As an EV charger supplier, I always receive questions from our customers about the parts of the EV chargers. In this article I will give a brief introduction on the components of EV chargers (both portable EV chargers and mounted EV chargers).
Portable EV Chargers
Portable EV chargers are very simple. It is made up of three parts: the EV connector with cable, the control box and the power plug. The EV connector might be Tesla, Type1, Type2 or GB/T plug. The control box is made up by the upper and lower enclosures, a PCBA integrated with electronic parts and components, a power plug that suits the needs of a specific region or country. All the three parts are linked by the cable. Although they’re simple, all crucial parts including protection components are included. You can call them a mobile charging station.
Fixed EV Chargers (Charge Points)
A fixed EV charger might be a wallbox charger or a charging pile or a charging post.
Enclosure or Housing
First, in order to charge the car and control the charging process, there is a need of an enclosure or housing that encloses all components and protect them from the environment. No one dare to use a charger without an enclosure.
In order to provide electric power to the car, power supply is needed, so there must be a cable which shall be linked to an AC power source.
Control and Communication Unit
As a smart charging equipment, there is a need of control and communication unit which manages the charging process. This unit communicates with the electric vehicle and do such work as authentication, power management, and monitoring.
EV connector with charging cable which will be used to physically connect the charging equipment to the vehicle. The EV connecor should fit the vehicle inlet. If someone prefers to charge a car via a Type 1 charging port with a Type 2 EVSE, an extra adapter has to be used.
EV chargers, especially the public charge points are equipped with various safety features, such as lighting protection, thermal protection, ground fault protection, over-current protection and over-voltage protection, to ensure safe charging sessions.
Metering and Payment System
For public EV chargers, the users need to know how much power is consumed after each charging session. Therefore, public charge points often include meters to measure the consumed amount of electricity. The operators need to get returns from operation of the public EV chargers. Therefore, payment systems, such as credit card readers, APP, RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) cards, etc. are also integrated for billing purposes.
HMI or User Interface
This component provides the user with information about the charging process, including but not limited to a start/stop button, display screen, status indicators, etc.
Ventilation and Cooling Systems
The public Ev charger is a high-power electric equipment, meaning that lots of heat generated in the frequent uses. Therefore, some chargers may include ventilation or cooling systems to prevent overheating during extended charging sessions.
Many fixed EV chargers are connected to a central network. This allows for remote monitoring, management, and often offers additional features like smart charging and OTA (over-the-air) diagnosis and updates.
Just like the charger needs an enclosure for environmental protection, components inside the charger may be sealed or insulated to protect them from dust, moisture, and other environmental factors.
Emergency Shut-off and Disconnect
If there are any emergencies, there should be a way to quickly shut off power to the charger and disconnect it from the vehicle. It might be a button beside the user interface.
All these parts together form an electric vehicle charger or EVSE.