The AC & DC Story

AC & DC Charging

Power from the UK national grid is always AC. DC is required to charge an EV battery so an on-board charger is used to convert AC to DC when an AC charger is used.

EV Story: Peter

I had a pod point charging unit installed at my house as part of my LEAF agreement so I normally have a full charge on the car. There are good charging points on motorways and even some superstores and attractions have them too. A fast charge to 80% takes around an hour, so just enough time to let the kids stretch their legs.

Electricity flows in two ways

Alternating Current (AC)

Electricity can switch directions and it's flow at various levels of voltage

Direct Current (DC))

Electricity flows one way only – forward and at constant voltage

Vehicle Charging

An Electric Vehicle is an electronic device with a battery. It therefore requires a Direct Current flow of electricity.
The on-board charger can convert AC power to DC to charge the battery.


AC charging utilises standard AC charging points. When a vehicle is plugged into the charge point, AC is changed to DC by using the vehicle’s on-board convertor before moving on to 
the vehicle’s battery.

This is limited power, and slower charging.

AC vehicle chargers are what you would have at home, at work, and in large car parks with multiple charge points.


With DC chargers power to the battery is already a Direct Current. There is no need for conversion. 

DC charging is higher levels of power, and faster but is often more expensive to use than AC charging.

DC rapid chargers tend to be found on motorway service stations and large retailers.

Remember The Difference

Pure BEVs can take both AC and DC charge. | PHEVs are mostly charged with AC chargers. (All PHEV models from Volkswagen Group use AC charging only.)

Inside an EV

Charging routes for AC & DC.

AC Charging

DC Charging

Different battery types available with Volkswagen Group models

Within the Volkswagen Group there is already a range of different Plug-in Hybrid and ‘fully electric’ vehicles with battery sizes between 8.6kWh and 17.3kWh for Plug In Hybrids and 18.7 kWh for the smallest BEV to 95kWh for the latest model.

Actually, the Volkswagen Group aims to launch 80 new electrified models between its Brands by 2025 – and will offer an electrified version of every model the company sells by 2030.