Rapid chargers supply an electric vehicle directly with a direct current (DC) from a dedicated charging unit using a specialised plug socket (usually using the Japanese CHAdeMO standard). Often rated at around 50 kW (400 V DC/125 Amps), charging an electric vehicle to 80% typically takes less than half an hour. Due to their high cost only a few dozen rapid chargers are currently installed in the UK.
As with fast charging, not all electric vehicles can use rapid electric vehicle chargers. Unlike slow and fast chargers, the rapid units use dedicated CHAdeMO standard connectors that are required to carry the very high current. While the short charge times make this option very convenient, regular use of rapid charging can reduce battery life.
At least 50 rapid charge points are installed in the UK with many more planned for installation later this year