AC vs DC charging

Couple and their dog heading back to their EV after a charging session at The Wharf pub

Photo credit: Frankie Julian

What is the difference between AC vs DC electric car charging?


Alternating and direct current

Charging an electric vehicle requires alternating current (AC) which is acquired via the grid, that then needs to be converted into power that your electric car can use in the form of direct current (DC).


How AC and DC chargers differ

A charge point with AC charging capabilities will receive the alternating current from the grid and pass this on to the vehicle to convert to direct current. Once the car has converted this power, the direct current is then fed into the EVs battery.

DC charge points already have the converter within the charger itself, and so do not rely on the car to do the heavy lifting. This means that the power is converted to DC before it is delivered to the EV, resulting in a faster charge time.

So, AC charging relies on the vehicle to do the hard work, whereas DC charging makes sure the work is done within the chargepoint, before the car even plugs in meaning more power can be delivered at once.


Slow vs Fast

Slower chargers = AC chargers (A.K.A. slow and fast chargers)

Faster chargers = DC chargers (A.K.A. rapid and ultra-rapid chargers)

EV charging with Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3 
AC ChargingDC Charging
Maximum charge power11kW170kW
Charge time6h15m25 minutes
Charging speed39 mph390 mph







Tesla Model 3 data

EV charging with Kia E-Niro
Kia E-Niro
AC ChargingDC Charging
Maximum charge power7.2kW77kW
Charge time10h30m44 minutes
Charging speed22 mph220 mph

Kia E-Niro data

EV charging with VW ID.3
AC ChargingDC Charging
Maximum charge power11kW128kW
Charge time6h15m30 minutes
Charging speed35 mph300 mph

VW ID.3 Pro Performance data

The majority of Osprey’s 50kW chargers also allow for up to 16kW AC charging depending on the vehicle’s capabilities, while our higher-powered ultra-rapid units are DC only.


Find out which chargers have which charging capabilities on the Osprey app or on our website’s Location Finder.