How to Choose a Charging Station | Types of Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles

Perhaps, the most confusing point in the development of electric cars is the standards of charging stations and connectors. When you buy a gasoline car, you don’t need to think about the type of fuel gun that a gas station uses. They are all the same – the only thing you have to differ is regular gasoline from diesel fuel. With electric cars, you have CS1, CS2, J1772, CHAdeMO and a Tesla branded connector. There are also different types of charging stations that correspond to how fast they can charge a car.

Level 1 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Level 1 uses a standard connector that is compatible with a household outlet. The plugs that come with an electric vehicle are usually designed for Level 1 or Level 2 charging, but there is one important point to keep in mind. Most of drivers call such devices “chargers”, which isn’t quite true.

In fact, such charges act as an extension cord for the outlet. The battery charger converts alternating current energy into direct current. Level 1 convectors work properly, but they charge slowly. You can expect the charging speed of about 2 kW per hour. Such electric charging stations will meet the requirements of people who are able to wait for a while.

If you use your car for short commutes only, you may probably use this charger. Most likely, you will charge your car all night. However, it’s obviously not suitable for fast charging or for those who often drive more than 80 km a day. The connector type depends on where you live. Japan and America have a J1772 connector. In China, the UK and Europe, people use a Type 2 connector.

Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Level 2 stations also use alternating current, but with a much higher output power. As with Level 1, the car still converts alternating current to direct current, which limits the speed at which the electric car will be charged. Tesla offers second-level wall-mounted charging. For example, the built-in Tesla Model 3 charger can take up to 48 A.

Although this method is much faster, it’s still not quick enough for comfortable charging. Such an electric vehicle charger will work for a few hours. Level 2 chargers typically produce about 10-20 kW per hour.

Level 3 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

These charging stations are usually quite large and have built-in AC-to-DC converters. They are more powerful than your car’s built-in charger. It means that the power transmitted through the cable is already direct current. Your vehicle can direct this charging current to the battery. The fastest DC electric car charging stations have a maximum power of 350-400 kW, but so far there are no cars that could use them to maximum.

In addition, third-level chargers usually have different connector requirements. For example, you can’t use the J1772 to transmit direct current to a car. It’s only suitable for AC delivery.

In America, CCS1 is used, which means the standard for combined charging. It contains a J1772 plug and has two additional DC connectors at the bottom. It means that you can have a single port on your car that can accept J1772 or a full CCS1 connector for fast charging. In Europe and around the world, there is CCS2 that has a type 2 plug with additional DC connectors. Basically, the same method is used as in CCS1. The Chinese plug is also capable of direct current charging. In Japan, there is a CHAdeMO connector for fast charging.

A level 3 electric vehicle charging station is really necessary for long-distance travel. It’s the sphere where Tesla is the leader in competing with its Supercharger network. Worldwide, the Supercharger network has about 1,870 stations with 16,585 superchargers. V2 superchargers run at the maximum output of 150 kW, but the newer V3s currently on the market can charge at speeds of up to 250 kW.

How to Choose a Charger for an Electric Car?

The first step is to think about the most suitable charging speed for you. If the battery voltage of your electric vehicle is 48 V, the output voltage of the corresponding charger is usually around 59 V; if it’s a 60V battery, the output voltage of the corresponding charger is usually 73.5 V. When choosing an ev car charger, the input voltage should be 220 V, but the output voltage should match your battery, which you need to accurately capture.

Any smart electric car charger starts with high current charging. When it’s full, it automatically switches to a slower charge, as we cook porridge on fire. When the water boils over the fire, you change to a small fire to boil it slowly. The smart charger can effectively ensure that the battery is in a safe condition after being fully charged. It’s a very important issue if you want to use your electric car as long as possible.





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