Automation

How do EV charging stations work?

Electric vehicles seem to be on everyone’s lips. Politicians and EV supporters have long argued that the world needs to pick up the pace of improving the charging infrastructure so that vehicles can receive power fast and easily. But how does exactly this charging process work?

Basics

The most basic concept to follow is that we need to transfer electricity to the battery, the prime source of power for the vehicle. There are two types of charging stations. One that generates AC (alternative current) and another that generates DC (direct current). Battery can only be charged by direct current. If you go into the charging station and it is a DC fast charging station (given that your vehicle is compatible with this type of charging), you configure the voltage and wait unit the process is finished and your battery is full.

Power conversion

However, what if you have a charging station at your house? It will probably generate AC, which is not compatible with the DC that your vehicle needs to charge its battery. Problem, right? This is why electric vehicles have a unit called power converter or inverter. It is able to transform the alternating current coming at a certain voltage range (depending on which part of the world you are living) into a direct current with a voltage range suitable for your vehicle’s battery. Innovative companies provide high power converters that can be integrated into both economic and more luxury and power-consuming vehicles. Nowadays, the issue is that home charging stations are really slow and the process can take some time.

Modern charging stations

Charging stations are further divided into three levels – Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Your home station will probably be Level 1 therefore slow. A modern DC charging station can fill your car battery several times more quickly than the one that you use at home. This technology is still improving so we expect better results in the future.

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