Harden Electric Blog EV Chargers Explained

EV Chargers Explained

Never seen a charger? Don’t know how to work one? What do charge rates mean? What is a charging curve? What is limiting? We’ll cover all this and more in todays article!

To help us on this journey, we are also going to link to some very great YouTube creators and resources.

So grab a beer, or a beverage, and dive in while we go through all the things about chargers!

Now, before we get started, I’d like to add that if you want to watch one single video, and that’s it. Nothing more, then the best video to cover off the majority of the information in this article is from Aging Wheels, and it’s this one:

Everything You Need to Know About DC Fast Charging

What is a charger?

Now to start off there are two types of devices that are commonly called a charger for an electric vehicle.

You have what is known as electric vehicle supply equipment, or an EVSE.

This is commonly known as a portable charger, or depending on where you are in the world it can also be known as a Type 1 and Type 2 Charger.

Now it is important to note that these devices are actually not chargers in their own right, they are actually just an adaptor plug from the grid socket, as well as some isolation equipment, and essentially function to get AC power from the Grid to your vehicle.

And EVSE or Level 1/2 Charger is primarily for long term charging.

Ergo, overnight at home, a couple of hours while doing the shopping. Kind of a “set and forget” type deal. You basically plug in and walk away from it.

Here is a great video from Alec at Technology Connections to explain EVSE’s!

Electric car chargers aren’t chargers at all – EVSE Explained

Your second type of charger is what is known as a DC Fast Charger, Fast Charger, or a Level 3 Charger.

These are commonly used on road trips, long distance chargers, and they are designed to charge your car up really fast in as short a time as possible.

Here is another great video on DC Fast Chargers:

The tech which can charge an electric car in 10 minutes

I have heard about the internal charger? What is that?

So to explain this we will have to double back for a moment to when we talked about the EVSE’s.

Now when you are using grid AC power this cannot reliably charge your car as your batteries are DC.

What the charger does generally located inside the battery pack or the power delivery module of your vehicle is an inverter which will turn the grid alternating current into a battery direct current of the appropriate voltage for your battery pack.

This is known as the internal charger or the onboard charger.

If you want to see a good teardown of an on-board charger, check out this video from Performance EV:

Tesla Onboard Charger Teardown Pt1 – Opening it up to look inside – how does this gen 3 Charger Work

I have never seen a charger around

And that is entirely cool, what a lot of people don’t realize is that quote often a charger can be quite hard to spot. Not all of them are the big fast chargers that you often see on TV, quite often you can find what are known as “BYO chargers” at supermarkets and crammed into the back of parking garages.

They quote often look like this:

BYO Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Furthermore, not everywhere advertises the locations or the fact that they even have them all that reliably. You can quote often find them however by using services such as PlugShare.

Take a look at the PlugShare map below to see chargers in your area:

As you can see there are probably a lot more chargers around you than you thought.

But how can I plan a trip? I don’t want to plan all my charging stops!

Then don’t.


I know a lot of people use Google Maps, well, what if I told you there was an app like Google Maps which would do all the planning for you and take the stress and load off making a road trip?

It’s called ABetterRoutePlanner and it’s entirely free!

Download ABetterRoutePlanner on Google Play
Download ABetterRoutePlanner on Apple App Store

Now if you are interested in this, check out this awesome video from Mr. EV:

A Better Route Planner: how to use it and how accurate is it?!

Now we need to get onto some more in depth stuff!

What is the Charging Curve? What are charge Rates?

So for this one, rather than making you read a bunch of text, I am going to hand you off to this video from BestElectricVehicles

Charging Curves | Peak Charge Rates | Why it matters!

Hopefully all this information helped!

If you found this information useful, please leave a comment below!

If you would like to support Harden Electric Vehicles, please share this article, and maybe get a T-Shirt or something. I dunno, I’m not your dad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post