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Understanding Charging

Below are the basics that will help you understand the nature of charging a BEV, like the difference between AC and DC electrical currents, the different charging connectors and the speed levels available to charge a BEV.
AC versus DC
AC vs. DC for charging BEVs
Condensed from Dan Landry's Post found on the Fully Charge Driving website
 
It may be helpful to first clarify the difference between AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current).
  • AC is the type of current that is supplied to homes and businesses by the electrical grid. AC charging an EV battery is slower, as it has to first be converted into DC current.

  • DC is the only type of current that an EV battery will store. DC charging an EV battery is faster than AC charging, since it’s given at a much higher voltage and doesn’t have to be converted.

 

EVs will all have an onboard charger (i.e. inside the car) which acts as a converter to change any AC current from the grid into DC current for the battery.

Charging Connectors
Deciphering different EV charging connectors: A visual guide
Condensed from Dan Landry's Post found on the Fully Charge Driving website
J1172 Connector
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The J1772 connector is seen as the de facto universal EV plug/connector for AC charging EVs in North America.
Every EV available to consumers in North America, except Tesla, uses the J1772 connector for AC charging.  Tesla has an adapter available to allow any of their vehicles to use a J1772 connector.
CCS Connector
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The CCS (Combined Charging System) connector is simply the J1772 plug with 2 added DC pins on the bottom. DC fast-charging an EV permits drivers to charge an EV battery much faster than with the AC chargers.
CHAdeMO Connector
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CHAdeMO, which is a shortened version of “CHArge de MOve“, is a DC fast charging connector. These days in North America, the CHAdeMO adapter seems to be destined for the dustbin of obsolete technologies
TESLA Connector
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The Tesla proprietary connector is only used by Tesla vehicles in North America.  It allows both AC and DC charging from the exact same plug and connector.
Charging: Level 1, 2 & 3
BEVs can be charged at different Level of speeds depending on the capacity of the ZEV's battery

Charging capacity can be divided into three categories:

Level 1 AC charging includes plugging in a standard cord set that plugs into a wall socket. This is the slowest level of charging (110 Volts/15 Amps) with an approximately 8 km range per hour of charging.

Level 2 AC charging is the most common level of charging with similar requirements to a clothing dryer or stove. Level 2 chargers can be installed in homes and commercial facilities by licensed electricians. They charge slightly faster than Level 1 chargers (240 Volts/30 Amps) with approximately 35 km range per hour of charging.

Level 3 DC charging is the fastest level of charging (480 Volts/100 Amps). Level 3 stations charge a battery from empty to 80% in 30-45 minutes with approximately 250 km range per hour of charging.  
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