Common questions related to EV charging answered

EV revolution has arrived in India, and there is a lot of excitement and noise around Electric Vehicles and the complimentary EV charging infrastructure.

But what is often not talked enough about is, how to identify and evaluate the right charging solution for your requirement.

This article tries to answer some of the common questions related to EV charging we have often come across.

How long does it take to charge my EV?

This is a common question we receive when we talk about EV charging. The time taken to charge an EV depends on two factors-

  • the mode of charging- AC level 1, AC level 2 or DC charging
  • the battery size of the EV

Like any other Lithium-ion batteries, EV battery doesn’t charge at the constant speed throughout. Once the battery is charged till 80%, the speed drops considerably with efficiency losses from heating up.

Do EV charging stations use the same charging technology?

EV charging stations use various technologies. One type of charger directly charges the EV with AC power by leveraging the on-board charger to convert AC into DC. There are also EV chargers called DC chargers that convert AC into DC and directly charge the EV battery by bypassing the on-board AC to DC conversion. It’s possible to adopt different power topologies for ac conversion to DC.

What’s the difference between Level 1 and Level 2 charging?

The two main kinds of charging are Level 1 and Level 2. For Level 1 charging, your charging equipment (EVSE) can take a maximum of 15 A, which is available in standard outlets at home with outputs in the range of 1.1 kW/h (5A) to 3.3 kW/h(15A).

While Level 1 is sufficient for e2-Wheeler/e3-Wheeler for overnight charging, with 4-Wheelers, it takes considerable time. For example, if you use a Level 1 charger to juice up a MG ZS EV with 45 kW battery, it takes more than 18 hours to charge it fully.

Level 2 charging usually works with 30A supply providing an output of 7.2 kW/h. It can be done at home or at public stations, and it provides much faster charging than Level 1. A full charge on a 240V charger takes 4-8 hours.

Can EVs only be charged at home?

While EVs can be charged at home, there are also charging stations available throughout the country and a growing network of charging stations in office complexes, shopping centres, hotels, and parking garages across key cities in India.

Does charging cost at home vary from that at a public station?

Yes, since setting up public charging stations require additional infrastructure, equipment and set up cost, charging tariff at public charging stations are usually higher than the tariff you pay to DISCOM at home. So, it is a trade-off between speed of charging you need and the tariff you are ready to pay.

How long do EV batteries last?

Most companies offer a six to eight-year warranty on their batteries. So, for the batteries to start showing visible degradation, it will take about 6 to 8 years. And with current research and innovations in the battery technology, we can expect to see the battery life getting extended further.

EV charging stations are difficult to find

There are more EV charging stations than ever before. Currently, India has a total of 1,640 operational public EV chargers. Out of which, nine cities – Surat, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai – account for approximately 940 stations. There has been additional installation of 678 public EV charging stations from October 2021 to January 2022 in these 9 cities, which is about 2.5 times of the earlier numbers. Over and above this a lot of companies- Corporates, Residential Complexes, Hotels, and shopping malls are also setting up charging stations for their employees, tenants, and patrons.

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