Fast charge for EVs: Ten houses-worth of energy

How would you feel about seeing your grandmother holding the connection to a 400-V dc power bus? That scenario could become a reality as Level 3 chargers for EVs come on the market.

The DoE defines Level 3 chargers as permanently wired electric vehicle supply equipment used specially for electric vehicle charging that is rated greater than 14.4 kW. The allure of a Level 3 charger is that can top off the battery in an EV in minutes rather than the hours needed when using ordinary house wiring.

(A point to note is that DoE doesn't consider all Level 3 chargers to be fast chargers. It depends on the size of the battery pack to be charged and how much time is required to charge the battery pack. A charger can be considered a fast charger if it is capable of charging an average electric vehicle battery pack in 30 minutes or less.)

Your not likely to install a Level 3 charger in your house in that it could potentially use the equivalent of ten houses-worth of energy to do its charging. The more likely setting for these devices will be fleet facilities such as those of rental car agencies.

GE says it expects to have a Level 3 charger ready for the market by the end of next year. The company discusses some of the issues surrounding these devices here:

You can find words of wisdom from the DoE about Level 3 chargers here:

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