AC vs DC Electric Vehicle Charging
AC (Alternating Current) is the type of electricity that reverses direction at regular intervals, which is the type of electricity supplied by utilities to homes and businesses.
DC (Direct Current) is the type of electricity that flows in one direction, which is the type of electricity supplied by batteries. Electric vehicle batteries can only be charged with DC power. The main difference between AC and DC charging is where the conversion from AC to DC takes place.
AC Charging is the simplest and most common method of electric vehicle charging. All electric vehicles are equipped with an onboard charger or rectifier which converts AC power from the mains to DC power required to charge the batteries. The "charger" cable connecting the AC supply to the EV provides the necessary control and safety functions required for safe charging. AC charging rates are limited by the capacity of the EV's onboard charger, typically between 7,4 kW and 22 kW.
DC Charging technology is more complex and expensive than AC charging technology. The AC to DC rectifier is located in the charging station or "supercharger" and delivers high-power DC for the fastest possible charging. DC charge rates depend on the charging infrastructure and DC charge station capacity, ranging from 50 kW to 350 kW.