What is the difference between AC & DC charging?

At Sime Darby, we go beyond the retail distribution of EVs to also provide comprehensive EV charging solutions for our customers. Through our fully-owned subsidiary, KINETA, we offer a range of EV charging solutions tailored for the Malaysian and Hong Kong markets respectively.
In the realm of electric mobility, there are two primary electrical currents utilised for charging electric vehicles (EVs): Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). Whilst these are familiar abbreviations, there is a need for clarity on the differences between AC and DC charging.

Col 1
Col 2

Alternating Current (AC)Direct Current (DC)
Type of Current
Alternating current periodically reverses direction, flowing in both positive and negative cycles.
Direct current flows consistently in one direction, from positive to negative terminals.
Voltage and Power Levels
Usual charging speed can go up to 22kW . AC chargers typically operate at lower voltage levels, commonly 120V or 240V.
High performance charging up to 360kW. DC chargers operate at higher voltage levels, ranging from several hundred volts to over 1,000 volts.
Charging Speed
(depending on battery capacity and intake)
AC chargers are usually slower and more suitable for overnight charging or longer charging sessions of approximately 7 to 15 hours.
With DC chargers providing high performance charging, it takes only an hour for a quick charge.
Charging Infrastructure
AC chargers are more common and readily available, especially in residential areas, public charging stations such as shopping malls and office buildings.
DC chargers are increasingly available, especially along major highways, dealerships and at EV charging stations designed for quick recharges.
Charging Compatibility
Most EVs come with onboard AC chargers, making them compatible with standard AC charging infrastructure.
Only vehicles equipped with DC charging capability can take advantage of fast-charging stations.
Charging Efficiency
AC chargers are generally less efficient, compared to DC chargers, due to energy losses during the conversion process from AC to DC within the vehicle's onboard charger.
DC chargers are more efficient because they deliver DC power directly to the vehicle's battery.
Charging Cost
AC chargers are considered more cost effective with its slower charging speed. It is suitable for installation at home and at public charging stations.
DC chargers tend to be more expensive with premium rates due to high infrastructure costs.
View Sitemap
Generic Popup