What is the difference between Alternating Current and Direct Current charging?

The differences between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) charging for electric vehicles are listed in the table below.

Charging TypeCharging InformationCharger Image
  • Preserves the health of the battery for a longer life.
  • Able to charge up to 100% at a steady rate.
  • Does not heat up the battery to the same extent that DC charging does.
AC EV Plug
  • Charges the battery faster than AC charging.
  • Lincoln recommends limiting DC charges to 80%.
  • Higher cost to charge.
  • Frequent use can result in reduced battery lifespan and efficiency.
DC EV Plug
Rapid DC
  • Charging power of 100kW or more.
  • Typically, 100kW, 150kW, or 350kW, but other charging speeds between these speeds are possible.
  • Enables longer journeys by adding as much range as possible in the shortest amount of time.
  • Depends on the charger used and the maximum charging power the vehicle can handle.
  • Charging power decreases after 80% state-of-charge (SoC) to maximize battery life. Typical rapid DC chargers rarely exceed 80% SoC.
DC EV Plug

Additional Information

How do I charge at home?

Range and Charge time are based on manufacturer computer engineering simulations. The Charging rate, when charging using DC chargers, decreases as battery reaches full capacity. The results may also vary based on peak charging times and battery state-of-charge (SoC). In addition, actual vehicle range varies with conditions such as external elements, driving behaviors, vehicle maintenance, lithium-ion battery age and state of health.