charging technology is viable in a real-world context and can truly provide charging times similar to fuelling an internal-combustion vehicle, it could entice more buyers into an electric car.

    A survey conducted by Budget Direct in 2018 indicated that 36.6 per cent of people see charging time as a concern for current electric vehicles.

    In Australia there are a number of options available for public electric car charging.

    There are currently 33 Tesla superchargers in Australia, with the latest being Tesla’s V2 Supercharger capable of charging at a rate of 120kW.

    In the USA though, there are V3 Superchargers capable of charging at 250kW.

    ChargeFox on the other hand currently has 21 of its Ultra-Rapid chargers capable of charging at a rate of 350kW.

    Entry-level electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and MG ZS EV can only charge at 50kW, but more recent cars such as the Porsche Taycan can accept up to 270kW, with plans to eventually take 350kW. 

    At this stage, this is the fastest publicly-available charging speed available in Australia.

    According to the EV charging map company, PlugShare, there are currently 535 charging locations in total around Australia.

    “The announcement of this new electric-powered GT car category is a key milestone serving this goal as it will pave the way for new battery and fast-charging technologies,” said Jean Todt, FIA president.

    This is not the first foray the FIA has had into an all-electric racing series.

    Coming before the announcement of the new Electric GT category was Formula E and Extreme E, all sanctioned by the FIA.

    Formula E debuted as a racing series in 2014 and will introduce pit stop charging for the first time in the 2022 season, just like the new Electric GT category.

    Extreme E is another all-electric racing series that sees off-road Baja-style SUVs race in remote parts of the world that debuted this year.

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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