Did you know that an electric car’s charger is found on board the vehicle? As such, it’s able to take AC power from your house and convert it to DC – so your car’s battery pack can be charged. But different EV models will have different sized on board chargers, for example 3.3 kW (kilowatts) and 6.6 kW. So how do you know what size is best for you?
It’s actually pretty simple. The charging capacity of your car’s on board charger determines approximately how many “miles of charge” or “miles of driving range” your car can handle. The higher the kW number, the quicker it will be able to replenish its battery pack – which means more miles more quickly.
For instance – if two EVs had an identical battery pack, a car with a 6.6kW on board charger would charge twice as fast as one with a 3.3 kW charger. We can take a look at the Chevy Volt and the Fiat 500e as an example of this. To charge up a Chevy Volt, its 3.3 kW on board charger could add 11 miles per hour of charge – while a Fiat 500e could add 22 miles per hour of charge with its 6.6 kW on board charger.
Typically, you’ll find the on board AC charging power of an EV lies somewhere between 3 kW and 10 kW (the number can be found on your car’s spec sheet). We recommend considering your lifestyle, daily commute, available charging options, etc. to see what size works best for you. If you’ve found an EV you love, but feel the on board charger is too small – consider that many electric cars come with optional upgrades to their on board charger!
We know each EV owner’s needs are unique. To learn more about our comprehensive selection of chargers – including the options for a Chevy or Fiat – click here. You’re sure to find one that fits your lifestyle.