EV Charger Types
EV chargers are classified into three categories: Level 1, Level 2 and direct current (DC) fast chargers.
EV chargers are classified into three categories: Level 1, Level 2 and direct current (DC) fast chargers.
Important differences include:
- Input voltage. This is how much power a charger requires to operate and is expressed in volts.
- Power output. This is how much power a charger can generate and is expressed in kilowatts (kW).
- Charging speed. This is the number of miles added to the EV’s battery per hour of charging and depends on the charger’s power output.
- Equipment and installation cost. While basic EV chargers are inexpensive and can be plugged into a standard outlet, others have higher upfront equipment and must be installed professionally by an electric vehicle service provider (EVSP).
- EV power intake. Depending on your EV, the power output pulled from a charger (in kW) may be limited by how much the EV’s battery can withstand. Check your vehicle’s specifications to know which charging level your vehicle can use.
Numerous manufacturers produce EV chargers, with a variety of products, price points, applications and functionality. Because of these differences, it is important to choose an EV charger that fits your intended use and budget.
Direct Current Fast Charging
How fast is DC fast charging?
Depending on the EV, DC fast chargers can currently produce a 10-80% charge for a 300-mile range battery in approximately 20 minutes (~540 miles of electric drive per hour of charging).
What is the input voltage for a DC fast charger?
Currently available DC fast chargers require inputs of at least 480 volts and 100 amps, but newer chargers are capable of up to 1000 volt and 500 amps (up to 360 kW).
How much do DC fast chargers cost?
A CALeVIP Cost Data analysis found that the unit cost per charger for rebate recipients ranged from a minimum of 18,000 to a maximum of 72,500. The mean and median unit cost per charger was 29,135 and 23,000, respectively.
In addition to higher equipment costs, DC fast charger installations require a commercial electrician from the initial planning phase due to the electrical load and wiring requirements.
Is a DC fast charger the right EV charger for me?
DC fast chargers are the highest-powered EV chargers on the market. They often are used as range extenders along major travel corridors for long-distance trips and in urban environments to support drivers without home charging or very high mileage drivers. At current charging speeds, they are ideal for places where a person would spend 30 minutes to an hour, such as restaurants, recreational areas and shopping centers.
It is important to note that not every EV model is capable of DC fast charging, and therefore, they cannot be used by every EV driver. Further, DC fast chargers have multiple standards for connectors, whereas there is only one common standard for Level 1 and 2 charging (SAE J1772). DC fast chargers have three types of connectors: CHAdeMO, CCS and Tesla, though CCS is increasingly becoming the industry standard.
Level 2 Chargers
How fast is Level 2 charging?
A Level 2 charger can currently produce a full charge for a 300-mile range battery in about 6-8 hours and is perfect for destination and overnight charging.
What is the input voltage of a Level 2 charger?
Level 2 chargers typically require 220V or 240V service.
What is the power output of a Level 2 charger?
Level 2 chargers are available with a variety of power outputs from 3 kW to 19 kW, which can sometimes be adjusted.
How much do Level 2 chargers cost?
CALeVIP Cost Data show that rebate recipients reported average L2 equipment costs ranging from 685 to 6,626 per connector. The mean and median were 5000,976 and 5000,884 per connector, respectively.
Is a Level 2 charger the right EV charger for me?
Level 2 chargers are typical solutions for residential and commercial/workplace settings. Most offer higher power output than Level 1 chargers and have additional functionality.
Non-networked vs. networked chargers
In general, Level 2 chargers are distinguished between non-networked chargers and networked chargers.
Networked chargers have advanced capabilities, such as charge scheduling, load management and demand response. They are more common in commercial/workplace settings where payments are required or at multiunit dwellings (MUDs) where the property’s electricity bill is shared by multiple residents.
They may be designed for indoor or outdoor use (e.g., NEMA 3R, NEMA 6P, NEMA 4x rated).
Some models of networked chargers also can limit charging to certain hours, which allows the operator to maximize a time-of-use (TOU) electricity rate structure and only allow charging when electricity is the cheapest (usually sometime between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.). This type of control also increases the likelihood of participating in utility demand response programs.
Some of the enhanced features of a networked Level 2 charger include remote access/control via Wi-Fi or cellular connection, access control/ability to accept multiple forms of payment, load balancing across multiple chargers and more. Additionally, California will soon begin allowing the use of submeters already embedded within networked chargers to bill electricity use. For more information on submetering, visit the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) website.
Non-networked Level 2 chargers are used both in single-family residences and MUDs. They may be designed for indoor or outdoor use (e.g., NEMA 3R, NEMA 6P, NEMA 4x rated). Non-networked Level 2 chargers are useful for installations at MUDs or commercial sites that are powered by the residents’ or tenants’ subpanels.
In this case, any electricity used by the chargers will be charged to the individual’s electricity bill, thus eliminating the need to separately meter the chargers. Further, when electrical capacity is available, non-networked Level 2 chargers are useful for site hosts that need higher power than Level 1 charging but do not have a large budget.
Leading Cable and Wire Manufacturer-ZW
An EV charging cable is, without a doubt, the most essential constituent an electric vehicle. Usually, every new electric car comes with two distinct charging cables. One of these cables is specifically for a three-pin-socket and the other one comes in handy in public charging points. If somehow, your vehicle’s manufacturer does not provide both cables, you might want to consider buying the missing one yourself. Unfortunately, most people lack meaningful knowledge on this type of cable.
Nobody can deny the fact that electric vehicles are great. Still, moving from traditional fossil fuel-powered vehicles to electric powered ones is a huge leap. You must first understand that there are several EV charging cable types to pick the most suitable option for your electric car. Also, you have to keep in mind that you don’t just use any cable in various electric vehicle charging points. These three key factors you ought to consider when shopping for a charging cable for your vehicle. These factors include;
- The cable connector types
- The cable’s power and phase ratings
- The length of the cable
importantly, you need to check any cable for EN 50620:201 certification label. This label is clear proof that the cable meets the necessary quality and safety standards. In this post, we will take a look at everything you must know to pick the best EV charging cable for your vehicle. Are you thinking of purchasing your first electric car or searching for a spare charging cable? I guarantee that you are in the best place to learn everything you ought to know.
What size cable is ideal for EV charging?
There is no one size that fits all when it comes to charging cables. The ideal size depends on your specific electrical installation and the capacity of your vehicle’s onboard charger. The voltage needs of most electric vehicles fall within the bracket of 32 amperes with a 240-volt charger capacity.
Assuming that your vehicle’s needs fall within this range, it would be best to settle for a 32-ampere cable. Generally, a 4 mm EV charging cable can do the job if you are dealing with 32 amperes on a short run of around 10 meters. However, a 6 mm cable is suitable for long runs because it covers for the voltage drop over a long distance.
It is also important to consider type of charger you work with when choosing an ideal cable size. Generally, EV charging cable types are classified into two distinct categories depending on the charger’s operating voltage needs. Here is an outline of each of these categories;
ü Level 1 AC charging
This type of charging allows you to plug into a normal wall charging port and operate at 120 volts. It is popular in most parts of North America. Electric vehicle experts say that it can add three to eight kilometers travel range each hour that the vehicle is plugged in.
ü Level 2 AC charging
This charging cable typically operates at a rate of approximately 7 to 19 kilowatts depending on the charging port and car type. You should consider investing in it if your daily mileage exceeds sixty kilometers. It operates at 240 volts, which is twice the rate of a level 1 charging panel. Every hour of charging can add 16 to 97 kilometers depending on the type of car and charging station.
There is an alternative level 2 portable cable that can work in both 120 and 240 volts systems. This type of cable is gaining popularity in modern electric vehicles. Most EV charging cable manufacturers produce this dual-functional cable owing to its rising popularity. Essentially, it comes with different ‘plaits’ that facilitates its use in different types of outlets.
Why are EV charging cables so expensive?
If you own an electric car you may have realized that an EV charging cable is pretty expensive. There are several types of charging cables to choose from. Even though their vary, it is safe to say that they are costly especially if you compare their with electrical wire prices. Most people often wonder why they have to spend more when purchasing charging cables.
Well, most manufacturers use copper in the manufacturing process. It is accurate to assume that the cables are expensive as a result of the rising of copper. However, that is not the only reason all charging cable’s including EV charging cable type 1 are so expensive. Several factors contribute to the costliness of these cable types. Here are some universal factors that increase the cost of charging cables;
ü Cable production elements
The production and testing practices are extremely complex when dealing with a vehicle charging cable. Any manufacturer interested in producing the best EV charging cable has to spend a lot in the production and testing stages. A dependable manufacturer incurs the cost of shaping various metallic resources required during the cable testing phase.
Also, manufacturers have to spend more money in the marketing process because electronic vehicles are a relatively new invention. The level 2 portable charging cable, currently the most popular cable type, is the most expensive option. This is primarily because it comprises several additional features that are pretty costly to incorporate.
ü There are several specific design elements in the manufacturing process
There are several EV charging cable types with distinct construction designs. Unlike electrical cables, there are several design specifics that charging cable manufacturers have to implement. Apart from the design work, manufacturers need to ensure that the cables meet different electrical amps standards. In essence, it takes a lot of resources to produce the perfect charging cable.
ü Manufacturers have to spend more to guarantee safety
The engineering that it takes to design and produce an EV charging cable that meets all safety standards is pretty pricy. There are several aspects that we need to consider during the manufacturing process. Some of the most important aspects that contribute to the cable’s overall safety include;
- The conductive material- we use copper because it guarantees maximum conductivity even though copper is pretty expensive
- Monitoring box- it allows you to monitor and measure the amount of current flowing through the cable. We also incorporate a Smart cable design to protect your home from catching fire due to the high voltage running through the cable
Is an EV charging cable universal?
Are you considering the idea of ditching your fossil-fueled vehicle for an electric one? Electric vehicles are gaining popularity but they come with a lot of challenges because they are profoundly different from conventional vehicles. If you own one, you have noticed that it has no engine under its bonnet. over, the way to fill it up is absolutely different. When you own an electric vehicle you need to think about EV charging cable specification and its suitability to your vehicle model. Every electric vehicle owner struggles with the question of universality of charging cables at one point or another.
Most people struggle to understand EV charging cables because they are not as simple as they imagine them to be. An EV charging cable is not identical to the electrical cables that we are used to. Instead, it comprises of three distinct parts. These parts include;
- A connector that plugs into your car
- A length of cable
- A plug which links to the power source
Currently, there are several electric vehicles in the market. The most popular brands that manufacture electric vehicles include Audi, BMW, Tesla, Nissan, and Hyundai, to name a few. These brands produce different car models that use different types of connectors. Consequently, it is safe to say that EV charging cables are not universal. For example, if your vehicles make and model is Audi E-tron you need a cable with either a type 2 connector or CCS. Those who drive a Renault Zoe are limited to an EV charging cable type 2 only. That being said most new electronic vehicle models are compatible with type 2 cables. Here is an outline of connector types for different electronic cables;
How to protect EV charging cable from theft
Has somebody ever told you that nobody can steal your charging cable? The idea that charging cables are theft-proof is a myth my dear friends. Most EV charging cable manufacturers recognize the risk of theft of this extremely expensive cable. Consequently, they have built in a locking mechanism that kicks in every time you plug in the charger to the vehicle. Regrettably, such locking mechanisms are not always foolproof. In fact, recent studies suggest that cable thieves use little more than visceral force to detach the cable. Considering that the cables are pretty costly, how do you protect them from potential theft?
Overview of Specifications for Electric Vehicle Wire
Electric vehicles are increasing in popularity. As consumer demand continues to rise, so does the need for electric vehicle wire, cable, and other charging components.
Here, we examine the specifications for electric vehicle cable assemblies. Due to the growing nature of the industry, it’s essential to recognize the difference between electric vehicle wire and components and those geared for traditional ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles.
Overview of Hybrid Electric Vehicle Wire Differences
In the inner workings of EVs, think of wires as the single conductors and cables as groups of wires or bundles of conductors. The wires and cables conduct the electricity that powers the vehicle’s battery and keeps the vehicle running.
Generally, there are two types of electric vehicle cables that are part of the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE):
- Battery Cables. Unlike low-voltage ICE cables, are designed for higher electrical currents and voltage.
- Charging Cables. Used for connecting the vehicle to an outside electrical source.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are typically equipped with two different charging cables. A Type 1 charging cable is used for recharging in a three-pin socket. The Type 2 EV charging cable is used at many public charging stations and home EVSEs (EV charging stations). Popular models of EVs include the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, and the BMW i3.
Hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) also use charging cables, but the setup is a little different. A PHEV has a traditional combustion engine powered by an electric motor. A PHEV can be charged at a public EVSE or using a portable EV charge that plugs into a standard socket. Popular PHEVs include the BMW X5e, the Volvo XC90, and the Mitsubishi Outlander.
Due to the evolving nature of the EV industry, there is a lot of technology surrounding electric vehicle wire, cables, and charging components. Many popular EVs and PHEVs have different charging levels, plug types (depending on location), AC or DC charges, and battery capacity.
- THHN Building wire and data cables to connect the grid to the charging station.
- Charging station switchboard wire, data cables, and switch boxes.
- Connectors, cord grips, and receptacles for connecting the charging station to the vehicle.
- Primary automotive wire.
- Standard battery cable, used in PHEVs.
- Ethernet cables, ISO wire, and CAN bus cable.
EV Battery Cable Specifications
The power capacity is the main difference between battery cables for EVs and the traditional low-voltage cable used in ICE vehicles. Most EVs require 400 volts and beyond. Other standards and specifications can vary around the globe.
- Voltage: 100V-200V for PHEVs and 400V to 800V and beyond for EVs.
- Insulation: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), cross-linked polyethylenes (XLPE), cross-linked fluoroelastomers (XLFE), and silicone.
- Temperature Resistance: PVC-insulated cables are rated for 90° to 105° C; TPU-insulated cables and XLPE-insulated cables are rated up to 125° C (note: Irradiation XLPE is rated up to 150° C); XLFEs and silicone-insulated cables are rated at up to 200° C.
Insulation and temperature resistance are critical factors in avoiding electromagnetic interference and damage to the electric vehicle wires, cables, and other components. The cable must withstand the heat over the life of the vehicle. Each type of insulation has pros and cons. The popular PVC insulation is cost-effective and flexible but offers less heat protection. TPU is water-resistant but also has a lower heat rating. XLFE is strong with higher heat tolerance, but rigid and inflexible, making it difficult to use with tight tolerances. Silicone is highly flexible and heat resistant but doesn’t offer resistance to certain chemicals like battery acid.
To determine the best cable selection, engineers will often refer to IEC 60287 or the calculation of the continuous current rating of cables (100% load factor) to understand the current carry capacity of a given EV cable. Other standards may include ISO-19642-5 Road vehicles: Automotive cables, and ISO 6722-1:2011: Road vehicles: 60 V and 600 V single-core cables.
What color are the high-voltage cables used on hybrid-electric or electric vehicles? Most cables are orange, but some are also blue. Consumers must understand how to identify these cables on their vehicles. Most OEMs are well-versed in the different colors used in cable manufacturing, but a reminder is helpful.
From a consumer perspective, charging cable requirements depend on the charging station and the vehicle’s capacity. Mode/Type/Level 1 charging station standards are 120 volts, using AC. These are considered a universal charger—matching the standard North American wall socket with 15 amps.
Mode/Type/Level 2 charging stations are 240 volts, using AC. Most public charging stations are level 2, offering 40 amps, similar to the capacity of large in-home appliances.
Mode/Type/Level 3 charging stations are known as Rapid or superchargers with DC. These charging stations are connected directly to the grid, with 50-400 KW of power. They require over 480 volts and 120 amps.
The levels offer various speed and charging power ranges, Level 1 being the slowest and lowest, and Level 3 being the highest with the fastest charging times.
Other Wiring Considerations for EVs
Electric vehicles and hybrids also require connectors for charging. The standard connector meets SAE J1772 for Level 1 or Level 2 charging stations.
The CHAdeMO connector is standard in Japan and is often used by Japanese manufacturers like Subaru, Nissan, and Toyota. CHAdeMo connectors require an additional J1772 connector for Level 1 and Level 2 chargers. Similarly, the Combined Charging System (CSS) is another charging standard. Unlike the CHAdeMO, the CSS allows for AC/DC charging.
Tesla vehicles have their own connector for supercharging. Tesla models also offer CSS and CHAdeMO adaptors for their vehicles, especially in countries where Tesla connectors aren’t readily available at most charging stations.
ISO 15118 Plug and Charge capabilities are increasingly becoming standard amongst EV automakers. ISO 15118 is a V2G, or vehicle-to-grid communication interface. The V2G communication is used for charging and discharging EVs. When a vehicle with Plug and Charge technology plugs into a charging station, the station automatically detects the type of EV and makes the appropriate accommodations. The technology is available in Tesla EVs, as well as the Mustang Mach-E, Porsche Taycan, and other newer vehicles.
For all EV cables and electric vehicle wires, IEWC is a trusted source. For over 60 years, we’ve served customers with electric components and resources. Around the globe, we serve OEMs, sub-assemblers, and contract manufacturers with wire, cable, and wire management products and solutions. Reach out today to learn more.
Amp Versus 40 Amp EV Charger
But if your home has 100-200 available amps, what difference can eight amps make? What is the difference between a 32 amp EV charger versus a 40 amp EV charger?
What it comes down to is that the more amps an EV charger can use, the more electricity it can deliver to the vehicle at one time. This is similar to the amount of water coming out of a faucet: when it’s open just a little, a smaller stream of water will come out of the faucet versus when you open the valve more. Whether you’re trying to fill a cup with a small or large stream from the faucet, the cup will eventually fill, but it will take longer with a smaller stream.
EvoCharge EVSE Level 2 EV Charging Station
EvoCharge’s standard EVSE Level 2 charger is a simple plug-and-charge solution for the basic needs of charging your vehicle at home quickly and safely.
The amount of amps used is important when time is a factor, like when you want to add a charge to your vehicle while running into the store for a few moments, or if you need a quick recharge at home before driving across town to run errands. However, if all you require is to charge your EV overnight, then you can get by fine with a 32 amp EV charger, which will still charge your vehicle faster than a Level 1 EV cable while drawing less amperage off the circuit it’s connected to.
This seemingly small difference can lead to big reasons for a homeowner to choose a 32 amp EV charger versus a 40 amp EV charger. While your home may have 100-200 amps available, they aren’t all available on the same circuit. Instead, they’re distributed — that’s why when a breaker is flipped it may require trying to figure out which needs to be reset.
If you opt for a 32 amp EV charger, it is required to be installed on a 40 amp circuit — a common amount for a circuit to be able to carry. If you want the extra boost from a 40 amp EV charger, you will require a 50 amp circuit breaker to provide some buffer for additional appliances. This increase may add additional costs to your charger install if you require an electrician to upgrade your circuit.
How Many Amps Does My EV and Charger Need?
The maximum input power an EV can accept varies. A general rule for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) is they cannot accept input greater than what a 32 amp charger allows. For EVs in general, if the vehicle’s maximum acceptance rate is 7.7kW or less, then a 32 amp charger is the limit of what your EV will accept. This means that if you purchase a charger with a higher output than your EV, it will not charge your vehicle any quicker than one with fewer amps. However, if the acceptance rate is over 7.7 kW, then having a 40 amp charger will allow you to charge faster. You can plug in your vehicle make, model and year in the EV Charging Time tool to see how long it will take a specific vehicle to charge.
While the amount of amps your EV may need differs depending on the vehicle, most can use both 32 and 40 amps without issue. To determine the exact number of amps your vehicle can accept, consult your vehicle’s manual.
If you’ve been looking to upgrade your home’s EV charging station or begin building one, our iEVSE Home unit provides a fast, reliable charge alongside Wi-Fi capabilities and control via app integration. Learn more about our latest EVSE.