When it comes to charging an electric car (EV), it’s all about two types of electric current: AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current). Let’s dive into what exactly these currents are and how they affect EV charging.
First of all, what are AC and DC anyway? Well, they are like yin and yang of electricity. AC is like that one friend who is always going back and forth – it constantly changes direction. On the other hand, DC is more like a straight line, always in one direction.
When you charge your EV, you have to deal with these two currents. The stuff coming out of your socket? That’s AC. But the energy that’s in your EV’s batteries? That’s DC.
Here comes the interesting part: the difference in charging methods. With a DC charging station, the conversion from AC to DC happens even before the power reaches your car. This means that that powerful DC current flows directly from the charging station to your battery. And that’s why those DC stations are so fast – some can deliver up to 350 kW of power, charging your EV in the blink of an eye.
But wait, there’s more! With an AC charging station, the conversion from AC to DC takes place inside your car itself. This means that the charging speed depends on the size of your battery and how efficiently the inverter in your car works. In general, AC charging is slower than DC, but it is still convenient for daily charging at home or when you have the time to charge slowly.
The difference between AC and DC is not only the direction of the current, but it also affects how fast your car charges. DC charging happens at lightning speed, while AC charging depends on your car’s tech gadgets and battery capacity.
So, why is this important? Well, if you’re on a road trip and need to recharge quickly, those fast DC charging stations are your go-to. But if you’re just at home and want to charge at night, your trusty AC station will do the job.
In short, it’s all about the differences between AC and DC and how they charge your EV. Now that you know how these currents work, you can choose smarter when to charge your EV, whether it’s a quick pit stop on the road or a relaxing charging session at home.
Plan your route: If you’re planning a long drive in your electric car, it’s smart to check your route in advance. There are lots of handy apps and websites that will help you find charging points along your route.
Choose the right charging point: There are different types of charging points. You have the public charging points, which you find everywhere, fast charging stations for a super-fast boost and, of course, home chargers. The important thing is to choose the type that suits you, both in terms of need and budget.
Charge during cheap hours: If you charge at home, it can save money if you do so during off-peak hours, when electricity is cheaper. Some energy companies even have special EV tariffs that are even cheaper.
Check your battery size: How big your battery is determines how far you can drive before you need to recharge. Handy to know how far you can get on a full battery and how long it will take to fill it up again.
Keep it between 20% and 80%: To avoid being stranded somewhere without power, it’s smart to keep your battery between 20% and 80% charged. This helps keep it healthy and ready for the next trip.