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One of the key barriers to EV adoption is range anxiety. With more DC rapid chargers on the road, your business will be a catalyst in the electric mobility revolution.
DC charging charges your EV to 80 per cent capacity at full speed and then reduces output to ensure it doesn’t affect the performance of your EV’s battery.
As more DC rapid chargers are introduced to the public, EV drivers can integrate charging into their daily routines (e.g. charging whilst eating lunch or doing the weekly shop).
Just like their AC counterparts, DC rapid charging stations are easy-to-use: just tap to pay, plug in, charge, and be on your way.
Because you can charge on the go, you don’t have to worry about whether a single charge will be enough for your entire journey.
With power outputs between 90 kW and 400 kW, fast charging stations increase charging speeds dramatically.
“As a real estate company, it is important for us to actively facilitate the change toward a greener future. When choosing a vendor for our charging initiative, there were key selection criteria for us that the vendor had a robust product and that they shared the same enthusiasm and passion for sustainability—EVBox checked all boxes.”
Manager at Ragde Charge
“We are happy to work with the City of Amsterdam to make the city greener and contribute positively to its 2030 ambitions. Having EVBox Troniq Modular in such a booming area of Amsterdam, our hometown makes this installation a personally important one for us. We hope that we can set an example for other cities around Europe and the world.”
VP Commercial Support at EVBox
“We’re looking forward to partnering with EVBox and piloting this new charger, which we expect will become best-in-class. EVBox and Fastned will work closely together in optimizing the user experience and the communication between the charger and Fastned’s backend system. We're committed to continuously improving charger speed and reliability to provide our customers with the best experience and give freedom to electric drivers.”
Roland van der Put
Head of Charging Technology at Fastned
There are two different types of EV charging stations: AC and DC. It's important to keep in mind that power from the grid is always AC and EV batteries only accept DC power. That means that at some stage, the current must be converted. The difference between AC and DC charging stations is whether that power convertor is located onboard or off-board the vehicle.
With DC charging, the convertor can be significantly larger due to the fact that it is located off-board the vehicle. Because the current is already converted to DC by the time it reaches the vehicle, it is possible to deliver more power, faster.
As a result of this different charging technique, DC stations can provide up to 350 kW of power and fully charge an EV in 15 minutes (providing the EV allows it). Due to their fast charging abilities, DC rapid chargers are ideal for short-stop locations, fleet vehicle charging, and are beneficial for passenger vehicles as well as buses and trucks.
Want to find out more? Read our blog on the difference between AC and DC here.
The kW output of DC rapid charging stations varies depending on multiple factors including location, make, and model.
Broadly speaking, there are two different kinds of DC fast charging stations: standalone, and split.
Standalone: comprised of a single unit, standalone charging stations can usually deliver between 50 kW and 250 kW of power.
Split: charging stations with split architecture come with two main components—a user unit and a power unit—and usually deliver between 175 kW and 350 kW.
There are a number of factors which affect an EV’s charging speed with DC charging. However, because the AC/DC converter is located in the charging station itself, charging an electric vehicle with DC charging can be significantly faster than with AC charging.
Different factors which affect a vehicle’s charging speed with DC charging include the battery’s current charge, the weather conditions (batteries charge slower in the cold), the battery’s charging capabilities, and, of course, the power output.
Battery’s current charge: Due to measures to increase battery life and ensure safe charging, charging slows down significantly for the final 20 per cent. As DC fast charging takes an EV's battery to 80 per cent capacity in a comparatively short amount of time versus AC charging and then slows down for the remaining 20 per cent, the time it takes for your battery to reach 100 per cent full may be the same for the initial 80 per cent charge.
Weather conditions: Depending on where you are charging your EV, the temperature may effect the charging speed. Cold temperatures can negatively impact charging speeds due to the fact that lithium-ion batteries—those used to power EVs—are very sensitive in low temperatures.
Power output: Obviously, the power output of the charger will have an effect on charging times. For example, 15 minutes of charging time can give you between 130 km and 480 km additional range at 100 kW and 350 kW output respectively. At 50 kW, one hour of charging a passenger vehicle will add an additional 278 km of range.
Additionally, we always say that the car is the “master” when it comes to dictating charging times. Some vehicles can accept more power than others. For example, while a Tesla Model 3 can accept 250 kW, a Nissan Leaf can only accept about 50 kW.
See this blog post for more information about how to make the most out of DC fast and ultra-fast charging.
DC charging works with the vast majority of passenger vehicles. By default, EVs charge their batteries with direct current and this means that almost all accept DC fast charging. How much power each battery can handle, however, is another story. Some batteries can accept 350 kW whilst others can only accept 50 kW. Additionally, a very small portion of electric vehicles with smaller batteries do not have the capacity to charge with DC charging—for example, the Fiat 500 does not offer a fast charging capability. To get the most out of DC rapid charging, it’s important to consider whether the EV supports DC charging, and if so, what is the maximum output that it accepts?
Whilst almost all passenger vehicles can use DC charging, the process of charging itself may require a different connector than the one your vehicle uses with AC charging.
Looking at the European level, there are two standards for DC charging connectors—CCS and CHAdeMO—as well as Tesla’s signature Supercharger which you have to consider.
Combined Charging System (CCS) allows for both AC and DC charging through the same input port, while vehicles equipped with CHAdeMO have a separate port for AC charging and can’t charge faster than 50 kW.
Due to this shortfall, CCS is becoming the dominant standard across Europe and North America and CHAdeMO is getting phased out across both continents.
While there are still over half a million vehicles with CHAdeMO plugs on the road in Europe, Europe recently announced that CCS2 will become the standard.
That means that a CCS connector is likely to be necessary for DC fast charging in the future—at least in North America and Europe
It is most likely that DC rapid charging does cost more than charging your electric vehicle with AC power. When you’re paying for DC charging, you’re paying extra for the convenience to charge your vehicle quickly.
The difference in price, however, depends on the location which you charge and whether the charging station bills by the minute or by kWh.
Balancing price and convenience comes down to knowing what’s best for your vehicle. For instance, if your vehicle's maximum DC charging capability is 50 kW and you're occupying the ultra-rapid charging station (250 kW), then you're going to be paying more whilst still receiving the same charge.
Ultimately, the answer is yes, DC rapid charging costs more than AC charging, but it’s important to ask yourself, “do I actually need to charge this fast or is it more logical to charge slower?”
DC rapid charging stations are ideal for commercial and public locations, meaning that you’re likely to find them at retail and hospitality locations, in commercial parking stations, fuel retailers, service stations on the motorway, and utility providers.
To find a DC charger, Google Maps is a great option or you can always open up the EVBox Charge app.