DC Fast Charging

DC fast charging, also known as direct current fast charging, or level 3 charging is a method of quickly recharging electric vehicles by delivering a large amount of power directly to the vehicle's battery. Unlike traditional AC charging, which relies on the vehicle's onboard charger to convert AC electricity from the grid to DC for the battery. DC fast chargers bypass this converter and supply DC electricity directly. This capability significantly reduces charging times, making it possible to add substantial range to an EV in a fraction of the time it takes with Level 1 or Level 2 AC charging.

How does DC fast charging work?

DC fast charging works by bypassing the vehicle's internal charging circuitry to deliver DC electricity directly to the battery. This allows higher electricity delivery rates of between 30kw to 250kw (with 350kw planned for in Tesla's V4 supercharger) providing a full battery recharge in as little as 16 minutes.

How much voltage does DC fast charging use?

DC fast chargers typically use between 400 and 1000 volts requiring extensive electrical work to install and connect to the electricity grid.

How many amps is DC fast charging?

DC fast chargers can use between 100 amps and 500 amps with future chargers expected to require even higher amperage inputs.

Can I install a DC fast charger at home?

DC fast chargers can be installed in your home but are highly impractical as they are expensive, take up a large amount of space and require major electrical work to connect to the grid. AC chargers are much more practical for home installation with level 2 chargers being the ideal trade-off between cost, size and battery charge times.

Are DC fast charging stations free?

No. Most DC fast charging stations require paying for the electricity used. However, there are some rare stations that might be free due to government incentives, car promotions (such as Tesla's free superchargers), or to incentivise customers to shop at that location.

How much do DC fast chargers cost?

DC fast chargers themselves are expensive and sell for around $80,000 to $200,000 depending on specifications and features.

How much does it cost to charge from a DC fast charger?

Charging costs from DC fast chargers vary. Generally charging costs average around $0.40 cents per kWh but this will vary widely depending on location and local energy prices.

Is DC fast charging bad for your battery?

DC fast charging can cause slight degradation of the battery when used over an extended period of time but generally, the overall impact will be negligible and if combined with level 1 or level 2 charging at home most negative impacts will be alleviated by regular slower charges.