The electric car market is growing every month. As a result, we get the need for additional charging places. A few years ago, car manufacturers made official statements about increasing the share of electric vehicles in their model ranges. Toyota has already announced its plans to electrify the entire lineup by 2025. Moreover, General Motors has set the plan for 20 new electric vehicles by 2023. Volvo has announced that all its models introduced after 2019 will be either hybrids or fully electric.
Any modern electric car is equipped with a special Mennekes connector, due to which charging can be carried out from both direct and alternating current sources. Also, this adapter allows you to connect a single-phase and three-phase cable. The charging speed will directly depend on the equipment that is installed both at the charging station itself and on the electric vehicle. But devices that cause average charge rates are considered a priority option.
In general, we can say that electric vehicles reduce air pollution, emissions of harmful substances come mainly from motor vehicles. Another significant reason why electric cars should be used is that they increase economic independence from energy monopolies. To keep your vehicle alive, you need to use a special electric car charger.
Types of Charging
Electric car charging stations are usually divided into three types, depending on the equipment used, the duration of a charge and capacity. They have their own unique features. Besides, people choose them depending on the purpose and place of using. There are charging stations for electric vehicles of different levels:
- 1st level chargers;
- 2nd level chargers;
- 3rd level chargers.
Chargers of 1st Level
Level 1 charging is the use of a standard 220 Volt AC household outlet. Everybody knows the fact that electric vehicles are already supplied with on-board charging electronics as well as cords and equipment that allow the driver to plug his car into an outlet, for example, in his garage. It’s the cheapest and most convenient way to charge at home. However, such an approach is also the slowest. Charging time may vary greatly from car to car, but it usually takes about 10-20 hours to fully charge a battery.
Chargers of 2nd Level
Level 2 charging is slightly faster than level 1. Drivers charge their vehicles through special stations, often located in public places such as shopping malls, restaurants, city parks, hotels or business centers. The charging speed is quite variable and depends on the maximum rated power of the station as well as on the maximum power of the on-board electronics of your vehicle. In total, it takes about 3-8 hours to charge.
Chargers of 3rd Level
Level 3 charging is the fastest and most powerful way. Sometimes, it’s called DC charging. As a result, it can ensure that a car is fully charged in a couple of minutes, not hours. The DC charger works for 30 minutes and completes its task. DC charging stations are used for electric cars as well as for large vehicles such as buses; they are located in public and commercial areas, airports and transport corridors.
Electric vehicle charger may use three different types of plugs that are not interchangeable. Japanese automakers usually use a CHAdeMO standard; for example, in the Nissan Leaf electric car, you can find it. Most European and American manufacturers use a CCS system. Besides, Tesla stations use a proprietary connector that matches their cars only.
What Determines Battery Charging Speed
The charging speed of any battery, including an electric car, depends primarily on the current strength. The higher the current, the faster the speed is. However, it’s important to realize that fast charging significantly reduces a battery life. Therefore, manufacturers are trying to find a certain balance by creating such storage devices that cause minimal damage to the battery and at the same time are able to charge quickly enough.
In electric vehicles, the battery is quite large and powerful. As a result, it requires more power to charge it. The current can reach 60-80 A (when charging from a DC station, the current reaches 250 A). A household outlet isn’t able to give out such a current strength. So, the charging speed will be slow.
It may take up to 24 hours to fully charge the battery from a 220 V source. However, most electric cars are usually charged from an outlet for about 16 hours. To speed up charging, you have to increase the voltage. It can be done only with the help of a three-phase power supply circuit.
Fast Charging with Direct Current
Car charging companies prefer saving their customers time. As a result, the best ways of charging are often chosen. Direct current is the most powerful and fastest way, since such a power supply scheme allows you to achieve the highest current strength. The maximum value can range from 125 A. A CHAdeMO connector is used to connect to such a station.
It’s vital to underline that these charging stations are installed at specialized places and parking lots. The maximum voltage shouldn’t exceed 500 V, and the power must be 62 kW.
Cyberswitching is one of the companies that deal with charging electric vehicles. It’s trying to force the development of the EV industry. They use only easy-to-use and innovative products. Such an approach guarantees fast charging speed.
Some electric car manufacturers are developing wireless charging stations. Their job is to have a special platform, which generates a powerful electromagnetic field. The car is also equipped with a special device (coil), which is capable of converting the field into electricity. In this case, it’s enough for the auto to simply drive to the appropriate platform and stand on it until the battery is charged fully.
Nowadays, there are wireless memory devices that are capable of producing a maximum of 20 kW, which is quite a lot for this type. However, the developers don’t stop and continue working to create a wireless charging station with a capacity of up to 50 kW.