What’s the difference between AC and DC charging?

There are four types of cables and plugs. Two use alternating currents (AC), for charging generally up to 22kW (depending on your car) and two use direct currents (DC) which allow for the quicker ‘rapid’ and ‘ultra-rapid’ charging. 

AC power comes directly from the grid but to charge an electric vehicle, it needs to be converted to DC. A converter, which is usually built into an electric car, usually does this job. However, if you’re using a DC charger, the conversion takes place within the DC charger itself, making it much faster than AC charging. However, not all cars are compatible with DC charging, so you’ll need to check your car is compatible before choosing this option.  

AC charging, which draws less power from the grid, does take longer to reach a full charge but can sometimes be cheaper per kWh. 


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