A charging station, also known as a charge point or electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), is a piece of equipment that supplies electrical power for charging plug-in electric vehicles (including electric cars, electric trucks, electric buses, neighborhood electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrids).
There are two main types: AC charging stations and DC charging stations. Batteries can only be charged with direct current (DC) electric power, while most electricity is delivered from the power grid as alternating current (AC). For this reason, most electric vehicles have a built-in AC-to-DC converter, commonly known as the "onboard charger".
At an AC charging station, AC power from the grid is supplied to this onboard charger, which produces DC power to charge the battery. DC chargers facilitate higher power charging (which requires much larger AC-to-DC converters) by building the converter into the charging station instead of the vehicle to avoid size and weight restrictions. The station then supplies DC power to the vehicle directly, by passing the onboard converter. Most fully electric car models can accept both AC and DC power.
Charging stations provide connectors that conform to a variety of international standards. DC charging stations are commonly equipped with multiple connectors to be able to charge a wide variety of vehicles that utilize competing standards.
Public charging stations are typically found street-side or at retail shopping centers, government facilities, and other parking areas. Private charging stations are typically found at residences, workplaces, and hotels.
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