Currently reading: Lotus to take on Tesla with 450kW EV charging tech
Open-use chargers can add more than 80 miles in five minutes; installation from mid-2024

Lotus has unveiled a Tesla-rivalling 450kW electric car charger that can add more than 80 miles of range in five minutes.

Bound for Europe early next year, the charger has been designed primarily for "charge point operators, fleet providers and dealerships".

The technology is likely to be rolled out in select areas, with multiple chargers in each location; motorway service stations are earmarked.

The system, which won’t be locked to Lotus owners, is able to charge up to four cars at once, although typical charges are limited to two fast-charging outputs. While any EV can use them, Lotus has said the system will be "particularly effective" on cars equipped with 800V charging hardware.

Each system comprises a “market-leading” 450kW direct current (DC) charger, power cabinet and charging unit. Currently, the UK’s most powerful EV charger is run by Gridserve, operating at a maximum rate of 360kW and taking 15 minutes to add 100 miles of range. 

Coolant is sent through the charging connector to allow for hotter temperatures and therefore higher charging speeds – technology that Lotus believes will futureproof it.

When tested on the new Lotus Eletre R SUV, the DC charger added up to 88.5 miles of range to the battery in five minutes, making it one of the fastest EV chargers on the market today.

In comparison, Tesla’s Superchargers take the same time to add 75 miles of range.

The Lotus system can also top up a battery from 10% to 80% in 20 minutes. The firm says it will offer the charger as an upgrade to its existing customers who already have a charger installed.

Alan Wang, vice-president of Lotus Technology, said: “As more governments are increasing investment into electrification in their journey to net-zero, the demand for a reliable electric vehicle charging infrastructure has never been higher than before. Lotus has developed best-in-class fast-charging solutions to deliver a quick and reliable charging experience to meet customer needs.” 

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The system, Lotus says, was borne out of the public's requirement for reliable charging infrastructure, citing research that concluded 80% of UK buyers are discouraged from purchasing an EV because of unreliable infrastructure.

The infrastructure is set to be installed in the UK and wider Europe in the second quarter of the 2024, and is already up and running in China.

It's also not known if the tech will be made available to third parties to purchase, like Tesla did recently with sales to UK-based EG Group.

The technology has been launched in line with Lotus's Vision80 strategy, which should have it become an "all-electric global technology" brand for its 80th anniversary in 2028, with its own bespoke range of charging solutions for EVs.

Lotus CEO Phil Popham previously told Autocar: "Vision80 at present is about product development, finding the right people and setting up infrastructure for the long term."

Jonathan Bryce

Jonathan Bryce
Title: Editorial Apprentice

Jonathan is an editorial apprentice working with Autocar. He has held this position since September 2022, having graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in Geography and Business & Management before moving to London to pursue a career in motoring journalism. 

His role at work involves writing news stories, updating and uploading articles for the Autocar website and making sure they are optimised for search engines, helping with social media and building his experience overall.

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Davey 28 November 2023

Not quite sure it's a "Tesla rival"? The beauty of Tesla's supercharger network lies in the wide network and integration with the car - not the peak charging power as such.

I don't deny it's a welcome addition, but it's horses for courses. Slow charging works well overnight at home, and on a motorway a 30 minute charge stop works well as well. (Gives chance to have a coffee and go to the toilet.) On a motorway I'd rather have more somewhat slower chargers?

MrJ 28 November 2023

Good idea from Lotus.

It was the Supercharger network that made my Tesla S a viable proposition.

artill 27 November 2023

I use about 6kw of electricity a day in my home. So this one charger is going to need the same sort of supply as a small housing estate, to charge 1 car. And its unlikely the unit will sit there all by its self. I hope Lotus will shortly be showing the small power station we are going to need to sit next to these wonderful chargers

Andrew1 28 November 2023
I use 5l of petrol power day. A petrol station pumps 100l every minute. I hope petrol stations will soon show the oil wells and refineries that are going to sit next to the pumps.

The anti-EV folks are getting more and more ridiculous. Go get some fresh air, dude.

Davey 28 November 2023
artill wrote:

I use about 6kw of electricity a day in my home. So this one charger is going to need the same sort of supply as a small housing estate, to charge 1 car. And its unlikely the unit will sit there all by its self. I hope Lotus will shortly be showing the small power station we are going to need to sit next to these wonderful chargers

Not necessarily. The expectation is that a charger with that sort of power will have it's own storage battery, charging quite slowly when a car isn't there, but ready for output when needed. Same principle as a header tank for water.......