EV charging comes in two types: AC “slow” chargers and DC “fast” chargers. AC chargers are common at homes and anywhere a driver can be expected to wait a while to charge up – hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers. DC chargers, on the other hand, are becoming more common as electric vehicle adoption increases. Many drivers don’t want to wait hours for a full battery or to come back from shopping to find they’ve only had a little top-up. Sometimes, drivers want to plug in their vehicles, charge up, and get back on the road as quickly as possible. DC – level 3 – electric vehicle chargers offer the fastest charging time on the market. But not all DC chargers are the same! So which DC charger should you choose for your needs?
DC CHARGING SPEEDS
Charging speeds vary a lot depending on the vehicle and the charger involved. For safety reasons, electric vehicles have limits on how much electricity they can accept at once. This keeps the vehicle from overheating and protects the battery. However, it also limits how quickly the car can charge. Other factors, like initial battery level and total battery size affect charging speeds as well.
MODELS ON THE MARKET
DC chargers come in a few common set sizes. If you do a little digging, you’ll see that almost all DC fast chargers come in multiples of 50: 50 kW, 100 kW, 150 kW. That’s because of how the internal architecture of the charger is structured. The Noodoe EV Exceed DC chargers, however, have larger internal architecture and come in multiples of 60: 60 kW, 120 kW, and 180 kW (without an uptick in price, even). These numbers represent how much power the charger is able to transfer from the grid. Here’s a quick rundown of these common sizes, the kinds of vehicles they can charge, and which DC charger might be most suitable for what kind of installation.
FAST CHARGERS: CHARGING WITH DIRECT CURRENT
These are the DC chargers with around 50 kW or 60 kW. These are standard DC chargers and the first real step up from the speed possible with an AC charger. They’re important chargers for anyone driving a battery-electric (or fully-electric) vehicle (BEV) because those cars can’t top up their range at the gas pump. They need electricity. They’re good chargers for anyone who wants to charge up quickly over a meal or a quick run into the grocery store for a few necessities.
This charging level is approximately the top charging speed for the 2020 Chevy Bolt. Thus, even if it’s plugged into a faster charger, this car won’t transfer any faster than about 50-55 kW.
UltraFAST CHARGERS: DRIVING THE DC CHARGING HIGHWAY
In a step up, get ready for some real power. These chargers hit around 100 kW or 120 kW. If you’re planning a longer trip any time soon, you’ll want to know where chargers this size are along the way. They’ll help get those needed miles back into the “tank” so you can get back on the road!
The VW ID.4 is specced to accept up to 125 kW under ideal circumstances. That means that one of these chargers, if it isn’t charging another car at the same time, is an excellent choice. The ID.4 can take full advantage of this machine!
Super UltraFAST CHARGERS: THE AUTOBAHN OF CHARGERS
Now we’re talking! Open the floodgates and go! These chargers will get an EV more than topped up. They’re around 150 kW or 180 kW and transfer fast! Anyone planning a true road trip will be looking for these chargers along the way. They’re perfect for gas stations that want to expand their businesses and restaurants close to highways. Encourage folks to grab a bite to eat and get going again with hundreds more miles of range.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E will charge at up to 150 kW, and the Porche Taycan can go as high as 270 kW. So, these cars can take full advantage of chargers this powerful. They’re just the tip of the iceberg, though.
THE BOTTOM LINE
As time goes on, we can expect more and more cars to be able to charge faster and faster. DC fast chargers are already a life necessity for those driving BEVs. Ask any owner, and they’ll be able to tell you the location of their most convenient fast charger without even thinking about it. The market is ready, and we only need more chargers. The only question now is which DC charger to choose!