What does DC stand for?

DC charging stands for ‘direct current’ charging. The term direct current is used to refer to an electric current that always flows in the same direction. You may also have heard of DC charging stations being referred to as ‘rapid’ or ‘ultra-rapid’ chargers.

How does DC charging work?

Direct current charging works by charging the car battery directly, instead of flowing through an on-board converter in the car itself. DC chargers have the converter inside the charger instead, which is why they are often much larger than AC (alternating current) charging infrastructure. This means they have the ability to feed power directly to the car's battery without the onboard charger to convert it. DC chargers are always tethered, with a heavy duty cable, to carry the extra current needed to charge quickly.

What is the benefit of DC charging?

  • Charging directly to the battery allows faster charging - it’s that simple. Capable of ultra-rapid charging, DC charging stations deliver around 350 kWh, compared to AC chargers which deliver a maximum of 22 kWh. With a DC charger, there’s no need to rely on plugging in overnight. 


  • DC charging doesn’t rely on the converter within the vehicle to then translate power to the battery. It feeds the battery directly instead - which means charge speed isn’t limited by the vehicle itself. This is why DC 20 kW and 40kW charge points are becoming more common.


  • Knowing that DC chargers can support drivers across the country has made owning an EV less of a daunting prospect. DC chargers can deliver 80% of charge in 15 to 45 minutes depending on your battery level and vehicle battery management system (BMS). This is a brilliant solution for the dreaded ‘range anxiety’ experienced by many EV drivers.

Where are DC charging stations found?

DC charging stations tend to be installed at service stations so drivers can top up quickly when making a pit stop. You can also find them at retail parks, commercial sites and company car parks to support all-electric fleets. 

DC chargers are not commonly used at home due to power requirements; the best option for EV home chargers is a AC fast charger, which can give a full charge overnight.


In conclusion, it's clear that DC chargers are a game-changer for EV drivers looking to embark on long journeys. With their fast charging capabilities and wide availability, these chargers effectively support journeys across the UK and beyond. The fact that there are just under 6000 accessible DC chargers in the UK alone is a testament to the growth and accessibility of EV infrastructure. This means that drivers can now travel with confidence, knowing that they have access to a reliable network of charging points that can quickly get them back on the road. As we continue to see advancements in EV technology, it's exciting to think about the potential for even more widespread and efficient charging infrastructure in the years to come.

Are you looking to install DC charge points? Get in touch with our expert team today.