What Are DC Fast Chargers And How Do They Work?

by | May 6, 2021 | 0 comments

Direct current (DC) is the type of power used by a battery and most electric vehicle (EV) chargers use alternating current (AC). Without a converter that changes AC into DC power, you can’t charge EV batteries.

Why AC Charging is Time-Consuming

It takes some time for the converter to change the AC power coming into a useable direct current. Manufacturers set the speed and time it takes to charge the electric vehicle’s battery. The converter also has to complete another task during conversion, adding to the time.

The type of charging station you use affects charging speed and time. Level 2 AC charging stations are the most common in homes and public places. These stations are rated at 7kW to 22kW. However, there is a faster way to recharge your EV battery.

For those who would like to learn more about our level 2 AC charging stations, we have an entire page dedicated to this charging station. You can learn more on our electric vehicle level 2 charging stations by clicking here.

DC Fast Chargers Speed Up Charging Times

A DC charger doesn’t need to use a converter. The power is transmitted directly to the vehicle battery speeding up the process. You can fully recharge your battery in less time. It’s ideal for longer trips or when you’re in a hurry.

DC fast chargers are preferred by most EV drivers for their speed and convenience. However, there are limitations to these chargers. You must use the right type of connector to safely charge the EV battery. It means you must use the right DC charging station.

We also like to make readers aware that, according to the Kia Motors website, “Frequent use of DC Fast Charging can negatively impact battery performance and durability, and Kia recommends minimizing use of DC Fast Charging.”

For those who would like to learn more about our level 3 DC charging stations, we have an entire page dedicated to this charging station. You can learn more on our electric vehicle level 3 charging stations by clicking here.

Charging Station Levels

There are three charging station levels, each one delivers a set amount of kilowatts. Level 3 charging is the highest. You get a faster charge at a Level 3 charging station, whether it’s for AC or DC power.

The main difference is in the amount of power the battery gets. DC charging stations produce a higher current. You get 20kW with AC level 3, compared to 240kW at a DC level 3 charging station. It’s a noticeable difference in power that dramatically shortens the time it takes to recharge the battery.

Should You Always Use a Fast DC Charger?

You do get a faster charge with a DC charger, but it might not be the best option for daily use.

The type of connector on your vehicle plays a key role in charging. It has a limit on the amount of AC power it can accept and convert to direct current. The same rules also apply to electric vehicles. The EV can only accept a specific amount of DC at a time.

Rapid charging is also tough on the vehicle’s battery. The fast charge causes the battery to heat up. It’s not dangerous, but it does shorten the life of your battery. You may find that you’re replacing the battery more often when you shave a few minutes off of charging times.

DC charging stations are also more expensive to own and use. The cost of electricity is higher, and you’ll notice this when you stop at a public charging station.

DC Fast Chargers with Apogee Charging Solutions

Now that you understand the difference between AC and DC charging, you’re better equipped to make a decision on whether to purchase AC or DC charging stations. But this is only one small facet of electric vehicle charging stations. The experts at Apogee Charging Solutions are standing by to answer all of your EV charging station questions. For more information, call 484-816-2076 or email [email protected]. Or you can schedule a call by clicking the button below.


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