Fastest electric car chargers are waiting for batteries to catch up

The viability of electric vehicles depends in part on a manufacturing plant in eastern Australia, where gleaming white cabinets the size of large refrigerators are loaded onto shipping crates. They’re among the most advanced car chargers available, promising to deliver a full tank of juice in minutes.

Automakers and energy companies are spearheading the global rollout of these ultrafast charging pumps to lure consumers away from gas guzzlers and toward vehicles powered by electricity. Thousands of souped-up stations are being installed along highways from Shanghai to Germany and California, with the capacity to charge enough for 20 miles of driving range in one minute.

Electric vehicles will comprise more than half of all new car sales in 2040, according to BloombergNEF, as prices come down, while battery life and driving ranges get longer. To meet the power demand, about $50 billion of investment in charging equipment is needed through 2030, according to McKinsey & Co.