Everything you need to know about electric car charging

If you’re new to the world of electric vehicles, here’s everything you need to know about electric car charging.

Charging Electric Cars: What’s the Difference Between AC and DC?

There are two types of current to charge an electric car: alternating (AC) and direct (DC). The alternating current is used to carry electricity on high voltage lines, and which is found in our household outlets. In practice, it is used to recharge a low-power electric car, up to about 22 kW.

To charge a high-powered electric car, you must choose direct current, which is used in ultra-fast, high-power charging stations, which generally exceed 50 kW. More powerful and more complex, direct current terminals are more expensive, but on the other hand, they allow you to recharge your electric car more quickly: they are the ones found at motorway service stations.

Charging electric cars: single-phase or three-phase?

At home, you can get electricity from single-phase or three-phase current. The single phase current It is used in most appliances in your home such as heating, lighting or electronic devices. The three-phase current it is used by appliances that demand more energy, such as industrial ovens and refrigerators, or even water heaters.

As far as electric car charging is concerned, single-phase current can provide a maximum power of 3.7 kW (16 A) or 7.4 kW (at 32 A), while three-phase current can provide more power, ranging up to 11 kW (16 A) or 22 kW (32 A). In practice, three-phase allows you to recharge your electric car with greater power and therefore faster.

Charging electric cars: which connectors?

In the electric car market, there are various types of connectors that coexist, even if the trend is towards standardization. Older models use the Type 1, which does not allow fast charging: it is found in the Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero, for example. Another connector, which is about to disappear, allows fast charging: the CHADEMOa Japanese pattern found, for example, on the Nissan Leaf.

Today, the most common connector you will find on electric cars is the type 2 : it is compatible with single-phase and three-phase current, and allows great versatility. There is also a variant, which allows for ultra-fast charging: the CCS combination, which includes a Type 2 plug and therefore allows backwards compatibility. We found CCS on Tesla Model 3 and Y, Renault Zoé and other Peugeot e-208s.

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Charging electric cars: the wall box

The best way to charge an electric car at home is to have one wall box by an expert: this is a wall socket specially designed to safely and quickly charge an electric vehicle with a charging power of 11 or 22 kW in three-phase current.

A simple and quick solution to optimize the cost of charging your electric car, installing a Wallbox is simple if you live in a house, but it often requires more extensive work and the agreement of your landlord if you live in a condominium (building of apartments, for example).

Charging electric cars: other ways to charge

In addition to the various connectors mentioned, it is also possible to recharge your electric car at a power outlet standard, even if this solution is not necessarily ideal: in fact, an incorrectly sized electrical network can cause significant damage to your electrical installation, causing overheating and fires.

However, some vehicle models are designed to be recharged safely from a simple common electrical outlet, such as the 100% electric Citroën Ami, or even electric scooters.

Visit this link to learn more about the different ways to charge an electric car

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