AC/DC - What's The Difference?

on February, 19 2024
AC/DC ‘High Voltage’ (1975) – google it!

Whether it’s the iconic rock band or charging your EV, you need to know your AC from your DC. AC (alternating current) charging takes energy from the mains supply (240V in domestic and 415V 3-phase available in some commercial properties) and relies on an on-board charging unit on the vehicle to convert the power to DC (direct current) and the correct voltage to charge the batteries. With a 240V domestic supply the maximum charging rate is usually either 3.5kW or 7.0kW depending on the voltage.

This can be enough for the smaller batteries fitted to PHEV (Plug In Hybrid EVs) and electric cars and vans, if the vehicle can be charged over longer periods, such as overnight. A 3-phase 415V supply can deliver up to 22 kW, which is enough to charge an electric truck overnight. For faster charging of larger battery packs a DC charger converts high power coming into a site to direct current before delivering it to the batteries on the vehicle at the correct voltage. Delivering energy at up to 350 kW even the largest batteries can typically be fully charged in an hour or less, making it possible to utilise vehicles round the clock with a quick charge enabling longer daily ranges.

LF Electric and XB Electric trucks have an on-board AC charger and can also charge with 650V DC at a maximum rate of 150 kW. XD and XF Electric models can be specified with three alternative specifications: a 650V 150 kW DC charging capability, an on-board AC charger together with a 150 kW 650V DC charging capability, or a higher capacity 650V DC charging capability of up to 325 kW.


DAF EVs feature a CCS2 (Combined Charging System type 2) connector, which has both AC and DC terminals

Faster than 350 kW?

What does the future hold for faster charging? A new charging protocol and connector called MCS, or Megawatt Charging System, is in development which will be rated at up to 1250V and 3000A to deliver up to 3.75 megawatts of DC charging. Such charging rates will enable super-fast recharging of trucks.

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