Electric Vehicles (EVs) are the mobility option of the future and are currently replacing Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles. Among electric vehicle topics, EV charging is probably the most important and complex subject for EV owners, hence, our customers constantly ask us what is an EV charger, how to charge electric cars efficiently, and many other related questions. This is why we have created the ultimate EV charging guide for you, granting you access to a reliable and accurate source of information on the subject.
With this E.V. Charging guide, you will know more about EV charger models, the optimal charging practices, and other important aspects of the EV charging process. You will also learn about the expectations for the EV market in the future and their impact on the world, the benefits of driving electric cars, how they compare to gas vehicles, and everything you will need to know about charging an electric car.
Chapter 1: What Is the Future of Electric Vehicles?
In the last few years, EV popularity has been rapidly increasing. In 2021 alone, more EVs were being sold per week than in the whole of 2012. Before explaining what is EV charging and what is a good EV charging practice, let us analyze what is the impact of EVs in the U.S. and the world.
The World and Electric Cars in 2030
Electric cars feature zero tailpipe emissions (no Carbon Dioxide (CO2) contamination from the exhaust pipe), which gives you an idea of their potential to positively impact the environment and the global economy. As a reference, electric vehicles powered with green energy can reduce around 29% of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions that are currently being released by the transport sector. Besides, EVs are not only positive for the environment but also for the economy as they are part of a growing industry that will create more new jobs for the American people.
It is expected that by 2030, more than 50% of the new cars being sold in the U.S. will be EVs, partially because of the billions being destined to EV incentives in the country. In Europe, this number will grow even larger, since the European Union is ending sales for all ICE vehicles by 2035. In other words, from 2035 all new vehicles in Europe will be electric cars.
Are EVs Really Worth It?
EVs are not just worth it, they are necessary. Aside from EVs releasing zero tailpipe emissions, they are much cheaper to drive than their gas counterpart. Driving these vehicles can be around 60% cheaper than ICE vehicles. Besides, they are also more technologically advanced, produce less noise pollution, and will be able to be self-driven 100% autonomously in the future.
What Are the Benefits of Electric Cars?
EVs represent a tremendous positive impact on the world. In this section, we list some of the major benefits of driving EVs:
- EVs have much lower GHG emissions than ICE vehicles.
- Driving an EV is cheaper.
- You can charge EVs at home and use clean energy to further reduce your carbon footprint.
- EVs are better and much safer to drive.
- There is important government funding going towards EVs.
- You get free parking in several states.
- EVs get access to HOV lanes in many states, no matter the number of occupants.
- EVs require lower maintenance expenses.
Aside from all of these benefits and their potential market expansion, EVs are also expected to become more affordable in time which is why they will soon pass from being a great mobility option to the only one.
Comparing Electric Cars (EVs) Against Gasoline Cars (ICE Vehicles)
Comparing EVs against ICE vehicles is one of the best ways to learn about the different benefits and points in favor of these vehicles. Since EVs feature no tailpipe emissions, they have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions released by the transport sector, and while this depends on the type of energy used to charge the EV, it will always be lower than the 4.6 metric tons of CO2 released per year by ICE vehicles.
Aside from the environmental benefits, EVs also represent financial benefits for you, since they feature a lower driving cost. According to a study performed by Michigan University, EVs are at least 60% cheaper to drive and 49% cheaper to maintain, making them the best option for your family’s budget.
There are many other benefits to EVs when comparing them to ICE vehicles. For instance, EVs accelerate faster than ICE vehicles and the electric motor of an EV is far more efficient than the combustion motor. Energy can also be recovered when pushing the brakes of an electric car and EVs only need to use a single gear.
Chapter 2: Where Can You Charge an Electric Car?
In the second chapter of our E.V. charging guide, you will get to know more about EV charging, charging models (residential, work, public charging), and many other things to keep batteries charging in optimal conditions. Here we will mainly cover how to charge an electric car.
EV Charging Stations for Homes and Apartment Complexes
Charging an electric vehicle at a house is one of the most popular and cheapest electric car charging practices. To recharge your electric car at your house, you just need to get the right electrical infrastructure and electric cars charger installed by a certified electrician, allowing you to rapidly charge your vehicle overnight whenever you need to.
The residential EV charge can be done by using Level 1 and Level 2 EV chargers. For a Level 1 electric vehicle charger, you may use the pre-existing electrical wiring, but for a Level 2 cars charger you will need a new dedicated circuit.
Moreover, installing an electric vehicle charger in an apartment building is entirely possible. Similarly, you may have access to a privately owned Level 1 or Level 2 EV charger, but in many cases, a community EV charger must be installed, so that other EV owners in the building can charge their vehicles as well.
EV Charging Stations for Work
The Pros of Workplace EV Charging
Many workplaces offer EV charging, which will deliver excellent benefits for the company. Some of these include having additional revenue, offering extra benefits to the employees by granting free access to an EV charging platform, enjoying incentives for the company, and a solid reputation as a workplace with positive policies towards the environment.
A Longer Electric Range
Many EV drivers that wonder how to charge their EV when they do not have any access to residential electric cars charging will greatly benefit from workplace EV charging. This will extend the driving range for their EV, taking a burden off mind since they will be able to charge the car for many hours while working. This will result in reducing range anxiety for workers.
Large Savings on Transportation Costs
Charging an EV at the workplace is a great way to save on transportation costs for employees and the company since using a DC fast charging station to charge the vehicle will likely be much more expensive over time than using a level 2 workplace EV charging station. Considering the cheaper costs to drive and maintain EVs, replacing ICE vehicles with EVs for personal vehicles and the company fleet, will greatly reduce transportation costs for everyone.
Government Incentives for Workplace Chargers
Some great news for companies offering workplace EV charging is the available incentives. Currently, there are several types of Federal, State, and utility incentives offered for companies installing workplace EV chargers.
Charging an Electric Car in a Public Charging Station
Independent Public Charging Stations
Many public charging stations are the entrepreneurship of private companies that invest in the EV initiative as an attempt to make revenue by providing an EV charging service to the public. Currently, there are around 12,000 non-networked EV charging stations in the U.S., however, some independent public EV charging stations can also be operated by charging station network operators.
Electric Car Charging Station Network Operators
Most public EV charging stations are owned and operated by private charging network companies. These already have the expertise and devices to install a successful public EV charging station that works autonomously. In most cases, EV drivers unlock the charging stall and make the payment by themselves, with everything happening via the mobile app of the network operator.
The Five Most Popular Car Charging Networks in the U.S
If you are wondering how to charge your EV in the best spot, the right choice is always going for the largest and most popular EV charging networks. These usually feature lower prices, higher benefits, and even the fastest EV chargers. The best and largest EV charging spots or networks in the U.S. are:
- Electrify America
- EV Connect
Chapter 3: How Does the Charging Process for an Electric Car Work?
Understanding the charging process for an EV and its battery is quite interesting and can be helpful as background knowledge for when you are charging your vehicle. Charging can be done with AC power using a level 1 or level 2 EV chargers, or with DC power using a level 3 EV charging stations.
When charging with AC power, the current is delivered to the on-board charger, the device responsible for limiting and converting AC power into DC power, useful for the battery. A similar process occurs with DC power using DCFC stations, but in this case, the current is not converted, and is limited by the Battery Management System (BMS) who is in charge of protecting the battery.
In both cases, the Lithium-Ion battery goes through the three basic charging stages: bulk, absorption, and float. During the bulk stage, the battery rapidly charges at maximum power with higher amperage and voltage until it reaches 80%. The remaining 20% is charged during the absorption stage, using the same voltage, but a lower amperage for safety purposes. The final stage is float, where the voltage and current are decreased to safely keep battery charged at 100% until disconnected.
What Is the Difference Between AC vs. DC Power for EV Charging?
EV batteries can be charged with AC or DC power. This usually determines the charging protocol for the vehicle and the charging speed.
Figure 1: AC vs. DC Charging Curve
AC charging converts the AC power into DC using the on-board EV charger, which also limits the maximum charging speed for the vehicle. For DC charging electric cars, the current is delivered directly to the battery in DC, however, this is also limited by the technical specifications set by the manufacturer. Depending on the type of current used, the charging electric car process will use different charging curves, as shown in figure 1.
There is another important difference between AC and DC charging. AC EV chargers usually include Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations, featuring low, medium, and medium-high power rates, as we will explain further down the guide. DC charging usually features high or extremely high power rates, except for a few DC residential EV chargers featuring medium power rates.
Chapter 4: What Are the Different Types of EV Charging Levels?
The fourth chapter in our E.V. guide will help you know more about the EV charging levels, and the best EV chargers that can extend the lifespan of your batteries when charging your EV.
Level 1 EV Charger
Level 1 EV chargers are basic EV chargers, requiring a 120V AC electrical connection and featuring a power rate of around 1 kW. They are exclusively used for residential applications. It is rare to find pedestal or wall-mounted level 1 EV chargers since they are designed as portable options.
Level 2 EV Charger
Level 2 EV chargers are the most sophisticated and complex models, featuring different designs that can either be smart chargers with an internet connection or feature a less advanced design. These EV chargers require a split-phase (240V AC) or three-phase (208V AC) electrical connection and they deliver a power rate that goes from 7 kW up to 19 kW.
The design for Level 2 EV chargers varies from model to model. Some are wall-mounted and others are designed on pedestals, but only a few are designed for portable applications. Level 2 EV chargers can either be used for charging electric cars overnight at home or be installed as workplace and public charging stations.
Level 3 EV Charging Station (Also Known as DC Fast Charger)
Level 3 EV chargers, also known as DC Fast Chargers (DCFC), are the options featuring the largest power rates, going from 50 kW up to 350 kW. A DCFC usually requires a high voltage of 400 – 900 V AC, these are mainly used for public charging stations.
How to Choose the Best EV Charging Station for Your Electric Car?
Choosing between the different types of EV car charging stations will help you enjoy a better charging experience. In this section, we explain how to choose the best option for you.
Choosing Between Level 1 and Level 2 EV Chargers
Choosing between a Level 1 and a Level 2 electric vehicle charger is usually quite simple. Level 1 EV charging stations are extremely simple and may take up to two days or more to fully charge an EV battery, making them a last resource option better suited for traveling or as an emergency electric charger for car.
Level 2 EV chargers feature the best power rate for electric vehicle charging in just a few hours, making them the best option for residential and several other applications. Considering that features for Level 2 EV chargers vary from one device to the next one, it is important to determine what is the best level 2 EV charger and how to choose it among the different available options. Some criteria to consider are:
- Power rate: 7 kW can supply enough power for residential applications, while workplace and public EV charging stations require a higher power rate.
- Additional features: Additional features increase functionality for an electric charger for cars. For residential applications, you should consider dynamic load management, scheduled charging, remote monitoring, and others. Aside from these, workplace and public applications should feature RFID access, Open Charge Point Protocol, power sharing, and more.
- Safety features: Some important safety features include Ground Fault Circuit Interruption (GFCI), overvoltage protection, over current protection, over temperature protection, and others.
Are Level 3 EV Chargers Worth It?
Level 3 EV chargers are almost exclusively reserved for public usage, because the cost to install them is extremely high, making them unsuitable for most private (workplace or residential) applications. Installing a single DCFC unit costs anywhere between $40,000 and $175,000, which is why most level 3 EV chargers are government founded and destined for the general public.
Chapter 5: How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?
The fifth chapter of our E.V. guide will teach you what is important to know about the charging speed for different batteries and chargers, as well as the factors that affect this charging process.
What Is the Average Time It Takes to Charge an Electric Car?
Level 1 (AC)
Level 1 EV chargers feature a power rate of around 1 kW. This means that charging the average 40 kWh battery would take around 40 hours, however, some EVs feature larger batteries. For instance, the 60kWh battery for the Tesla Model Y charges in 60 hours or two and a half days, while the 75 kWh of the Tesla Model 3 Performance, would take more than 3 days to fully charge.
Level 2 (AC)
Level 2 EV car chargers feature a power rate going from 7 kW for residential applications, up to 19 kW for public and workplace applications. The estimated charging time for the previously mentioned car batteries is the following:
Table 1: Charging time for Level 2 EV chargers
In theory, the Tesla model Y and Model 3 Performance would charge in 3 hours and 3 hours 50 minutes respectively using a 19 kW level 2 EV charger, however, this is not the case. Why? Well as we previously mentioned, the on-board EV charger limits AC EV charging. In the case of these EVs, both of them feature an 11 kW on-board EV charger, limiting the charging speed to that power rate.
Level 3 (DC)
The power rate for Level 3 DCFC goes from 50 kW up to 350 kW, but they are limited for public applications. The time it takes to charge the previously mentioned batteries considering a maximum charging speed of 170 kW DC for the Tesla Model Y and 250 kW for the Tesla Model 3 Performance, is the following:
Table 2: Charging time for Level 3 EV chargers
It is important to note, that the charging curve for DC fast chargers is not as simple as for AC charging, as seen in Figure 1, therefore charging times may be a little longer than shown in table 2. DCFC usually charges the battery at a maximum speed, until it reaches 80% of its capacity, the remaining percentage will be charged at a lower rate.
What Are the Factors That Can Affect the Charging Speed of an EV?
The electric vehicle charging speed for a particular EV will not always be the same. Several factors determine how fast batteries charge the vehicle. These factors include:
- Battery Capacity: The battery capacity is the most important factor determining how long the battery takes to charge.
- State of Charge (SoC): If your battery is not fully discharged, it will take less to top up to 100%.
- Temperature: Temperature can heavily impact the charging speed and performance of your EV battery.
- Battery Management System (BMS) and On-board EV charger: The maximum charging speed for AC charging is limited by your On-board EV charger, while DC charging is limited by the BMS of the battery.
- Active loads: If you are charging the EV while consuming power inside the vehicle for electronics, any active load that you use will decrease the charging speed for the vehicle.
- Battery degradation: Batteries degrade over time and lose part of their retainable capacity. Degradation also reduces battery charging speed, making EVs charge at a slower pace to fully recharge the new and lower capacity.
Chapter 6: What Is the Cost to Charge an Electric Car?
The sixth chapter of our E.V. charging guide illustrates how much it costs to charge an EV using different types of charging stations. We also compare how cheap it is to drive an EV compared to an ICE vehicle.
Average Yearly and Monthly Cost to Charge an Electric Car
The average citizen in the U.S. drives around 11,443 miles. If we consider the average price for electricity at $0.149/kWh (Q4 2022) and the average EV efficiency of 0.346 kWh/mile, the cost to charge an EV would be around $589.93 for those 11.443 miles. Divided by the 12 months of the year, you would pay around $49.16 per month to drive your electric vehicle.
Cost of Charging an Electric Car at Home with a Residential EV Charging Station
Charging an EV at home is the cheapest option for you since it features the same $/kWh tariff as regular appliances (sometimes at an even lower tariffs if you subscribe to an EV friendly rate that your utility will probably offer). This means that considering the $.0.149/kWh tariff, charging the 98.7 kWh battery of the Ford Mustang Mach-E (another one of the most popular EVs in the U.S.) would cost an average of $14.71.
Cost of Charging Electric Car at EV Public Charging Stations
Costs for public EV charging stations are usually rated by hour of charging. Additional to this cost, you may have to pay a membership fee or a higher tariff if you are charging as a guest. If you leave the vehicle idle for too long (at least more than 10 minutes) you will have to pay a tariff per minute.
Using a Level 2 EV Charging Station
Let us analyze the case of Electrify America level 2 EV charging stations, featuring a cost of $0.03 per minute or up to $1.80 per hour. The Ford Mustang Mach-E features an 11 kW on-board EV charger, meaning it takes around 9 hours to charge it, for a total cost of $16.2, this is without considering monthly membership fees and the idle fee of $0.40/min in case you leave the EV idle for longer than 10 minutes.
Using a Level 3 or DC Fast Charging Station
A Level 3 DCFC station features a similar case. For instance, EVgo DCFC stations charge $0.34/kWh plus $3 to reserve a spot. Charging the 98.7 kWh battery of the Mustang Mach-E takes only 1 hour, with an overall cost of $33.55. The lowest tariff is set at $0.22/kWh with no reservation cost but requires paying a $12.99/month membership, charging at this tariff costs $21.71 to charge the battery, still more than for a home charger.
Table 3: Charging Cost for different EVs in Home vs. Public EV Charging Stations
What Is the Cost to Drive an Electric Car vs. Gas Vehicle?
It is estimated that driving an EV is 60% cheaper than driving an ICE vehicle, however, these prices may have varied since the time of the research. To make a more accurate estimation, we will calculate this cost difference considering the actual driving cost for the last quarter of 2022.
We already calculated that driving an EV for 11,443 miles per year costs on average $589.93. According to EPA, modern gas vehicles feature a 25.7 MPG efficiency, meaning that it takes 445 gas gallons to drive 11,443 miles. If we calculate this with the current gas price of $3.76, it costs $1,673 to drive an ICE vehicle annually. This means that with gas and electricity prices in Q4 2022, EVs are almost 65% cheaper to drive.
Chapter 7: How Far Will an Electric Car Take You?
Another important chapter to cover in our E.V. guide is the driving range. Learning about it will help you estimate and determine how far you will be able to drive your EV.
Electric Car Range
The driving range for an EV is the distance you can drive on a single battery charge. EVs can easily deliver their estimated driving range as long as you do not turn on heavy loads like the Heat Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) System, which rapidly consumes battery and impacts the driving range. Other loads consume battery, but the impact is not as heavy on the electric car range.
There are different categories used to classify the driving range of EVs, these include: short, average, and longest. The driving range is usually determined by the efficiency of the vehicle and the battery capacity. Let us see what the actual driving range per category is.
If you are going for an EV as your new vehicle, we recommend not choosing EVs with the shortest driving range of 100 miles or below. While statistically, 80 to 100 miles is all you need from an EV to go to work, the grocery store, home, and other close locations, this is not a suitable driving range for emergency drives or road trips. Some EVs featuring this driving range include the 2022 Mazda MX-30 (100) and most Plug-In Hybrids (less than 100 miles).
The average EV will deliver a driving range of around 216 miles, which is more than what you might usually need. Considering the 11,443 miles driven per year or an average of 31.35 miles per day, this means that a 216 miles EV will only need to be recharged once or twice a week. EVs fitting into this category include the 2022 Nissan Leaf Plus (226 miles), the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV (247 miles), and many others.
As you would expect, just like there are EVs that take you for 100 miles and 200 miles drives on a single battery charge, there is a selected range of EVs that go for twice or more that distance. Some EVs featuring the longest driving range include the 2022 Tesla Model S Dual-Motor AWD (405 miles) and the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition R all-wheel drive (520 miles).
Chapter 8: How Long Does the Battery of an EV Last?
EVs feature many important components, but the battery is perhaps the most important one. In fact, the battery is used to determine the lifespan of the vehicle. In this chapter of our E.V. charging guide, we analyze the lifespan of an EV battery and give you important tips on the subject.
Should You Plug Your EV Every Night?
The average EV with a 216 miles driving range can be charged once every two weeks approximately, but this assumes completely discharging the battery, which is something you should never do. Considering this, EV drivers wonder if plugging in to charge their EV every night is the right thing to do, but this also not a good EV charging practice, since it means constantly topping up your battery to 100%, which can degrade your EV battery faster over time.
Learning how to correctly charge electric cars will help you extend your EV battery life. According to studies performed in many EVs across Europe, the best charging practice to achieve a long battery life is discharging the battery to as low as 20% and charging it back up to a maximum of 80%. Keeping your EV on a 20% – 80% State of Charge (SoC) will increase battery life since this SoC range avoids the charging and discharging zones that cause faster battery degradation.
The 20% to 80% SoC requires charging the average EV at least every 5 days. This means that you will have to charge your vehicle up to two times a week in some cases to keep the battery in optimal condition.
What Is the Expected Lifespan for an EV Battery?
Considering the importance of EV batteries, learning about the expected lifespan for this component is extremely important for you as an EV driver.
An EV battery can be considered at the end of its life when it can only retain 70% – 80% of its designed capacity. After that point, the EV battery is usually replaced, and the old battery either gets a second life or is salvaged and recycled to reuse the components. According to research performed by institutes and EV manufacturers, it is estimated that EV batteries last around 10 to 15 years, but keeping to the 20% – 80% SoC might help you increase this lifespan.
How to Improve the Life of Your EV Battery: Tips & Recommendations
Keeping a SoC of 20% to 80% is one of the best electric vehicle battery charging practices designed to extend battery life, however, there are many other things that you can do to achieve this. Some of the best tips & recommendations to increase battery life are the following:
- Minimize exposing your vehicle to extremely high temperatures when parking, this can heavily impact the lifespan of your vehicle.
- Keep an optimal SoC to avoid battery degradation. It is recommended to stay above 20% and below 80%.
- Avoid using DCFC, since this heavily impacts the EV battery life. Fast Charging can reduce the lifespan of your vehicle 10% faster.
- Store vehicles at the right SoC. It is recommended to keep your EV charged at an SoC of 25% – 75% if you will be storing it for long periods.
- Avoid charging your EV right after a drive. At this moment, the battery will be hotter, which is why charging it at this temperature can impact its lifespan over time.
Chapter 9: What Do You Need to Know About EV Charging Cables and Plugs?
One of the last chapters in our E.V. charging guide is designed to teach you important terminologies on EV charging cables and plugs. These are, after all, extremely important components of an EV charger.
Every EV Charging Connector Type Explained
EVs can get charged with AC or DC power. Standard EV charging connectors vary between different countries and continents. Some EV connectors exclusively charge with AC and some exclusively charge with DC, however, there are also combo plugs featuring AC + DC connectors in the same plug. The following image illustrates the different EV charging connectors used worldwide.
Figure 2: EV charging connectors in the world
EVs in China use the 20234.2 and the 20234.3 GB/T connectors, featuring different charging ports for AC and DC charging. A similar case happens in Japan, where AC charging is done with the SAE J1772 connector, which is the U.S. standard, and DC charging with the CHAdeMO chargers.
European and American EVs use something known as the Combined Charging System 1 (CCS1) and CCS2. In Europe, Tesla and non-tesla EVs feature the CCS2, which includes IEC 62196-2 and IEC 62196-3 charging plugs, designed for AC and DC charging respectively. In the U.S. the charging standard is the CCS1 plug featuring the SAE 1772 Type 1 electric vehicles charger for AC charging and a DC variation featuring positive and negative DC pins, Tesla EVs feature a Tesla-exclusive EV plug.
Most EV chargers work similarly, but they have a different pin layout and in some cases include different characteristics. For instance, let us explain in detail the CCS1 featuring the AC and DC SAE J1772.
Figure 3: Pin layout for the CCS1
The SAE J1772 AC electric car battery charger connector comprises exclusively the first part of the layout, including the two pins for the phases (or a phase and a neutral), the protective earth (PE) connection, the control status (CS), and the control pilot (CP). The DC charging variation, additionally the DC positive and negative pins.
Electric vehicles charging connectors like the CCS1, communicate with the vehicle via the CP and the CS pins. Then they deliver the current and control the whole charging process, using the other pins. The following figures illustrate the AC and DC variation for the CCS2 electrical car charging connector.
Figure 4: AC Type 2 EV charging connector
Figure 5: DC Type 2 EV charging connector
In the case of CCS2, Type 2 AC and DC chargers fit in the same charging port of the vehicle, but they include different pins. The CCS2 replaces the CS pin from the CCS1 with a Proximity Pilot (PP) that performs a similar function to the CS pin. Just like with the CCS1 and CCS2 plugs, other EV charging connectors feature different layouts to communicate with the EV and deliver current to the battery.
Importance and Terminology for EV Cables
EV cables are an extremely important part of an EV charger, fulfilling a vital role in the EV charging process. Their main function is extending the conductors and communication protocols from the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to the EV.
The length of an EV cable should be long enough to avoid cable tension, reducing mechanical stress on it. While the average EV cable features a 25 ft. length, you may find EV cables that go from as little as 13 ft. up to 32 ft. EV cables feature different designs and materials for the exterior, but this should not affect the performance of the EV charger.
Considering the EV cable, there are two types of EV chargers: tethered and untethered. Tethered EV chargers come with a built-in EV cable, which is a plus for many EV drivers, but it can be a problem if the cable is damaged since it could render the electrical vehicle charger useless. Untethered EV chargers do not include the cable, but allow you to use and exchange the cable at your will.
How Does AC EV Charging Plug Types Work?
The AC electrical vehicle charging uses the Control Pilot (CP) and Control Status (CS) for communication purposes on the CCS1. Meanwhile, for the CCS2 it uses the Control Pilot (CP) and Proximity Pilot (PP). This communication protocol includes testing if the system is working properly, initiating the charging protocol, reading the charging status for the vehicle, ending the charging process, and more.
The neutral and phase pins deliver the right voltage and current to the on-board EV charger. The on-board EV battery charger is constantly communicating with the external charger to take the vehicle through the bulk, absorption, and float stages that were previously mentioned.
How Do DC EV Charging Plug Types Work?
The DC charging process works quiet similarly compared to the AC charging one.
The main difference between the DC charging plug is that the delivered current will not be AC and it will not be delivered to the on-board EV charger. The DC plug instead, injects DC power directly into the EV, with the maximum DC power being limited by the Battery Management System (BMS).
During DC charging, the current will rapidly increase, charging the battery up to 80% in less than an hour. After 80%, the remaining 20% will get charged at a slower pace to protect the battery. Older EV models featured a maximum DC power rate of around 50 kW, but newer versions can charge at 250kW and faster.
Chapter 10: Charging Electric Cars: Why Are There So Many Terms? Understanding Every One of Them
We have finally arrived at the last chapter of our E.V. charging guide.
In this final chapter of our guide, we explain the most important and complex terms in a friendly and easy-to-understand fashion. This will likely clear any doubts regarding the content of the guide, helping you better absorb the knowledge to improve your EV charging practice and make the best out of your EV. There are terms included in the guide, but also additional terms that can be of use to you:
- Electric vehicle (EV): A vehicle designed with an electric motor, powered by a Lithium-Ion battery. Features no tailpipe emissions. Also known as an electric car.
- Battery EV (BEV): Electric vehicle entirely powered with a Lithium-ion battery.
- Plug-in EV (PEV): Electric vehicle that is partially powered with a Lithium-Ion battery and partially with gasoline.
- Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicle: Classic vehicle that burns gasoline to function.
- Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions: Gasses trapped in the atmosphere as a consequence of contamination. Most GHG emissions are composed of CO2.
- HOV lanes: Lanes used by High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV), are designed to alleviate traffic. EVs are allowed in HOV lanes no matter the number of occupants.
- Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE): Analog term to refer to EV chargers or EV charging stations, the device used to charge the battery of an EV.
- Community EV charger: Electric car charger destined for a closed community. Usually installed for apartment buildings and condos.
- Residential EV charging: Process of charging an EV with electric car chargers installed at a home.
- Public EV charging: Charging an EV in a public location, using a device destined for public charging.
- EV charging station network operator: Company with a robust infrastructure that operates (and in some cases owns) public EV charging stations.
- Non-networked EV charger: Term used to refer to public electric car chargers not designed to work with an EV charging station network operator. In most cases, it does not feature an internet connection or smart features.
- AC / DC power: The power delivered by the two available types of currents: Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). It is used to charge EVs and for many other applications.
- Level 1, 2, and 3 for EV chargers: Categories used to classify the different electric car charging levels for an EV charger. The higher the level, the higher the power rate.
- DC Fast Charging (DCFC) station: Another term used to refer to Level 3 EV charging stations.
- Radio Frequency Identification: Identification system used in some public EV charging stations, granting some EV drivers access to charge their EV at a particular EV charger.
- OCPP: Communication protocol used by most smart EV chargers in the market to receive and send information to and from the app or network operator.
- On-board EV charger: AC to DC power converter. Used to convert AC power from the grid into DC power, used to directly charge the battery for an EV.
- Battery Management System (BMS): Electronic system used to manage and protect a battery. Its main function is limiting the electric car recharge rate for a battery and cutting-off power in extremely dangerous situations.
- Range anxiety: Fear that the electric car will not have enough battery charge to reach to the desired destination.
- State of Charge (SoC): Remaining battery charge percentage at any particular moment.
- EV charging plug: Plug used to charge an EV.