There are three main types of EV charging – fast, quick, slow. These are the available power outputs (and therefore charging speeds) for an EV. It is important to note that power can be measured in kW (kilowatts).
Each charger type is associated with a variety of connectors. These connectors can be used either for AC or DC charging and are suitable for low- or higher-power use. We will be describing the main types of charge points and the different connectors in the following sections.
- 50 kW DC Charging on either of the connector types
- One connector type allows for 43 kW AC charging
- 100 kW DC ultra-rapid charging with one of two connectors
All Rapid Units Include Tethered Cabling
These rapid chargers, which are often located near main routes or motorway services, are the fastest way for an EV to be charged. The rapid chargers can supply high power direct and alternating currents – DC or AC – to charge a car as quickly as possible.
Depending upon the model, EVs can charge to 80% within 20 minutes. An average new EV would require around an hour for a 50 kW quick charger. The maximum speed at which an EV can be charged is the max, but as the battery is full charged, the charging speed will decrease. Accordingly, charging times are quoted for a charge between 80% and 85%. After that, the charging speed drops off considerably. This optimizes charging efficiency and protects the battery.
All rapid devices have charging cables tied to the unit. Only vehicles with rapid-charging capability can use rapid charging. These connector profiles can be easily identified – see the below images – so you can quickly check the model specification from your vehicle manual or by inspecting the inlet.
Rapid EV DC chargers can provide 50 kW (125A), and use either the CHAdeMO or CCS charging standard. These chargers are identified by purple icons in Zap-Map. These chargers have been the standard for EV charging points for the past decade and are still the most widely used. Depending upon battery capacity and start state of charge, the connectors can typically charge an EV from 20% to 80% in about 20 minutes to one hour.
DC chargers offer power at up to 100 kW. These chargers can reach speeds of up to 100 kW (150 kW) or 350 kW (though other speeds may be possible). These are the next-generation fast charge points. They can reduce recharging times despite newer EVs having larger battery capacities.
The charging times for EVs capable to accept 100 kW DC are reduced to 20-40 mins for a typical charge. This includes models with a larger battery capacity. Even though an electric vehicle may only be able to take 50 kW DC at maximum, ultra-rapid chargers can still be used. This is because the vehicle can only handle as much power. Similar to 50 kW rapid devices with 50 kW charging, 2 22 KWh Charging Cable are tethered at the unit and provide charging via CCS or CHAdeMO connectors.
Tesla’s Supercharger network also offers DC charging at a rapid pace to drivers. They use either a Tesla Type2 connector or a Tesla Type3 connector depending on their model. These units can charge up to 150 kW. All Tesla models are built for Superchargers, but many Tesla owners also use adaptors to allow them access to general public rapid points. These adaptors include CHAdeMO and CCS adaptors. The Model 3 has CCS charging, and older models have been upgraded to make it possible for drivers to use Australia’s rapid charging infrastructure.
Model S and Model X motorists can use the Tesla Type 2 connection that comes with all Supercharger units. Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 owners must use the Tesla CCS connecter, which will be phased into all Superchargers.
Rapid AC chargers deliver power at 43 kW (three-phase, 63A), and use the Type 2-charging standard. Depending upon the battery capacity of the model and the charging state at the start, Rapid AC units can usually charge an EV between 20-40 mins.
CCS-compatible models include the BMW i3, Kia e-Niro as well as Jaguar I-Pace. Tesla’s Model 3, Model S, Model X and Model X cannot use the Supercharger network. The Renault Zoe, however, can make maximum use of Rapid AC Charging.