AC Vs. DC Charger : Unveiling the Economics
With the increase in electric vehicle (EV) adoption across the globe and in India; when one tries to make this paradigm shift of buying an EV instead of any petrol/ diesel vehicle, it becomes very important to understand the economics of their charging infrastructure as well. AC chargers (alternating current) and DC fast chargers (direct current) are the main methods of charging electric vehicles. In this blog, we will examine the economics of AC and DC chargers, considering factors such as installation cost, charging speed, and operating costs.
AC chargers are cheaper to install when compared to the intial cost of DC chargers. AC Chargers use existing grid infrastructure, and most homes and buildings already have the electrical wiring needed for AC charging. AC charging stations typically require dedicated circuitry and they range from simple Tier 1 chargers to higher power Tier 2 chargers.
The installation costs of AC Chargers mainly include the purchase and installation of the charging equipment and some minor extension cable cost. This makes them suitable for home chargers, overnight chargers, parking bay chargers or commercial chargers which can afford 4-5 hours charging time.
DC fast chargers require special infrastructure such as high-power electrical components and significant electrical upgrades because of their higher wattage requirements. These chargers are expensive to install with high initial cost since they require additional equipment such as power conversion systems, cooling systems and high voltage connectors.
Installation costs for DC chargers can be significantly higher than AC chargers and they are more suitable for commercial or public charging stations.
AC chargers typically charge slower than DC chargers. A 3.3kW charger that uses a standard 16A household plug is the slowest of the AC Chargers which is used for overnight charging. Moreover, these AC chargers are also available in higher kW variants like 7.4kW, 11kW, 22kW and 43kW. These higher kW charger can reduce the charging times provided the car on-board charger supports fast AC charging. Please refer https://www.pmelectronics.com/ev-charging-station/ and https://www.pmelectronics.com/ev-chargers-accessories/#frequently-asked-questions for more details on on-board chargers. To know about the highest kW AC Charger support for your car, refer https://www.pmelectronics.com/tata-nexon-electric-charger/
AC chargers are good for overnight charging or when long charging times are not limited.
A DC fast charger ensures a significantly faster charging experience. It bypasses the on-board charger and supplies high voltage direct current directly to the vehicle battery. A DC fast charger can give about 100-130 km of range with just 20-30 minutes of charging. These chargers are designed for fast charging when traveling long distances or when instant charging is required.
AC chargers generally have lower running costs than DC chargers. The price of the power consumed during AC charging is usually based on the local electricity tariff. Because AC chargers operate at lower power levels, they consume relatively less power, resulting in lower costs for both the charger owner and his EV owner.
In addition, AC chargers require less maintenance and are more durable due to their simple design.
DC chargers have higher running costs than AC chargers. The high power output and fast charging capabilities of DC fast chargers increase power consumption, making costs higher for both the charger owner and the EV owner.
Additionally, DC chargers are more complex and have more sophisticated components, resulting in higher maintenance and operating costs over time.
Choosing between AC and DC chargers for electric vehicle charging depends on several factors, including installation costs, charging speed requirements, and running costs. AC chargers are more economical to install, have lower running costs, and are suitable for overnight or long-term charging. DC fast chargers, on the other hand, have fast charging capabilities, making them ideal for long trips or when you need fast charging. Commercial and public charging stations often invest in DC chargers due to their high demand and the ability to charge multiple vehicles simultaneously. As EV charging infrastructure evolves, so do the economics of AC and DC chargers, driving EV ownership.
Get in touch with PM Electronics today to get the best in quality rugged and safe chargers at an affordable price with the best after sales service support in the industry!!