Electric Car Charging Voltage And Current


Electric Car Charging On The Road

EV Basics: Voltage, Current, kW, kWh

Publicly accessible electric car charging points are now appearing in ever greater numbers in towns, cities and on majorroutes. Many countries, including the United Kingdom, now have a nationwide network of charging points that allow electriccar owners to travel throughout the country much as they would with a conventional car, using rapid chargers to refueltheir cars on route.

There are three different types of public charging points available:

  • Level One charging . Very low power charging using a domestic 110v power socket. Typically takes 14-16 hours for a full recharge.
  • Level Two charging. 3kW and 6kW dedicated electric car charging points, that typically take between 3-6 hours for a full recharge.
  • Level Three charging. Rapid charging points for fast charging an electric car in around 30 minutes.

Level one and two chargers are typically found in city centres and long stay car parks. Some hotels and restaurants also offerlevel one and two charging for their customers. These chargers are suitable for ‘destination charging’: plug your car in when you reach your destination and charge up until you are ready to leave again.

Level three chargers are much more like the fuel pumps you find at service stations. Drive up, plug in and refuel in just a fewminutes. Level three chargers are typically installed on major trunk roads. In the United Kingdom, every motorway service stationand many service stations on dual carriageways have level three chargers installed.

What Kind Of Outlet Is Needed For An Electric Car

More automakers are now venturing into electric cars. As a potential car buyer, you need to know how to charge your car. Unlike gas cars where you have to refill at a gas station, electric cars can be charged at home.

The kind of outlet needed for an electric car depends on your car model. For example, a Chevrolet Volt uses a 120v outlet, while the Tesla Model S battery needs a 240v outlet. While you can plug an electric car into a household outlet, a higher-voltage outlet will reduce the charging time.

Other factors may affect the type of outlet needed for an electric car. Read on to find out more about electric car charging, the time it takes to charge fully, and the different types of outlets.

Approximately 25 Miles Of Range Per1 Hour Of Charging

AC Level 2 equipment offers charging through 240 V or 208 V electrical service. Most homes have 240 V service available, and because Level 2 equipment can charge a typical EV battery overnight, EV owners commonly install it for home charging. Level 2 equipment is also commonly used for public and workplace charging. This charging option can operate at up to 80 amperes and 19.2 kW. However, most residential Level 2 equipment operates at lower power. Many of these units operate at up to 30 Amps, delivering 7.2 kW of power. These units require a dedicated 40-Amp circuit to comply with the National Electric Code requirements in Article 625. As of 2021, over 80% of public EVSE ports in the United States were Level 2.

Level 2 charging equipment uses the same J1772 connector that Level 1 equipment uses. All commercially available EVs in the United States have the ability to charge using Level 1 and Level 2 charging equipment.

Tesla vehicles have a unique connector that works for all their charging options, including their Level 2 Destination Chargers and chargers for home. All Tesla vehicles come with a J1772 adapter, which allows them to use non-Tesla charging equipment.

â Assumes 6.6 kW charging power

Read Also: Wawa Tesla Charging Station Cost

Its Helpful To Think Of Charging An Electric Vehicle Like Water Flowing Through A Pipe


Voltage refers to the tension or potential of energy. Using the analogy above, water pressure is equivalent to voltage. The higher the pressure, the more water can push through. The same applies for voltage higher voltage means each bit of electricity can provide more power.


Amps refer to the flow of electrons through a conductor . Using the water pipe analogy, this describes the volume of water flowing. The wider the pipe, the more water can flow.


Watts are units of power. They describe the rate at which energy is transferred. Using our water pipe analogy, we find that rate by multiplying the voltage by the amps . W=V*A


Kilowatt-hours are a measurement of energy. It equals the amount of energy transferred over one hour. Using the water pipe analogy, it refers to how much water or energy flows out of the pipe over one hour.

Drivers in CA pay with kWh pricing and the rest of the U.S pays per minute. EVgo is evaluating kWh pricing for additional markets so stay tuned for updates. Drivers on EVgos Pre-Paid Member or Plus plans access lower kWh and per minute rates across the U.S.

Because charging rates slow down dramatically after 80%, its more cost-effective to switch to an AC Level 2 charger–and helpful to the next EV driver hoping to fast charge.


State of Charge describes how full your battery is, in terms of percentage. Think of it like a fuel gauge.

Dc Fast Charging Explained

New battery tech can charge electric cars up to 90% in 6 mins

AC charging is the simplest kind of charging to find outlets are everywhere and almost all EV chargers you encounter at homes, shopping plazas, and workplaces are Level 2 AC chargers. An AC charger provides power to the on-board charger of the vehicle, converting that AC power to DC in order to enter the battery. The acceptance rate of the on-board charger varies by brand but is limited for reasons of cost, space and weight. This means that depending on your vehicle it can take anywhere from four or five hours to over twelve hours to fully charge at Level 2.

DC Fast Charging bypasses all of the limitations of the on-board charger and required conversion, instead providing DC power directly to the battery, charging speed has the potential to be greatly increased. Charging times are dependent on the battery size and the output of the dispenser, and other factors, but many vehicles are capable of getting an 80% charge in about or under an hour using most currently available DC fast chargers.

DC fast charging is essential for high mileage/long distance driving and large fleets. The quick turnaround enables drivers to recharge during their day or on a small break as opposed to being plugged in overnight, or for many hours, for a full charge.

Currently, in North America there are three types of DC fast charging: CHAdeMO, Combined Charging System and Tesla Supercharger.

Also Check: Buy Used Tesla Model S

In A Nutshell: Whats Special About A Hybrid Car

There are a number of different ways to charge your electric cars battery pack. Being faced with normal and fast charging methods, and different connector types, can be a little daunting at first. But in fact it is much more straightforward than it first appears! In this short guide well let you in on all the key information you need to know.

Essentially, it comes down to two main considerations:WHERE you decide to charge and HOW FAST you decide to charge.These are interconnected, and the charging speed will depend on which particular EV you own, its battery capacity and what sort of charging system you are using.

Another key thing to know from the outset: There are three categories or types of charging: Trickle Charge, AC Charge and DC Charge.

  • TRICKLE CHARGEThe slowest method of charging your EV at home, using a standard 220V plug.It is only recommended in urgent cases, with caution and consultation with electricity providers.
  • AC CHARGEHaving a wallbox installed lets you charge 3-4 faster using AC Household Charging. AC Public Charging is also available.
  • DC CHARGEThe fastest way to charge your EV at a public DC Fast charging station with power from 50kW and above. With this method you can top up your battery from 20 to 80% in approx. 40 minutes. There are also some ultra-fast charging stations that already provide more than 150kW.
  • Terminology Good to know!

    Multistage Current Charging Algorithm

    Multistage current charging divides the entire charging period into several charging stages that attempt to use the optimal charging current across each stage, maximize the charging efficiency. By determining the optimal charging current for each stage, the fuzzy controller is used to determine the charging current by the change in temperature. To sum up, this algorithm is based on a micro-controller or a computer. The charging speed is faster and charging efficiency is higher than those of the CC/CV.

    Also Check: What Battery Company Does Tesla Use

    Why Am I Limited In How Quickly I Can Charge My Ev At Home

    The electricity in a car battery is DC. When you use a home EV charger, AC electricity is sent to the car from your home mains supply, and the cars OBC converts the AC to DC, which charges the electric vehicle battery.

    This limits the speed at which the car battery charges because different electric vehicles have OBCs with different capabilities. For example, a Jaguar I-PACE has an OBC rated 7.4kW. This means the maximum you can charge in AC is 7.4kW. Even if your home charge point is capable of charging at 22kW, the I-PACE can only charge at 7.4kW. A Renault Zoe can charge at 22kW.

    On a DC charger , the charge point converts the AC into DC before it reaches the car battery. This means the car doesnt need the OBC to convert the electricity from AC to DC, so it can charge a lot faster than on a home charge point. A Jaguar I-PACE on DC charge can charge up to 100kW. A Tesla Model X can charge up to 145kW. This type of charging is called rapid charging.

    Watts Amps Voltage And More: What Do They Mean

    EV Basics: Guide to Charging, Connectors, Efficiency

    There are a lot of terms you can use to describe how electricity flows and is used by appliances. Weve already mentioned most of them here are a few definitions to keep things straight:

    • Volts : volts are measures of electrical pressure differences. Put simply, voltage is the speed of electricity passing through a circuit.
    • Amps : amps are a measure of electrical current. Put simply, amps are the amount of electrons flowing through a circuit.
    • Watts and kilowatts : multiplying volts x amps gets you watts . Put simply, watts are the rate of electricity consumption. A kilowatt is just 1,000 watts.
    • Kilowatt-hours : lastly, kilowatt-hours are how your electric bill measures your energy usage. Simply put, kilowatt-hours are electricity consumption over time.

    You can think of all of these terms like water flowing through a pipe. Voltage is the water pressure, amps are the amount of water flowing past any point, and wattage is the overall rate of water flow through the pipe.

    Read Also: Was The First Car Electric

    How Much Does It Cost To Charge On A Level 3 Charger

    Level 3 chargers are operated by private charging networks, and the pricing varies greatly from network to network. Some bill the customer by how long the vehicle is connected to the charger, while others bill by how much energy was dispensed. Charging your EV on a level 3 charger will almost always cost much more than charging at home and can cost 2 to 3 times as much at some locations. At that point, the cost to drive on electricity is nearly the same as the cost to drive using gasoline although with lower total emissions.

    Higher Voltages Are These Batteries Safe

    Transitioning up to higher voltage batteries has not been an absolutely smooth ride. Since 2010, the entire industry has been dogged by customer fears and strong accusations about the safety question marks hanging over these new batteries, especially those lithium-ion batteries commonly used at the time. Tesla was not immune from criticism, either.

    While some other brands were facing scrutiny earlier over safety concerns in their lithium-ion batteries, Tesla endured a major probe from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from October 24, 2019. The probe stemmed from numerous accusations and reports of several spontaneous car fires in the high-voltage battery.

    What was different to some of the previous investigations, however, is that these fires were alleged to have happened not because of a collision or other impact damage, but rather an inherent defect in the battery pack.

    The probe is targeting all Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles for model years 2012 through 2019. In particular, they are investigating a possible link to software updates released by Tesla from January 1, 2019 which apparently limited the maximum battery capacity or cell charging voltage.

    Also Check: Tesla Range On Full Charge

    What Size Of Breaker Is Required On Your Homes Breaker Box To Charge An Ev

    The size breaker required on your homes breaker box to install a charger for your electric car is going to depend on the amperage and size of the charger you want to install. According to the National Electric Code, in the United States, an electrical circuit has to be rated for a 25% greater amperage than your chargers output. Say you were to install a charger that does 40-amps, you are going to want at least a 50-amp breaker hooked up with your charger. This would be for a Level 2 240V charger.

    Different chargers always have different amperage. Some are lower than 40 amps and some are greater than 40 amps. So make sure you arent spending extra money on a big breaker you dont need, or be aware of buying too small of a breaker and end up overloading your system. There are some electric vehicle chargers that are available for purchase that have adjustable amperages. So you can adjust it to what your house can handle.

    What Is A Level 2 Charging Station

    Close up Power supply connect to electric car for add charge to the ...

    Next up on the EV charging station scale is the Level 2 charger. Level 2 units use 240-volt circuitsthe kind typically used for electric clothes dryers.

    Some Level 2 charging stations are portable and use the special multi-pronged plug and associated outlet used for clothes dryers. Many homes have such a circuit and outlet in their laundry rooms. But, of course, it is inconvenient to unplug your dryer so you can plug in the charger for your electric car.

    For that reason, the vast majority of people who install a Level 2 charging station in their home hire an electrician to run a 240-volt circuit to their garage. Once the power is accessible in the garage, consumers can have the charging station “hard-wired” into that circuit. Or they can plug a portable Level 2 charger into that special 240-volt socket in their garage while also enjoying the ability to take the charger on the road with them.

    Indeed, hiring an electrician and changing the home’s electrical system can be a costly hassle. But the big advantage is much faster recharging rates that speed recharge times. A Level 2 charging station will often recharge an EV battery in a quarter of the time it would take with a Level 1 charging unit, making it the best charging station for people who buy a purely electric car.

    You can recharge the battery for an EV with 200 miles of range in about 10 hours or less. Use a Level 2 charging station with a PHEV, and you can recharge in under four hours.

    Read Also: 2020 Tesla Model S Price

    What Is The Difference Between Single

    AC power supply is categorised into single-phase and three-phase. In a single-phase supply, the power flows through a single conductor. The power in a three-phase supply flows through three conductors, meaning three-phase has a higher capacity for power transfer than a single phase. Most industrial and business settings use three-phase, whereas most UK homes use single-phase because home appliances require less power.

    A three-phase supply has the facility to run much higher power loads than a single-phase supply. The maximum an EV home charge point can charge at is 7kW because most UK homes use a single-phase supply.

    Three-phase AC charging can charge up to 22kW, but it is expensive to upgrade your home supply from single-phase to three-phase. The cost varies depending on your local electricity infrastructure, and can be between £1000 up to £500,000!

    Three Levels Of Ev Charging

    There are three levels of EV charging Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Level 3 is broken into DC Fast Charging and Supercharging. The higher the level of charging, the faster the charging process, as more power is delivered to the vehicle. Its important to note that different EVs charge at different speeds on each level, because each EV can accept different levels of power from the EVSE, industry-speak for electric vehicle supply equipment, the charger. When an electric vehicle is plugged in, theres a communication process before the charger is energized. Basically, the car asks the charger how much power it can deliver, and then the car calls for the maximum amount of power that the station can deliver and the vehicle can accept. The car always determines how much power it accepts, so theres no need to worry about plugging into a charging station that can deliver more power than your EV can handle. The car will not allow the charger to deliver too much power.

    Read Also: How Are Tesla Batteries Made

    Charging Your Electric Vehicle At Home

    Depending on the type of vehicle and the voltage of your outlet, you can use your homes electricity to charge your plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle . Charging stations designed for home use are available and provide a faster charge than a wall outlet.

    Important: check your owners manual for details on how to charge your vehicle at home, and consult a qualified electrician to ensure you can do so safely.

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