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What Is DC Fast Charging? Can You Have A DC Fast Charger at Home? 

What Is DC Fast Charging? Can You Have A DC Fast Charger at Home? 

If you're wondering, what is DC fast charging? It is the fastest charging option for any electric vehicle. With this type of charger, you can get your electric vehicle up to 80% in less than one hour. However, the DC fast charging is very expensive and can cost up to $140,000, which means it might not be worth installing it as your home. 

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More and more people are leaning towards purchasing environmentally-friendly vehicles like electric vehicles (EV). With EV, owners don't have to worry about gas costs because these vehicles run an electric charge.

Charging EV cars is one of the biggest challenges that face most EV owners. There are three different electric charging levels, including level 1, level 2, and Level 3. Level 3 is the fastest charging level, and it's referred to as the DC fast charging or the DCFC.

This article provides you with all you need to know about the DCFC. It highlights in detail the main pros and cons of DC fast-charging stations. Finally, it answers the question that we frequently receive, which is, “can you have a DC fast charger at home?” 

What is DC fast charging, and how fast is DC fast charging? 

Before we dive into the details about the DC fast charging, let’s first take a look at the regular AC charging and see howit compares to the DC fast charging.

  • AC charging 

The AC regular charging is the charging where you can get at any location. So you basically connect your electric vehicle to any outlet at home, in the shopping plazas, or anywhere else. When you connect the AC charger to the electric vehicle, the AC charge is converted into a DC charge for the vehicle to accept and get moving.

Using a level 2 AC charger, your electric vehicle requires somewhere between four to five hours and, in some scenarios, more than 12 hours depending on your vehicle's type, your battery, at other factors.

  • DC fast charging 

On the other hand, DC fast charging is considered the fastest for charging any electric vehicle. This is because it doesn't require any electric current conversion from AC to DC. Instead, it charges the vehicle directly with a DC charge that is needed by this vehicle.

With the amazing DC fast charging systems, you can get your vehicle charged up to 80% in less than one hour. Of course, this timeline can increase or decrease depending on your vehicle's battery, the dispenser, and a couple of other factors. But in general, the DC fast charging is incredibly faster than any regular AC charging. 

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of DC fast charging?

With the invention of DC fast charging, customers can now enjoy a lot of benefits; however, every vehicle can't take full advantage of the new DC fast charging. Therefore, as an electric car owner, you need to be aware of the main advantages and disadvantages of DC fast charging.

Let's take a closer look below: 

  • Advantages of DC fast charging 

As we indicated before, the DC fast charging charges your battery in an incredibly short time frame. Thus, using DC fast charging is the biggest benefit of getting the vehicle charged in a time-efficient manner.

With the invention of the DC fast charging, EV owners can now plan for their Rd trips where they don't have to worry about the charge range issue, which means that they can't drive their vehicle for long distances is because it can't handle the distance without needing to recharge.

Now many companies and governments install DC fast charging in many locations around the United States. Thus, using a designated app or quick search in Google for a DC fast charging station near me, you should be able to get your vehicle charged in a faster time while enjoying your road trip. 

  • Disadvantages of DC fast charging 

One of the biggest drawbacks about DC fast charging is that not every vehicle can take full advantage of these charging stations. Most older cars are designed not to allow them to accept more than 50 kilowatts at a time from any DC units. 

However, automotive experts now came up with newer vehicles that accept up to 270 kilowatts as the batteries are getting much bigger in these new modern cars. Some electric vehicles can now accept up to 350 kilowatts, which allows them to take the most advantage of any DC fast charging unit. 

What are the different types of DC fast charging? 

DC fast charging is not the same across the United States. In other words, there are three different types that you need to be aware of and look at before deciding on your next DC fast charging station.

  • CHAdeMO 

The CHAdeMO is an organization that focuses on any electromobility. The headquarter is in Japan, but they have a branch combining many members from Europe located in Paris, France. 

With the CHAdeMO, your vehicle gets the best compatibility with any DC charging station since most stations are certified by the CHAdeMO Association. 

  • Combined charging system (CCS)

One of the best things about the combined charging system (CCS) is that it provides a universal standard that allows your vehicle to get charged in any charging station across the United States and Europe.

Your vehicle will get both single-phase AC and three-phase AC along with the DC high-speed charging capability with the combined charging system. In addition, this system has the control function, the inlet combination, and the connector. As a result, your vehicle can communicate efficiently with any charging station without needing further requirements. 

  • Tesla supercharger 

Tesla decided to have their own charging stations, and as of now, they have about 1600 superchargers across North America. Tesla also intends to install some charging stations in many urban areas to help electric vehicle owners drive their vehicles without worrying about charge.

Despite the type of electric charger units, most electric vehicles are equipped with dispensers to get connected with any of the mentioned fast-charging stations. However, this is not applicable for the Tesla supercharger because it's only charging Tesla vehicles. Keep in mind that any Tesla vehicle can still get charged using the CHAdeMO and the combined charging system. 

Is DC fast charging bad? 

Despite the amazing features you can get when choosing the charger vehicle using the DC fast charging station, you can keep in mind some drawbacks.

According to automotive experts, it is not recommended to continue charging your electric vehicle using a DC charger frequently because it might affect the overall condition of your vehicle's battery. In addition, some of the largest automakers like Kia indicated that you should minimize the use of any DC fast charging station despite his type or brand. 

Can you have a DC fast charger at home?

According to the automakers, yes, you can install a DC fast charger at home. You need to make sure that you have all requirements available in your house, so the technician count is still the charger. 

Keep in mind that installing a fast charger requires a professional technician, and it's not something that you can do by yourself. This is not because the job is too complicated but because some pre-requiring requirements need to be done before installing the charger. The technician looks at your electric wiring condition before starting the job. For example, if your house is very old, some pre steps need to be done to ensure that the wiring and the electric connection are suitable for installing a DC fast charger. 

Should I charge my EV to 100%?

Most experts indicated that you should not overcharge your battery, and you're not recommended to get it up to 100% in any situation. Instead, most of these experts suggest keeping your battery charge between 15% and 90%. Some other experts also indicated that the battery charge should stay somewhere between 25% and 75%.

Long story short, getting to 100% is not advisable, and you should try to keep the charge below as much as you can. But, of course, you don't want to undercharge the vehicle's battery and keep it at less than 15% because this can also harm the battery. 

Does Tesla charge AC or DC?

Whether it's Tesla or any other electric vehicle, all these vehicles can charge using both the AC and DC currents. It is an internal conversion in the electric vehicle that takes the AC and is converted into a DC. Of course, by choosing an electric charging station that provides the DC, you save yourself a lot of time and effort to wait until the vehicle gets to the required charge level. 

Why are DC fast chargers so expensive?

One of the top reasons for the high DC chargers’ cost is the technology. This technology is fairly new, and companies are working day and night to generate and investigate other ways to make it more affordable. However, it requires a certain level of skill sets that require higher pay rates.

Also, the charging stations have additional costs like the cost of the location where it's installed, the wiring, etc. Finally, the DC fast chargers require a certain level of the charging system that is expensive and the Level 3 charging. 

How much does a DC fast charger cost?

Although it's not recommended for individuals, installing a DC fast charger is very expensive, and it can get up to $140,000, if not more. Therefore, before deciding to install a DC fast charger at your home, you need to evaluate your situation and see if it's even worth it.

However, if you are an employer and would like to install a DC fast charger, you can go with lower-cost chargers that might cost you up to only $28,000

Can I leave my EV plugged in overnight?

Yes, it is 100% safe to leave your electric vehicle plugged in the charger overnight. This is very useful, especially if you're using a slow charging station that requires up to 12 hours to get your vehicle to the right charge. Some customers even prefer to charge their electric vehicle overnight because they don't have to worry about the peak where many people are trying to charge their vehicles simultaneously during the day. 

Does fast charging reduce EV battery life?

Many researchers are investigating the correlation between the EV battery life and the number of times you use fast-charging stations. Some initial results showed that your battery life can get affected significantly after 25 charges using DC fast charging

Conclusion

Since charging is one of the biggest challenges facing any electric car, automotive experts came up with new charging systems that allow owners to charge their vehicles in no time.

With the invention of the DC fast charging system, owners do not have to worry about charging their vehicles for up to 12 hours. With this system, electric vehicle owners can charge their cars and less than one hour in some scenarios.

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