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As the motor industry churns out newer models yearly, the emphasis on creating more environmentally friendly transportation methods is booming. As such, the number of people buying an electric vehicle (EV) has increased. Nonetheless, a potential market barrier is access to charging infrastructure. This is where EV charging comes into play.

This article will provide EV guides and tips for EV car types and look at the different EV chargers, AC plug types, and DC charger types. You can also learn ways to find EV charging stations and considerations when buying EV equipment.

Types of EV Chargers

When it comes to electric vehicles, you must know the various EV (Electric Vehicle) charger types and what charging level is appropriate for your EV. For instance, you may find Direct Current (DC) chargers charge relatively faster than Alternating Current (AC) chargers since they are directly connected to the grid. However, the installation costs are higher. The major types of EV chargers are Level 1, Level 2, and DC fast charging.

The EV charging levels have their respective charging rates, speeds, and charging times for charging an electric vehicle. That is why Level 1 home charging systems are also described as AC Trickle Charging, Level 2 as AC Fast Charging, and Level 3 as DC Rapid Charging.

Level 1 EV charging

A Level 1 charger charges an electric car from scratch for up to 20 hours. These charges are basic and are the slowest type of charger. It would be best if you used a standard 240-volt outlet.

Level 2 EV charging

These chargers are faster and need a dedicated 240-volt circuit. They provide more convenience than Level 1 chargers. Level 2 charging is the most popular home and public charging level.

While the charging equipment may be more costly, it has more convenient and time-saving benefits. It also gives room for different charging speeds (up to 70 miles of driving range per hour of charging).

DC fast charging

DC fast chargers are the fastest and less common than Level 1 and Level 2 chargers. You can use DC fast charging to charge your EV up to 80% within 30 minutes.

Regular home EV chargers are usually of the Level 1 and Level 2 charging types. The public DC fast charging stations provide a much faster charging option.

How DC fast chargers work

DC fast chargers can increase the state of charge from 20% to 80% within 40 minutes. DC fast chargers supply power directories to EV batteries after bypassing onboard charging devices. DC chargers are, therefore, usually much faster in charging EVs.

Types of EV Charging Ports

In addition to the major types of EV Chargers, you also need to consider the standard charging ports for EVs:

AC plug types

• Type 1 AC charging plugs are designed for Level 1 and Level 2 charging and have two-pin designs. You can find Type 1 AC plugs on older BMW i3s, pre-2019 Outlander PHEVs, and first-generation Nissan Leafs.

• Type 2 AC EV charging plugs are designed for fast charging for Level 1, 2, and DC. They have pins suited for three-phase charging. AC Type 2 ports are also applied for home charging.

• GB/T AC charging plugs have similar designs to Type 2 but have different pin configurations. They are designed for Level 1, Level 2, and DC fast charging.

• Tesla vehicles have Type 2 chargers and must use Tesla-specific AC charging adapters. Tesla had to build a charging network and develop its plug type.

DC charger types

• Combined Charging System: CCS Type 1 DC charging plugs have extra pins for fast charging. They are suited for Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging.

• CCS Type 2 DC Charging plugs are compatible with Level 1, 2, and DC fast charging. They also have extra pins for fast charging and are suited for both AC and DC charging.

• GB/T DC charging plugs have similar designs to CCS Type 2. However, the pin configurations are different. You can use them for Level 1, Level 2, and DC fast charging.

• Tesla vehicles have a proprietary DC fast charging plug. You can only use such plugs at Tesla supercharger stations.

• CHAdeMO DC charging plugs are ideal for certain Japanese and European EVs. These DC fast charging plugs provide efficient charging for a significant amount of driving range.

Types of Electric Cars

There are three main types of EVs:

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs)

BEVs are battery-powered and have no internal combustion engines. Instead, they use electric motors that power the wheels. BEVs may need longer charging times compared to other types of EVs.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)

PHEVs use both electricity and fuel, meaning they use an electric motor and a fuel engine. The electric-only range is shorter than that for BEVs.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs)

You cannot plug an HEV to recharge even though they are equipped with a fuel engine and an electric motor. Instead, you can use the fuel engine and regenerative braking to recharge the battery. HEVs are relatively fuel-efficient even though they offer a shorter electric-only range than PHEVs.

Choosing EV Connector Types

You may expect all DC Rapid Charging Stations to have a CHADeMO cable attachment and a CCS connector. Tesla models such as Tesla Model X and Model S vehicles usually use Type 2 EV charging connector types for DC Rapids.

Just like the charging connectors on your Android phone charging cable, different EV connector types fit into different car sockets. You can choose which cable connector fits into your vehicle socket.

Choosing EV Plug Adapters

You can connect to any charging station with an EV plug adapter, even though there are different EV plug types. EV plug adapters allow EV drivers to use charging stations with a different type of plug.

Various factors affect how quickly electric cars charge in Australia. Charging times depend on individual charging stations, the electric car charger, and home wiring standards.

Ways to Find EV Charging Stations

You have several options for EV charging stations in Australia:

• There are mobile apps and websites that contain the location of charging stations.

• You may use the charging station location tools of EV manufacturers.

• You could also look for charging stations in parking garages, shopping centres, and public areas.

• Specific workplaces and hotels have installed charging stations for employees and guests to use.

Top Tips for Using EV Chargers

You can take note of the following tips for electric cars and EV chargers, whether you are charging at home or using a public charging station:

• If you have a long journey, you must plan well for enough charging time.

• It is courteous not to park in a charging spot if you do not need to charge your EV.

• EV drivers can use mapping apps to plan their route and use the displayed charging stations.

• You can practise charging your EV more frequently rather than wait until your battery is almost empty.

• Charging speeds can be limited by the charger's AC and DC power rate and the charging capacity of your EV. Therefore, charging an EV with high-capacity AC chargers may not always give the best charging times.

• You should not always expect rapid chargers to charge at maximum power rating consistently. This is a measure to protect the battery.

Tips for Using Public Charging Stations

• First, check if your EV is compatible with the charging port and connector type at the public EV charging station.

• You need to register an account before you can use some public chargers.

• Certain public charging stations provide cables on-site, and others do not. Thus, it may be worthwhile to bring your own cable.

• It would be best not to attempt to unplug EV chargers from unattended electric cars even when EV drivers breach charging etiquette.

Considerations When Buying EV Equipment

When buying an electric car, it's essential to consider the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) you'll need. This helps you maintain your electric vehicle properly. Not all electric cars are the same, so choosing the correct charging equipment for your car's specific requirements is crucial.

Different EV brands, like the BMW i3, Tesla Model 3, and MG ZS EV, have varying charging speeds. Newer models like the Porsche Taycan and Hyundai Ioniq 5 offer faster charging capabilities. Some models, like the Range Rover PHEV line-ups, can use both AC and DC power options.

To efficiently charge your electric car, you should have access to suitable charging stations or consider using a portable charger. Portable EV chargers make it easy to charge your EV at home. It's also a good idea to anticipate future upgrades and choose a charger with higher charging power to accommodate more advanced charging systems.

When selecting charging cables, consider convenience and choose cables that are around 5 metres long for mobility. Good EV charging cables are compatible with EV charging stations with universal socket systems. Lithium-ion batteries are the preferred choice for modern EVs due to their low discharge rates and higher energy density.

Electrical Contractors Can Help With EV Chargers

After reading this piece on the different types of EV chargers, you may choose one of the EV charging solutions that suits your needs. Getting the correct charger for electric cars involves the expertise of an excellent electrical contractor who can help you choose.

You can rely on them to provide EV charging guides on types of plugs, EV charger levels, and the process of charging your electric vehicle at public charging stations or homes.

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