What are the differences between AC and DC Charging?

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If you own an electric vehicle, you are going to get familiar with both AC and DC charging. But do you understand the differences between these two methods of charging? And what do you need to know? This article will explore and list the differences between AC and DC EV charging so you to choose the better way to charge your EV.

  • Electric Current

An electric car battery can accept only Direct Current. That means the electric car's onboard charger 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 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.

  • EV Charging Curves

The second key difference between AC and DC charging is the charging curve shape. With AC charging, the power flowing to an EV represents a flat line, which is due to the relatively small onboard converter that can only handle a limited power spread over longer periods.

DC charging curves typically start high, allowing for rapid initial charging. As the battery fills up, the curve slopes downward, reducing the power input to prevent overheating. This creates a decreasing, curved line on a graph.

  • Charging Speed

Another fundamental difference between AC and DC charging is the charging speed. The faster you want to charge a battery - the more power you need to provide. This high-power charging is best carried out with the converters built into the charging station rather than the vehicles so you're not dragging around heavy and expensive converters dragged around with you in your car. Therefore, charging with direct current can be ten or more times faster than charging with alternating current.