An electric car is an automobile which is run by electric motors using energy stored in rechargeable batteries. Now, there are 2 types of electric vehicles – all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance is the leading all-electric vehicle manufacturer in the world.

Electric Car

Ohh so now you got your electric car but the thing that worries you about is the basics of your electric car charging? No need to worry about it we’ve got all the fundamentals lined for you during this article.

Types of Charging

So let’s begin with the 3 types or levels of EV charging – slow, moderate and rapid.

The first one is the slowest one. It uses standard household current i.e. 120 volts (up to 3 kW) and they do not require any dedicated lines or special high-power circuit breakers. These types of units provide power at a rate that can add 3 to 5 miles of range per hour. These types of units are best for overnight charging and they usually take 6 to 12 hours for an electric vehicle to charge.

The second one is a moderate one. It provides the power of 240 volts (i.e. 7 kW to 22 kW) which usually charges the electric vehicle in 3 – 4 hours. They have a Type 1 or Type 2 socket which a connector cable for the vehicle. They are also called as “top-up” chargers which can be used during trips so you don’t fall out of power in emergency situations.

The last but not the least is the rapid or quick charging one. It provides 480 volts of power (approximately 43 volts of power) and requires large equipment (the ones like at gas stations) which is impossible for home use. The types of systems or chargers are designed to charge a near – depleted battery to up to 80% in about 30 minutes. They are usually used for longer trips.

Both first and the second one deliver power to the car through a plug-in connector that is standard throughout the U.S. The last one is of 2 types – AC or DC i.e. Alternating or Direct Current.

Charging an Electric car

Charging Speed

How rapidly does your electric car charge depend totally on the charging system and the capacity of your car’s charger, which is measured in the number of kilowatts it can intake per hour. All electric cars have 3.3 kW chargers but now some cars even offer 6.6 kW chargers and some go even higher. For example, Tesla’s all car chargers start with 10 kW and some even have an option to double it up to 20 kW.

To understand how fast any charging station will charge your car, there is a formula for it. Multiply the rated amperage by the voltage and divide by 1000. For example, a moderate station rated at 30 amps will deliver 7.2 kW per hour i.e. 240 * 30 / 1000 = 7.2 kW. So it will charge all cars with 7.2 kW whichever car it is.

Can we overcharge it?

Overcharging any battery harms the battery. Same is the case with the batteries of electric cars also. Rapid charging is harder on batteries than slow and moderate charging because it passes a lot of voltage to your batteries. Frequent use of rapid charging can shorten the life span of the batteries.

The highest damage caused to these batteries is because of heat. As a charging battery reaches full capacity, the heat generated in the process increases. The repeated process of draining and charging the batteries also impacts the battery’s internal chemistry and its ability to store and hold a charge. Most electric car specialists recommend keeping batteries charged at no more than 80% to improve the life of the battery.

Author: Ankita Mundhra

4 thoughts on “Electric Car Charging Basics”
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