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Types of Electric Car Charging Stations – EV Chargers, Connectors, and Plugs

In the last blog, we spoke about how to set up a successful electric car charging business. This blog talks about all the mechanical intricacies of an EV charging station.

Covered topics include types of EVs, EV charger types, types of connectors, and different EV plug types.

Let’s start by understanding the different types of electric vehicles.

Types of Electric Vehicles

There are 4 types of electric vehicles. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Hybrid Electric Vehicles(HEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles(PHEVs), and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles(FCEVs).

Battery Electric Vehicles are the simplest form of an electric vehicle, which consists of an electric motor that is run by a battery that is directly charged from an EV charger. 

Hybrid Electric Vehicles consist of both an electric motor and an engine. While the electric motor is run by the battery, the engine is operated by gasoline fuel. The batteries present in these vehicles are charged by the fuel added to them.

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles are integrated the same as Hybrid Electric Vehicles, but here,  even the batteries are capable of being recharged directly or swapped.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles are claimed to be the cleanest electric vehicles. They are also known as zero-emission vehicles. They work on the principle of fuel cell technology and convert the chemical energy of the fuel to electrical energy, which then runs the vehicle.

However, the most common types o electric vehicles noticed on Indian streets are BEVs, HEVs, and PHEVs.

EV Charger Types – All about EV Chargers 

EV charging can be mainly categorized into two main categories – AC charging and DC charging. 

Power outlets get AC supplies. Electricity is stored inside the batteries as DC. When we connect our electric vehicles to chargers, they convert the AC into DC internally. 

This conversion is time-consuming, and AC electric car charging is time-consuming because of the same reason.

This problem is resolved by DC electric car charging, where AC is converted to DC directly at the outlet, and hence, while charging, DC gets supplied to the batteries directly. This saves time as there is no internal conversion going on.

EV chargers are then divided into three types depending on the charging speeds – level 1, level 2, and level 3 charging.

Level 1 and level 2 correspond to AC charging, and level 3 corresponds to DC charging and hence is the fastest.

Level 1 chargers offer the slowest charging, and it might take up to a day to charge an Ev fully. 

These chargers are used as domestic chargers generally because they are too slow and need overnight parking to be charged properly, which is possible only in domestic places.

Level 2 Charges are the most commonly observed chargers. They are not fast chargers, but they aren’t too slow, either. 

These chargers are most commonly found in public places such as restaurants, malls, hotels, etc. 

Level 3 chargers are the most expensive chargers. These chargers are very powerful and are only found in EV charging stations and fleets.

While implementing chargers, you need to ask a few questions to yourself:

  • Where will the chargers be implemented?

This helps you analyze if the location is ideal for particular charger types or not. It is ideal for installing chargers only according to their utilization.

  • Are the chargers for individual or mass use? 

This helps you in forming a sound decision about which charger would be the best fit.

  • What is my total budget? 

Budget plays the most important role in deciding the type of charger that should be implemented. 

If needed, you can adjust your budget accordingly by cutting on a few things that might not be that relevant.

Apart from these three most popular types of charges, DC ultra-fast charging, also known as level 4, is now in the news and claims to be the most powerful charge yet to exist.

Although the DC options have shown a drop in prices in recent times, the cost of the finished product is still very high.

EV Connectors and EV Plug Types

EV connectors can be understood as a phone charger where both ends are built differently; while one connects to the adapter, the other end connects to the mobile. 

An EV connector consists of two ends as well, one that connects to the EV socket and the other one that connects to the charge point.

When it comes to EV sockets, EVs only have two socket options, which are relevant either to AC charging or DC charging. This is why most people carry their own cables and then connect them to the charge points.

Coming to connectors, they are broadly divided into AC and DC connectors and further subdivided into types.

There are two types of AC connectors, type 1 and type 2. 

  • Type 1 has a power rating of around 3.7 kW to 7kW and gives a range of 12.5 – 25 miles.
  • Type 2 has a power rating of around 3.7 kW to 7kW to 22 kW, which corresponds to a three-phased process and gives a range of 12.5 – 25 – 75 miles.

Under DC connectors, there are three types, CHAdeMO, CCS, and Type 2. 

CHAdeMO is the original DC connector, CCS is a high-power DC connector, and Type 2 is only used by Tesla yet.

  • CHAdeMO has a power rating of around 50 kW – 100 kW and gives a range of 75 – 150 miles.
  • CCS has a power rating of around 50 kW – 150 kW – 350 kW and gives a range of 75 – 225 – 525 miles
  • Type 2 has a power rating of around 150 kW – 250 kW and gives a range of 225 – 375 miles.

This was a base overview of the intricacies of the chargers, connectors, and plugs of an EV. While it is advised to be within the budget and other constraints while setting up a station, knowing about all the available options gives you a better insight.

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