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Charging Levels

EV charging is divided into three easy-to-understand levels.

Level 1: charging from a standard socket using a portable charging cable. This is the slowest Level of charging. 

Level 2: charging from an AC charging station at home or in public. This method uses EV-specific plugs and stations and is usually much faster than level 1 charging.

Level 3: charging from a DC charger. Stations of this size and speed are generally only available on selected public networks or for commercial use. DC charging is much more powerful, delivering full charges in as little as 30-45 minutes.

So how fast does it take to charge with AC or DC charging?

This is a very frequently asked question.

There are a number of factors which affect an EV’s charging speed with AC or DC charging. However, because the AC/DC converter is 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 AC or 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 state of charge (SOC): Due to measures to increase battery life and ensure safe charging, charging slows down significantly for the final 20 percent. As DC fast charging takes an EV’s battery to 80 percent capacity in a comparatively short amount of time versus AC charging and then slows down for the remaining 20 percent, the time it takes for your battery to reach 100 percent full may be the same for the initial 80 percent charge.

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.

Power rating of EV: Most EVs in the current market has existing battery power rating of 11 kW. So if you charge with a 22 kW AC charger, maximum power can be delivered into the EV is only 11 kW per hour.

Using the Hyundai Kona EV with 39 kWh batter capacity as an example, it will take:

  • AC charging 7.4 kW (single-phase)
    10-100% in about 6 hours
  • DC fast charging:
    10-80% in 48 minutes (using a 50 kW charger)
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