Frequently Asked Questions
Charging your EV with a charger is safer, faster and cheaper. Safer, because the charger is smart and will control the flow of energy through the cable. You can also charge your car at off-peak time to get cheaper cost.
When a vehicle is ‘smart charging’, the charger is essentially ‘communicating’ with your car through data connections. In other words, whenever you plug in your EV, the charger automatically connect with the data in order to optimize charging.
Thus, smart charging allows the charging operator (be it an individual with a charger at their home or a business owner with multiple charging stations) to manage how much energy to give to any plugged-in EV. The amount used can vary depending on how many people are using electricity at that time, putting less pressure on the grid. Smart charging also prevents charging operators from exceeding their building’s maximum energy capacity, as defined by local grid capacities and their chosen energy tariff. This saves everybody time and money and, most importantly, economises energy to help us to better protect the planet’s precious resources.
The battery capacity of your electric vehicle (EV) will determine how much energy can be stored and, therefore, how long it will take to charge. The battery capacity differs for each car. The Nissan LEAF, for example, has a battery capacity of 30 kW, while the Tesla Model S has a capacity of 100 kW.
Every charger has a maximum of power that can be transferred from the installation to the vehicle. Wallbox chargers can charge between 7.4 kW and 22 kW. To figure out how long it takes to charge your battery, divide the battery capacity by the charging power.
There are two kinds of ‘fuels’ that can be used in electric cars. They’re called alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) power. The power that comes from the grid is always AC. However, batteries, like the one in your EV, can only store power as DC. That’s why most electronic devices have a converter built into the plug. You may not realize it but every time you’re charging a device such as your smartphone, the plug is actually converting AC power to DC.
AC charging for electric vehicles
When it comes to electric vehicles, the converter is built inside the car. It’s called the “onboard charger” though it really is a converter. It converts power from AC to DC and then feeds it into the car’s battery. This is the most common charging method for electric vehicles today and most chargers use AC power.
DC charging for electric vehicles
As we’ve learned, power from the grid is always AC. The difference between AC charging and DC charging is the location where the AC power gets converted; inside or outside the car. Unlike AC chargers, a DC charger has the converter inside the charger itself. That means it can feed power directly to the car’s battery and doesn’t need the onboard charger to convert it. DC chargers are bigger, faster, and an exciting breakthrough when it comes to EVs.