DC charging - definition


DC charging refers to an EV's capacity to take DC (direct current) straight from a charger and store that charge in its battery.

Unlike in the case of AC chargers, with DC chargers the conversion from AC (from the grid) to DC happens within the charging station, allowing DC power to flow directly from the station and into the battery. Because the conversion process happens inside the more spacious charging station and not the EV, larger converters can be used to convert AC power from the grid very quickly. As a result, some DC stations can provide up to 350 kW of power and fully charge an EV in 15-30 minutes.

DC charging forms a degrading charging curve. This is due to the EV's battery initially accepting a quicker flow of power but gradually asking for less as it reaches full capacity. DC charging is more common near highways or at public charging stations, where you don't have much time to recharge.

In our spec pages you'll see a specific EV model's maximum DC charging support, as well as an estimate of how fast that car would charge if connected to the fastest DC charger it supports. These estimates are usually released by manufacturers as "time from 10 to 80%" of charge, since the final 20% will take much longer due to the degrading charging curve described above.