What are Types of EV Chargers? [Get 100% Clarity]

You might have heard only about different levels of chargers when you read about types of EV chargers. But that’s not (all) about it man! Being a conscious driver and choosing Electric Vehicle, you should know everything about EV chargers with all of its aspects, not just different levels.

So, here I am explaining all the aspects of EV chargers which are plotted here as different types with all the important details on each of them, so that no doubts prevail in your mind about EV chargers anymore.

So now before going to buy any EV charger or charge at one, you should have in-depth knowledge about all the aspects of it and so you can exercise a thoroughly informed and conscious choice before selecting one for your vehicle.

Here’s the list of all types of EV chargers followed by details about each of them.

List:

Types of EV Chargers

  1. Power Transmission Technology
    • Wired
    • Wireless
      • Static charger
      • Dynamic charger
  2. Connection with power supply
    • Plug-in
    • Hardwired
  3. Type of power output
    • AC Charger
    • DC Charger
  4. Electric power supply phase
    • Single-phase
    • Three-phase
  5. Compatibility with power supply voltage
    • Level 1
    • Level 2
    • Level 3
  6. Compatibility with power source
    • Grid
    • Solar
  7. In terms of portability
    • Portable or Mobile
    • Fixed Location
  8. As per the Speed of charging
    • Slow charger or Trickle charger
    • Medium speed charger
    • High speed charger
    • Fast charger
  9. Depending on the site of installation
    • Home charger
    • Public charger

In Detail:

1. By Power Transmission Technology

1.1 Wired EV chargers:

Uses electric wires or cables for power transmission to charge Electric vehicles. These chargers are mostly used in the world right now. These are very simple to use just like how we charge our phones.

1.2 Wireless EV chargers:

These chargers use electromagnetic induction for power transmission. Induction is done via an Electromagnetic coil. The supplier coil is placed in charger pad which supplies power transmission and a second coil or receiver coil is placed inside the vehicle to receive the induction power and convert it to DC power to charge the battery.

Where electric car has an induction pad installed at the bottom and is to be placed just over the charger pad. The charger pad is connected to power source through EV charging unit.

This is a newer technology however in use currently but still under development for various advancements for mass public use.

Further, there are two types of wireless EV charging.

1.2.1 Static charging:

These chargers require EV to park in a fixed place above charger pad for charging.

1.2.2 Dynamic charging:

This kind of charger allows charging even when vehicle is moving, like EV chargers placed under the road. Which makes continuous induction possible while vehicle is moving over it. So vehicles can be charged even while driving.

2. According to Connection with power supply

2.1 Plug-in:

You can plug in the charger to a power source in a wall outlet and plug-off it when required.

2.2 Hardwired:

This type of charger is hardwired to the power supply line. You can’t just disconnect the charger with a power line like a plug-in type. It requires proper knowledge of the electrical system for any changes regarding the power supply. Mostly this job is handled by a certified electrician.

3. Type of power output

3.1 AC Charger:

This kind of Charger gives AC (Alternate current) power output and transmits to vehicle. EV’s onboard charger converts AC power to DC and charges the battery.

These chargers can provide slow to high charging speeds from as slow as 1-3 miles added per hour of charging in your EV to as high as 40-50 miles of range added per hour of charging.

3.2 DC Charger:

This kind of charger gives DC (Direct Current) power output and transmits to vehicle.

EV’s onboard charger is bypassed here as no AC to DC conversion is required.

Power is directly transmitted to the battery. So it charges the car at a very fast pace often termed as fast chargers. This can fully charge your vehicle in just a few minutes on the fastest side.

But currently, most fast chargers available and used by people take around 30 minutes to nearly fully charge your car.

4. By Supported Electric power supply phase

4.1 Single Phase:

These are mostly level 2 EV chargers for home use but can be seen as public chargers at various destinations.

4.2 Three Phase:

These are mostly Level 3 public chargers or DC fast chargers. These are mostly for commercial purposes.

5. By Compatibility with power supply voltage

5.1 Level 1:

110/120V (AC) (Mostly plug-in and portable – Slow-medium speed charger)

5.2 Level 2:

220/240V (AC) (Mostly hardwired and fixed – Medium to high-speed charger)

5.3 Level 3:

400V and above (Fixed chargers mostly public chargers – often called DC chargers or fast chargers)

[Further details on different levels of chargers are discussed later here, you can jump to that section if you want.]

6. By Compatibility with power supply source

6.1 Grid power supply supported:

These EV chargers support only Grid power is again mostly used currently.

6.2 Solar power supported:

The adoption of solar-power-compatible EV chargers is increasing as the adoption of renewable energy increases. These chargers can adjust to the power available during the time of the day and charge accordingly from slow to high speed.

7. In terms of portability

7.1 Portable or Mobile Charger:

Mostly all plug-in chargers are portable. You can take it with the car and charge it anywhere where a wall outlet is available.

7.2 Fixed Location Chargers:

All hardwired chargers are fixed. You can charge only where the charger is installed.

8. By Speed of charging

We are considering 80kW of battery capacity here as used in most Battery Electric vehicles to categorize chargers by charging speed.

8.1 Slow Charger or Trickle charger (Mostly Level 1 Chargers)

  • Power output: 1.3-2 kW at 12-20 amps
  • Power supply: 110V/120V at 10-20 amps
  • Range added per hour of charging: 1-3 miles
  • Time to charge from 20%-80%: 10-15 hours
  • Time for full charge (0-100%): 2-5 Days

8.2 Medium Speed Charger (Level 1 Or Level 2 Charger)

  • Power output: 3-7.6 kW at 20-32 amps
  • Power supply: 120V/240V at 20-50 amps
  • Range added per hour of charging: 5-30 miles
  • Time to charge from 20%-80%: 8-12 hours
  • Time for full charge (0-100%): 24-48 hours

8.3 High-Speed Charger (Level 2 Chargers)

  • Power output: 7.6-22kW at 32-60 amps
  • Power supply: 240V at 30-80 amps
  • Range added per hour of charging: 30-40 miles
  • Time to charge from 20%-80%: 6-10 hours
  • Time for full charge (0-100%): 15-20 hours

8.4 Fast Chargers or Superchargers (Level 3 or DC Chargers)

  • Power output: 50kW and above at 60 amps and above (Can go up to 800-1000kW at 500 amps)
  • Power supply: 400V and above at 100 amps and above
  • Range added per hour of charging: 120-600 miles
  • Time to charge from 20%-80%: 10-30 minutes
  • Time for full charge (0-100%): 0.5-2 hours

These fast chargers can be further categorized into Rapid chargers or Quick chargers, Fast chargers and Ultra-fast chargers.

Essentially all are level 3 DC fast chargers. However, these are just categorized for human convenience as a varied range of fast charging is available.

8.4.1 Level 3 Rapid Chargers:

Level 3 chargers providing 50-60kW of power output are known as rapid chargers – capable of charging your EV from 20% to 80% within 30 minutes to 1 hour.

8.4.2 Level 3 Fast Chargers:

Level 3 chargers providing 60-150kW of power output are known as Fast chargers – capable of charging your EV from 20% to 80% in just 20-30 minutes.

8.4.3 Level 3 Ultra Fast Chargers:

Level 3 chargers providing more than 150kW of power output are known as ultra-fast chargers – capable of charging your EV from 20% to 80% in a mere 10-15 minutes! Yes, it is that fast dude…!

Note 1): All charging speeds are approximate figures. Actual speed will vary depending on your vehicle configuration, size and age of battery, SoC, temperature conditions etc. Here’s a detailed guide specifically on it.

Note 2): As a part of the battery protection mechanism, charging time to go from 80% to 100% will be as much as the same time or up to 2x time as of going from 20% to 80%. So the total time of charging from 0-100% is 2x to 4x than that of going from 20% to 80%.

9. Depending on site of installation

9.1 Home Charger

Installed at home and It is for personal use. All home chargers are level 1 and Level 2 chargers. it could be a portable or fixed location charger depending on charger specs.

9.2 Public Charger

Installed roadside and It is for public use. It can be level 1, 2, or 3 (DC charger). All are fixed-location chargers. It includes Destination chargers (installed at Shopping malls, complex, or workplaces) and Roadside chargers.

So these were about all aspects of EV chargers prevailing currently, and now I hope you have sound clarity about it as well. I hope this will add up to making the next conscious choice for your EV.

Steve
Steve

An engineer turned entrepreneur, being a Tech-enthusiast I am passionate about helping people understand and embrace the potential of technology in an insightful manner. At EV Chargers Guide, I help EV owners to navigate the Electric Revolution by providing in-depth guides to overcome their EV charging challenges and helping to make the Best choice selecting Charging Equipment for their EVs.

2 Comments
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  1. Looking to buy one EVSE, I think medium speed will be fine with me.. Planning to have solar also in my home. will look for solar supported charger..

  2. Really a good guide. A thorough explaining various types of ev chargers. Really helpful information for beginners new to EV charging.

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