What is EVSE?
Electric vehicle supply equipment, or EVSE, is a crucial component of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
In simple terms, EVSE is the equipment used to connect an electric car to an electricity source and charge the vehicle’s battery.
It is an essential component of EV charging stations, and understanding its function and operation is critical to ensuring a smooth and efficient charging experience for electric vehicle owners.
What is Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment?
At its simplest definition, EVSEs supply electric energy to recharge electric vehicles.
EVSE is a system used to recharge electric vehicles via connection to a power source, such as a wall outlet or charging station, to an electric vehicle's battery.
Most people refer to it as an EV charging station, charging dock, or simply a charger.
However, an EVSE is NOT the same as a charger.
EVSE provides the electrical connection between the power source and the EV, while the charger is part of the EV's onboard charging system.
The anatomy of EVSE
EVSE consists of three main components: the charging station, the charging cable, and the connector.
The charging station is the most visible component of the EVSE system, and it is the part that is typically installed in public charging stations or at home.
EVSE charging stations come in different shapes and sizes, and they can be installed in various locations, including parking lots, garages, and on the street.
They can either be publicly or privately owned and can be accessed by drivers using a variety of methods, such as a smartphone app, credit card, or RFID card.
The charging cable is the component that connects the charging station to the electric vehicle, and it typically comes in two different types: Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 chargers are the most basic type of EVSE, and they deliver electricity to the vehicle at a rate of about 3-5 miles of range per hour.
They can be plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet and are typically used for home charging.
Level 2 chargers, on the other hand, deliver electricity to the vehicle at a rate of about 10-30 miles of range per hour, depending on the charging station's power output and the electric vehicle's battery capacity.
A standard home charging station falls under this category, requiring a dedicated 240-volt circuit, which is similar to the circuit used for an electric dryer or stove.
The third charging level uses DC power for fast charging and can often be found in commercial EV charging stations.
Instead of relying on the car's onboard charger to convert the AC power from the power grid, the charger already has a built-in converter allowing it to supply DC power directly to the battery.
The connector is the part of the charging cable that physically connects the electric vehicle to the charging station.
Several types of connectors are used in EVSE systems, including the J1772 connector, the most common type used in North America, and the CCS and CHAdeMO connectors, which are used for fast charging.
Once the charging cable is plugged into the EV, the control module ensures the connector is properly plugged in, and the charging station is working.
How does EVSE work?
The EVSE system works by delivering electricity from the charging station to the electric vehicle's battery.
The charging process typically begins when the electric vehicle owner plugs the charging cable into the vehicle's charging port and the charging station's connector into the EVSE port.
The charging station then communicates with the electric vehicle to determine the battery's state of charge and the amount of power required to charge it.
It also acts as electrical safety equipment, using several layers of redundant safety features and stopping the power transfer immediately when an electrical fault occurs.
Once the charging station has determined the appropriate charging rate, it delivers electricity to the EV's battery through the charging cable and connector.
The EV's onboard charger then converts the AC electricity from the charging station into DC electricity that can be stored in the vehicle's battery.
The charging process typically takes several hours, depending on the electric vehicle's battery capacity, the charging station's power output, and the charging rate selected by the electric vehicle owner.
Some EVSE systems also include features that allow electric vehicle owners to monitor their charging progress, set charging schedules, and receive notifications when their vehicle is fully charged.
What is EVSE infrastructure?
Simply put, EVSE infrastructure is the network of EVSE systems that enable the charging of electric vehicles.
EVSE infrastructure includes public charging stations, workplace charging stations, and residential charging stations, as well as the software and hardware components that enable their operation.
The importance of EVSE infrastructure
EVSE infrastructure is essential for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, as it allows EV owners to charge their vehicles away from home and enables long-distance travel.
The growth of EVSE infrastructure is also critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality by reducing the use of fossil fuels for transportation.
Technically speaking, an EVSE is not the same as an EV charger. An EVSE provides the electrical connection between the power source and the electric vehicle, while the car's charger is part of the electric vehicle's onboard charging system and is responsible for converting the AC power from the EVSE into DC power that can be stored in the electric vehicle's battery.
An EVSE provides the electrical connection between the power supply and the electric vehicle, enabling the EV to charge its battery.
For your EV charging needs, check out Lectron's collection of EV chargers, adapters, and more for Tesla and J1772 EVs.