In the electricity grid, the electric power is alternating current(AC) by nature, while the electricity from the battery is direct current (DC) by nature.
When charging with an AC charging, the AC power is fed to the car using the connector. The car's on-board charger converts the AC power to DC power. The maximum power is between 1.9 kW and 22 kW.
With the DC charger, the function of converting AC power to DC power is moved to a DC charger. The maximum power varies between 50 kW and 350 kW.
Electric cars are characterised by the connector types.
Cars using CCS for DC charging only requires a single hole in the skin.
Cars using CHAdeMO have two separate charging ports.
Tesla only has one charging for both AC and DC charging.
All electric cars come standard with a 120V level 1 charger. If for instance, you have a 42 kWh battery, it will take you 35 hours to fully charge.
Level 2 charger deliver more power.
When choosing a charging, consider the following features:
Power: Consider a charging unit that is powerful enough to quickly recharge an EV with a large battery. We would recommend 32-amps.
Safety standard: Choose a brand that has their products tested and certified.
Basic or smart: Basic or dumb only charges. Smart chargers have an app that provides many capabilities such as remote start or stop session, view charging session data, and many more.
Cable length: Make sure the cable is long enough to reach wherever you park.
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Although the majority of charging takes place at home, public charging increases the daily useful range of EVs. It is about the convenience that one would expect to charge their cars when and where they need to.
Charging station manufacturers (click here to learn how charging stations are made) sell their products to the charging point owner. The biggest charge point owners currently in South Africa are car manufacturers.
The charge station owner uses the platform provided by a back office provider to manage the charging stations and the transaction with EV drivers.
The charge point owner may also outsource the charge point operation to a charge point operator. Back office providers are often contracted as charge point operator as well. Because they are able to sell and operate the back office to multiple customers, they create a comprehensive network of charging station, making it possible to use a single card at multiple charging stations.
Each charge point operator has its own network and recharge card. In other countries, these network operators have roaming agreement like mobile operators have to allow EV drivers to charge their vehicle anywhere. In South Africa, there is no roaming agreement among charge point operators.
Please join our forum if you think charge point operators should be forced to have a roaming agreement.