What about power loss while charging?

Is power lost?

Sergej de Wit avatar
Written by Sergej de Wit
Updated over a week ago

When charging their EV, many people wonder about the power that they charge in their car. Does all the power that comes from the charging station properly end up in the battery, or is there power that gets lost?

You must read this article to be able to fully understand the process of power from the charging station to power from you EV. Briefly said, our power network consists of alternating current (AC), meanwhile the power that is stored in the EV battery is direct current (DC). A real transformation has to be done to make the power suitable for the battery of your EV. We call this transformation “inverting”. EV drivers who own solar panels are probably already familiar with this term since most of the solar panel’s systems involve an inverter. A solar panel inverter essentially transforms the direct current (DC) which is generated on the roof to a suitable alternating current (AC) for the power network.

The inverters which are developed for the charging of the EV’s work the other way around. They construct the alternating current (AC) out of the power network to the direct current (DC) which can be stored in the battery of your EV.

This inverting process happens in the charging station when using a DC charger. The power that the charging stations deliver is therefore directly suitable to charge the EV battery. On the other hand, this inverting process happens automatically in the car when using an AC charger. This is therefore the reason that an AC charger takes longer to charge. The power must undergo a whole transformation before it can be stored in the battery.

This transformation process sounds very complicated, and if you think about it, it is. The power essentially undergoes a whole metamorphosis. Therefore, it is not crazy that 10 to 20 percent of the loaded power will be used to make sure the transformation process goes smoothly. The power that does not reach the battery will be used to drive the transformation process and to heat up or cool down the battery during a charging session. This is to make sure that it deteriorates less quickly. Therefore, the “missing” power actually benefits you and your EV and is only less visible. That way you know exactly where the extra power goes to!

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