Quick review: EV charger basics explained for beginners


The terms surrounding Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers can get confusing from time to time for those who are not familiar with the emerging world of EVs as the global movement towards this sustainable transportation is getting more and more traction. In this post, we will cover some of the terms that are used in the EV charging field. Getting familiar with the basics will help relieve the stress of damaging the battery or car’s efficiency in case you choose the wrong charger. At first, it might seem overwhelming to find so many unfamiliar terms and abbreviations that are all around but trust me, they are not that difficult once you get to know the concepts behind them.

The electric vehicle’s basic concept is pretty simple and straightforward, it is a car that runs using electricity rather than petrol, although, these two types of vehicle are very different on the technical and engineering side which we will discuss later, the point is that in the end, it is not that important to know how they work as long as they are efficient and convenient to have. For now, let us focus on the EV chargers in this post and see what types they have and which ones you should use.

EVs and their chargers

Three types of chargers are commonly used to charge electric vehicles (EVs): DC Fast Charging, Type 1, and Type 2. The slowest chargers are Type 1 which use a regular household outlet and can take up to a night to fully charge a car. Faster ones that need a 240-volt outlet are Type 2 chargers that can charge an EV in a few hours. The fastest method is DC Fast Charging, these chargers can charge an EV to 80% capacity in 20-40 minutes, but they are not recommended for daily use because they might shorten the battery’s lifespan in the long term.


Let’s get a little bit more in detail…

Type 1

This type of charger is the most user-friendly and basic type of charging EVs. They are the first option that comes with the vehicle when it is bought because the chargers are usually included with electric cars as standard equipment or if it is not included, they are widely available and inexpensive to purchase, and they basically can be used anywhere you have access to a residential outlet with the standard voltage. This type does not require any installation or infrastructure to be used because they are portable and the same as your phone charger, you can connect your EV to an outlet using it and you can expect it to get charged.

However, the Type 1 chargers have a slow charging speed compared to the other types and lower voltage, and they can only add a few miles of driving distance to your EV’s battery each hour. While they might not be the best choice or the fastest method of charging, they are great for overnight charging at home and you can make sure that your car is charged for the next day for your daily use without any specific equipment or installation process. However, it is not recommended for long-distance travelling or urgent charging for the reasons that we discussed.

Type 1 chargers offer several benefits, despite charging at a slower rate. They are widely available, inexpensive, and simple to use with no need for any kind of extra equipment, you just plug them into a regular outlet and you are good to go because they are designed to fit standard household outlets. Even though Type 1 chargers might not have the fastest charging speeds, their accessibility and ease of use make them a good choice for home charging needs, especially for people who mostly charge their electric vehicles overnight at their home or when other types of charging stations are inaccessible to them.

An image of an EV charger Type 1

Type 2

For those owners of EVs who want to make the charging time shorter and more convenient, the Type 2 chargers are popular because they offer a significant improvement over the Type 1 charger in speed and efficiency. They run on higher voltage and use specialized circuits that can charge the battery up to 60 miles per hour depending on the battery capacity of the vehicle while Type 1 offers much slower charging. Because of their faster charging speed, this Type is ideal for both regular use and extended stops during road trips and travels, and this is why many owners decide to install one of these types of chargers in their residences or offices instead of using a Type 1 charger that comes with the vehicle.

There are some advantages to using this type of charger other than their higher speed and dependability. Since they use the same voltage as the residential outlets, that makes them compatible with a broad variety of EVs because they can utilize the existing electricity infrastructure that already exists which also can lower the installation costs and complexity. In addition, these types of chargers are usually found at public charging stations, which makes them a practical and efficient choice for EV owners who need to charge their vehicles while travelling. With all that said, for many EV owners who are looking to get the most out of their charging experience, Type 2 chargers offer an ideal mix of speed, affordability, and convenience.

An image of an EV charger Type 2

DC fast chargers

Often referred to as Type 3 chargers, DC fast chargers cut down the time for charging EVs substantially and they are made to quickly charge the vehicles compared to Type 1 and Type 2 chargers. DC fast chargers achieve a high charging speed with a different method than the Type 2, it bypasses the onboard charger and presents a high voltage direct current (DC) straight to the vehicle’s battery while the other two types of chargers use alternating current (AC) which is then converted to DC using specialized circuits to charge the battery. DC Fast Chargers can add up to 200 miles of range in only 20 to 30 minutes, depending on some factors like the vehicle’s battery capacity and the charger’s power output. This is because they can achieve much faster charging speeds thanks to the direct power delivery methods. They are more frequently used at highway rest stops and other public charging stations because of their quick charging capabilities.

DC Fast Chargers indeed have unmatched charging speeds, but there are some drawbacks and restrictions that you need to know about, before using them regularly. Cost is an important factor to consider, DC Fast Chargers require more power and specialized equipment than other types of chargers, making them more expensive to install and run. Furthermore, not all electric vehicles can be charged using DC Fast Chargers, so before using these chargers, you should make sure that your vehicle is compatible. Despite these drawbacks, DC Fast Chargers which offer quick and easy charging options for drivers on the go, are essential for making long-distance driving more convenient.

See our chargers: NEXTEN EV chargers

DC EV charger NEXTEN

In future posts, we’ll delve deeper into the technical aspects of EVs, explore the environmental impact of switching to electric, and compare the total cost of ownership with traditional petrol vehicles. Stay tuned for more insights into the electrifying world of EVs!