Charging your EV - Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between single phase and 3-phase charging?
    • When a car charges on single phase only, it means that the car only has 1 onboard charger that converts 230V alternating current to DC current to charge the battery. If a car can charge on 3-phase current, it means the car has 3 onboard chargers, that each convert 230V alternating current to DC current. So a 3-phase car does NOT charge at 400V, but 3 x 230V.
      Of course, a 3-phase capable car can also charge on a single phase, using just one of it's 3 onboard chargers, but a single phase car can never charge on 3 phases of course...
    • Onboard chargers mostly come in 2 variants, 16A or 32A, but there are exceptions to this (Tesla Model S and X for example have 24A chargers), so you can calculate what the maximum charging capacity of your car is in the following way:
      Number of chargers x Charger power x230V
      So, a Tesla Model 3 for example has 3 onboard chargers each rated at 16A, and so the maximum charging rate is 3 x 16A x 230V = 11.040W or 11kW
      A BMW 530e hybrid has a single 16A charger and so the maximum charging rate is 1 x 16A x 230V = 3.680W or 3,7kW
  • What is the difference between AC charging and DC (ChaDeMo, CCS) charging?
    • ​When you charge at home or on a public charging station using the type 1, type 2 or type 3 connectors, you are charging on 230V Alternating Current(AC). This current needs to be converted to Direct Current(DC) to charge your car's battery. This conversion is the task of your onboard charger(s) as explained above. The charging capacity is limited by the maximum power the charging station can deliver AND the maximum power the onboard charger(s) can convert... So if you have station that can deliver 22kW, but you only have one 16A onboard charger, the maximum charging rate will be 16A x 230V = 3,7kW
    • When you charge on a ChadeMo station or a CCS station, the conversion to DC current is done in the charging station instead of your onboard chargers. Because of this, the current can bypass the onboard chargers and feed directly into the battery. DC charging stations however are very expensive and heavy, so are mostly found at public charging locations. The maximum charging rate depends on the power rating of the DC charger (very often 50kW, but stations up to 350kW exist) and also by the DC charging rate of the car (ranging from 30 to 250kW)
  • What is the best length for my charging cable?

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