Do You Know the Difference Between AC and DC Power?

Do You Know the Difference Between AC and DC Power?

Today let’s take a closer look at the difference between AC vs DC power and how they apply to EV charging.

What Is AC Power?

Alternating current (AC) power is the standard form of electricity that comes out of regular power outlets across the country. AC power is defined as a power charge that periodically changes direction.

The electrons in an AC current can move in a positive (upward) or negative (downward) direction. This causes the AC current to change between positive and negative.

Here we present to you the two most common types of charging cables found on electric vehicles using AC current:


Direct current (DC) power is a linear (or direct, as the current is aptly named) electrical current that moves in a straight line. DC energy only moves in one direction rather than in multiple directions like AC.

Here we present to you the most common type of charging cables found on electric vehicles using DC current:


For vehicles equipped with a type 1/2 plug, you will often find it paired with a CCS(CCS1&CCS2) combo plug. The CCS combo socket allows rapid recharging (over 22kw). They are usually found on public charging stations or on highways.

AC power can get transformed into DC power with the help of a converter. This conversion process comes into play because most electronics rely on DC power (think of any device that uses a battery). A transformer can work to raise or lower the voltage to the appropriate level for each particular device.

Electric vehicles run on DC power since they operate with a large battery that requires frequent recharging.

Since electric vehicles run on a battery, they use DC power to operate. But most electric vehicle supply equipment, or charging stations, are connected to AC power. Regardless if the charging station uses AC or DC power, the EV battery will only store DC power.

An EV charging station actually does the conversion process as it charges your car. The AC power from the grid converts to DC power within the charging station, which allows DC power to flow directly to the battery.

AG ELECTRICAL TECHNOLOGY supply both AC&DC charging products. In 2023, get your EV charged with AG!

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