July 31, 2023

How to Become an EV Charging Pro 

Optimise your EV charging

Anyone who owns an electric vehicle (EV) will at some point find themselves asking why are there waiting times at DC (Direct Current) charging points from time to time? Shouldn’t we be enjoying fast charging for our EVs by now?  

Well, there is something to learn about how to use fast charging or DC charging. This technology is fast, but it also depends on how you use the service. All EVs have protection in their batteries, and this steers how fast you can charge or how much energy you can load into a battery. Fast charging stations are also something of a social experiment in stress management for drivers. Luckily there is a very easy way to cut the waiting time if you treat your batteries as the manufacturer would like you to.  

The example below uses a Polestar 2 with fast charging (DC) protection for batteries. The numbers are not exact, but they do illustrate the huge difference in speed when using a Level 3 Fast Charging station. The rule is to never charge more than 60%, and instead charge more often.  Doing this means waiting times reduce dramatically since the efficiency and speed per charged kw/h is higher.

Charging an electric vehicle involves refilling its battery with electricity. There are different types of EV charging methods, each with varying charging speeds and suitable use cases.  

Level 1 Charging:  

Level 1 charging is the slowest method and involves using a standard household electrical outlet, typically rated at 240 volts AC. This method often utilizes a portable charging cord that comes with the vehicle. Level 1 charging provides a charging rate of around 5-10 km of range per hour of charging. It is best suited for overnight charging at home, especially for vehicles with smaller battery capacities or when a faster charging option is not available. 

Level 2 Charging:  

Level 2 charging is faster than Level 1 and requires a dedicated charging station that operates at 380 volts AC on 3 phases. These charging stations can be installed in homes, workplaces, or public locations. Level 2 charging typically provides a charging rate of around 15-30 km of range per hour of charging, depending on the vehicle and the specific charging station. This method is suitable for daily charging needs, offering faster charging times and convenience for most EV owners. 

Level 3 Charging:  

DC Fast Charging, also known as Level 3 charging or quick charging, is the fastest charging method available for EVs. It utilizes high-powered charging stations that supply direct current (DC) electricity to the vehicle’s battery, bypassing the need for onboard AC-DC conversion. DC Fast Chargers can provide charging rates ranging from 150-500 km of range per hour, depending on the charger’s power output and the vehicle’s capabilities. This method is primarily used for long-distance travel or situations where drivers need to quickly recharge their vehicles in a short amount of time. DC Fast Chargers are commonly found along highways, at rest stops, and in certain public charging stations. 

In summary:

  • Level 1 charging is suitable for overnight charging at home or when faster options are not available. 
  • Level 2 charging is ideal for daily charging needs at home, workplaces, or public charging stations. 
  • Level 3 DC Fast Charging is designed for quick charging during long-distance travel or situations that require rapid recharging.  

The overall conclusion is that when using DC fast charging, charge more often to shorten waiting times. Always stop the fast charge when you reach 60%. Your car will be happier and the people waiting will be thrilled. 

If you want to learn more about EV charging and how IoT enables it, please feel free to get in touch.  

Anders Nilsson 
Senior Sales Manager IoT  
Tele2 IoT   

Note: The writer has driven 70,000 km over 2,5 years using a Polestar 2. All examples and numbers are based on experience using this particular car.

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