As more electric cars enter the country, a good charging network is more important than ever. But unlike gas or gasoline pumps, which have the same nozzles for all kinds of cars, chargers for electric cars are different for each kind of car.
In the past, different kinds of cell phones needed different types of chargers. The electric car market is going through a comparable learning curve. For low-power electric cars, the Indian government requires a certain type of charger, but the new breed of strong electric SUVs has different needs.
But that probably won’t be a problem. For example, MG Motor India is working with the Finnish company Fortum, which makes clean energy, to set up DC fast-charging stations nationwide. But before we get there, let’s speak about the basics. There are regular AC chargers, fast-charges, and quick chargers.
Type 1 AC Charger
This is the basic EV charger used by some electric cars that are just starting out. It can charge a car slowly using an AC plug or a home charging setup. It can charge with up to 16 amps of electricity and up to 220 volts of AC power. It can manage up to 3 kW of single-phase raw power. With these charges, the car has to change AC power into DC power, which is slow.
Type 2 Charger
The Type 2 Charger can charge faster and works with AC and DC charging. These chargers work with power sources that have three phases. It happens a lot in charging stations in Europe. It can take between 7.4 kW and 43 kW of power from a 400-volt AC source. These types of chargers are also usually set up in the homes of EV owners to speed up the charging process. They can also be used with cars that have CCS plugs.
CCS stands for Combined Charging System.
CCS Type 2 plugs are becoming more popular on newer electric cars. These charging systems can take regular charging from home and DC fast charging from business charging stations.
There are two extra contact points on the plug for DC fast charge. Most DC fast chargers have an input power of 50 kW, but this plug can also manage up to 350 kW of charging power. For example, the MG ZS EV can be charged with the CCS system, which lets you charge it faster while on the go.
This was one of the first fast-charging methods, and you can locate it in over 70 countries worldwide. It can handle up to 50 kW of DC fast charge. But newer cars are now moving to the CCS system because it can be used in more ways. This has been available on many electric cars made in Asia since this charge style was first made in Japan.
In its Bharat DC 001 standard, the Indian government suggested the GB/T type charger for electric vehicles. Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a government agency, put in these charges. They can fast-charge low-power EVs with 10-15 kW DC power.
But this kind of connection can also handle loads of up to 230 kW. China is also making an EV with a 900 kW motor. In general, the Indian government has made sure that EV chargers meet Bharat spec DC and AC norms. Except for the basic Type 1 charger, which only has three pins, all other charging methods have extra pins that talk to the car.
So, the vehicle’s onboard systems can determine how much power is needed to charge the car. Some have an electronic lock that keeps the cord from being stolen while the car is charging, whereas others have a real lock.
When you buy an EV, do you have to be concerned about charging systems? Actually, no. Technicians from companies like MG India will come to your home to set up a charging setup for your EV. Also, the entertainment system on board will help you find the closest DC fast charger.
How to Buy a Charger
- You can select from different kinds and sizes of chargers based on your needs. When buying a Level 2 home charger, you should consider the size of your car’s battery and the power level of your house.
- Determine how fast you need the charger and how much you want to spend. Usually, an extra 10 amps at 240 volts will add about 10 miles per hour to your range.
- You’ll need to hire an electrician to ensure that the at-home charger you choose is compatible with your home’s power and has the right equipment to work.
- UL certification is needed for EV chargers. Ensuring they are safe and have met all the rules is essential.
- Smart chargers can connect to Wi-Fi. You can utilize your phone to check on and handle these chargers or connect them to your home helper (Alexa, Google Home, etc.).