What’s the difference between DC and AC?

Direct current and alternating current are two forms of electricity supply. Comparative information about the differences is shown below.

DC Charging

  • Batteries in portable electronic gadgets are used to store it
  • Is constant
  • Current/Direct Power
  • Electric vehicles are charged at rapid rates using this method

AC Charging

  • Alternating Current/Power
  • Long-distance transmission may be economical
  • Electric cars may be charged at varying speeds
  • Available on power grid
  • Converted to DC by the car

AC charging

The most popular way to charge electric cars is to use an 5-15 electrical outlet. In the vehicle, the electricity is converted back to direct current before being fed to the battery. The charging rate depends on the power of the home charging station and the inverter’s ability to convert the current from AC to DC.

The required capacity for AC chargers is 16 to 80 amps. In this case, the connection limit through the sockets is 48 amperes. That’s what you can get with a NEMA 14-50 battery charger for your electric car.

AC EVSE are the most frequently seen chargers because of their lower costs (production, installation, and operation), which make them more popular for everyday charging.

DC charging

Charging stations for electric vehicles that charge with direct current are called fast charging stations. The current is converted before it reaches the inverter in the vehicle. After conversion, the energy is transferred directly to the vehicle’s battery and does not pass through the inverter.

A DC system consumes a significant amount of energy from the grid. Because of this, its expenses (production, installation, and operation) are quite high, resulting in increased charging costs. However, because it typically allows for quicker charging, it is the prefered way to charge your vehicle quickly while on long-distance journeys.

DC Charging

Other features

The AC power supplied by the grid is constant.

When charging portable electronics, the power must be changed from AC to DC. A converter is used for this.

A converter is generally inserted inside the plug in the case of daily portable electronics.

This converter is installed inside the vehicle in the case of electric vehicles.

This converter is built-in to the charger in the case of DC chargers. The conversion is handled by the converter inside the charger in this situation. As a result, DC chargers tend to be more bulky than their AC counterparts.

When charging an electric vehicle, the energy must always be converted from AC to DC, regardless of the technical differences between AC and DC charging.

Charging costs

You can use a charging calculator, developed by us, with its help you will know which way of charging for an EV is cheaper.

Regardless of the charging method, power costs (including manufacturing, installation, and operation) will generally rise as a chargepoint’s capacity increases.

This doesn’t take the charging speed of your car into account. So, if you’re connected to a high output AC chargepoint but your vehicle can’t charge on high capacity (the most common EV limit is 48 amps.), you can end up spending an exorbitant amount of money for little energy.

Which one is better?

Among surveys of EV Adept customers, most prefer to use home charging in their daily lives. Fast charging is mainly used when traveling by electric car.

If you need a quick recharge to continue your journey across the country, you’ll almost always choose DC charging. AC charging will be the method to charge your vehicle for any other use case. 

Read more: Is fast DC charging bad for your electric car?