The difference between AC and DC charging
Within e-mobility, we find two primary methods of electric vehicle charging: alternating current (AC) charging and direct current (DC) charging.
AC charging is the most common form of electric vehicle charging and is what’s used, for example, when charging at home. With AC charging, the alternating current supplied from the mains is converted into the direct current needed by the vehicle battery. AC charging is usually slower than DC charging because the current needs to be converted, and the charging speed depends on how much current the wallbox can supply and how much current the vehicle battery can handle. Most electric vehicles can be charged with AC at a speed of up to 22 kW, which can provide a full charge in 6–12 hours depending on the size of the vehicle battery.
DC charging is a faster type of charging that’s often found in public places using fast chargers, which deliver higher charging outputs. DC charging supplies direct current directly to the vehicle battery, with no need for the conversion process required by AC charging. This means that DC charging charges the vehicle battery faster than AC charging. At a speed of 50 kW, the vehicle is charged from 20% to 30% in about 30–60 minutes, depending on the size of the vehicle battery. With a larger charging output, such as 150 kW, this can be done in about 20 minutes instead.
The type of charging station you should install depends entirely on your needs. In public places such as visitor car parks, a combination of AC and DC charging can prove a practical alternative to meet the needs and demands of different visitors.