When and How to use DC Fast Charging?
Before owning an electric vehicle, users must consider the vehicle’s charging speed and the type of charging that gives an efficient and fast power supply. Thus, when choosing the charging types must choose wisely for traveling long-distance electric vehicles.
DC or Direct Current is the fastest charging solution the EV vehicle battery directly stores and supplies when charging. Batteries cannot consume AC power directly, so the onboard converter converts the AC power into DC power as input to the EV batteries. In this EV article, we will know when and how EV owners can use DC for fast charging.
What is DC power?
The DC or Direct Current power is a one-directional linear electric current commonly produced from solar cells and batteries. This type of current flows through conductors such as wires but can also flow through insulators or vacuum in the form of electrons or ion beams. The electric vehicle’s battery cannot store AC power and therefore gets converted to DC power when using level 1 or level 2 charging.
This conversion is possible through an onboard charging device called DC fast charger. These are responsible for the fastest charging of electric vehicles because of the AC power to DC conversion within the charging station.
Note – Every EV does not support DC power or is compatible with DC fast charging stations.
When and how to use DC fast charging?
Following are some highlighted points every EV owner must know before they switch to electric vehicles and want fast charging capabilities with DC fast chargers:
The connector type
DC fast chargers need specific charging ports, and these are not the J1772 connector required for Level 2 AC charging. Such typical connector types for DC fast chargers are SAE Combo, including CCS1 in the United States and CCS2 in Europe, Tesla, CHAdeMO, and GB/T in China. The demand for DC fast chargers is rising with the increasing number of electric vehicles highlighting that owners must check the automobile’s port before plug-in. The EV will determine the type of port needed for DC fast charging.
When you use the DC fast charging
The price of the electric bill is higher than that of Level 2 charging. Thus, for more cost-efficiency, users must use fast charging only when they need it the most. The reason behind such savings is DC fast charging is expensive and difficult to install, so it is better to use them wisely.
Another reason not to overuse DC fast charging is DC fast chargers supply a lot of power to the batteries, and the EV batteries need extra strain to manage this high power. It can reduce the efficiency and life expectancy of the EV’s battery.
The price of DC fast charging varies on several factors, including the location of the EV owner, charging station, and other factors. DC fast charging is expensive because EV users need more infrastructure management and capital expenses for installing and maintaining the energy-intensive equipment. Thus, owners must remember these points before and after installing DC fast charging and owning an EV.
The 80% percent
Several factors decide the charging speed of the EV battery with DC fast chargers. While charging, every electric vehicle’s battery follows a charging curve, which represents the variation in the charging speed while charging the battery.
The initial charging stage starts slow because the EV monitors the battery’s charge level, the surrounding weather, and other factors. The charging speed reaches the peak speed as fast as possible but slows down when the battery reaches about an 80 percent charge to extend battery life.
It is advisable not to continue charging with the DC fast chargers when the EV’s battery reaches about 80 percent. It is when the charging of the battery will slow down drastically because it could take almost the same time to charge the last 20 percent as it is required to reach 80 percent.
So, for more efficiency, users can unplug the charging when the battery gets that 80 percent threshold. Also, it can help the EV drivers to ensure that as many EV owners can charge their automobiles with the available fast charging stations.
The charging speed and its associated cost play a vital role in deciding the efficiency of the electric vehicle. Before owning an EV, individuals are always concerned about whether the charging speed is fast, which might significantly impact their daily routine. Thus, in this EV article, we highlighted some important factors for EV owners to charge EVs faster by using DC fast charging and utilizing DC power with cost-efficient techniques.