AC vs DC
AC chargers and DC chargers are both used to charge electric vehicles (EVs), but they have some key differences.
AC (Alternating Current) chargers
- Slower charging: AC chargers typically deliver power at a rate of 3.3 kW to 22 kW. This means it can take several hours to fully charge an EV.
- Less expensive: AC chargers are generally less expensive than DC chargers.
- More common: AC chargers are more common than DC chargers, so you’re more likely to find one at home, work, or public charging stations.
- Conversion needed: AC chargers deliver power in AC form, which must be converted to DC before it can be stored in an EV’s battery. This conversion process happens inside the EV, which can create heat and reduce efficiency.
DC (Direct Current) chargers
- Faster charging: DC chargers can deliver power at a rate of 50 kW to 350 kW. This means they can charge an EV much faster than an AC charger, often in 30 minutes or less.
- More expensive: DC chargers are more expensive than AC chargers.
- Less common: DC chargers are less common than AC chargers, so you’re less likely to find one at home or work. However, they are becoming increasingly common at public charging stations.
- No conversion needed: DC chargers deliver power in DC form, which is the same form that is stored in an EV’s battery. This means that no conversion is needed, which can improve efficiency and reduce heat.
So, which charger is right for you?
It depends on your needs. If you don’t mind waiting a few hours to charge your EV and you’re on a budget, an AC charger may be a good option. But if you need to charge your EV quickly, a DC charger is the way to go.
Here are some additional factors to consider:
- The size of your EV’s battery: Larger batteries take longer to charge, so a DC charger may be a better option if you have a large battery.
- Your driving habits: If you drive long distances frequently, a DC charger may be worth the investment.
- Your access to charging stations: If you have access to a DC charger at home or work, it may be a good option, even if you don’t drive long distances often.
Ultimately, the best way to decide which charger is right for you is to talk to your EV dealer or a qualified electrician. They can help you assess your needs and recommend the best charger for your situation.