Sowetan Motoring: Everything you need to know about charging EVs in SA.

Charging a car will soon be as natural a practise as plugging in a smartphone.

With the rise in popularity of the electric vehicle (EV) genre, we thought it prudent to demystify some aspects, starting with an introduction to charging.

AC vs DC

The most common reference to EV chargers is alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). All EVs can convert AC current to DC, which is needed to charge an EV battery.

AC chargers control the amount of power it draws whereas DC chargers will recharge using the fastest charge rate it can. DC chargers have AC-to-DC converters built into the charging station, which is why they are more expensive and not as readily available. AC charging is considered the most cost-effective way to recharge an EV.

The maximum speed for AC charging is 22kW and the maximum for DC charging is 60kW in SA. In January 2022, Audi became the first manufacturer locally to announce it will roll out four 150kW fast DC chargers across major highways. Achieving the maximum charging speed requires certain conditions to be met.

Winstone Jordaan, GridCars MD, says DC chargers serve two purposes — speed and convenience, with current-generation chargers charging up to 200km in 20 minutes, suited for when you are far from home or doing extensive intercity travel.

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