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Onboard Chargers: The Unsung Powerhouses Driving the Electric Vehicle Evolution

Jun 17,2024 | TCcharger

Since the inception of electric vehicles (EVs), there has been a focus on their battery technology, and rightfully so. But what often goes unnoticed amidst the horsepower and range discussions is a hidden powerhouse: the onboard charger.


The onboard charger is a crucial aspect of any EV. It is an electric vehicle's refuelling instrument, converting AC power from the grid into DC power for storing in the battery. This conversion allows EVs to charge from ordinary electrical outlets, making the process as convenient as charging your smartphone overnight.


But onboard chargers are more than just conversion devices. Modern chargers incorporate intelligent features like temperature management, preventing the battery pack from overheating during charging. This temperature regulation extends the lifespan of the battery, ensuring your EV remains reliable for longer.


Another fundamental element of onboard chargers is their power rating. The higher the charger's power rating, the faster it can energize the battery – reducing 'refuelling' times. With advancements in power electronics, onboard chargers have become smaller, lighter, and more efficient, combatting one of the major criticisms of EVs - prolonged charging times.


Recent innovations in onboard charger technology are driving vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities, allowing EVs to discharge their stored energy back to the grid. This bi-directional charging has the potential to reduce peak energy demands, stabilize the grid and even allow owners to sell unused power back to the grid – transforming EVs from mere vehicles to portable power stations.


These unsung powerhouses also impact the EV design, allowing for smaller radiators thanks to their high efficiencies and decreased heat wastage. With onboard chargers, vehicles can be designed sleeker and more attractively as the need for enormous radiator grilles at the front of the vehicle reduces.


In conclusion, while batteries deserve their share of the limelight, the humble onboard charger is playing an equally pivotal role in the EV evolution. As we move towards zero-emission transportation, it's crucial to acknowledge and appreciate these hidden heroes, paving the road to a greener future. The next time you plug in your EV to charge, spare a moment to appreciate the technological marvel that's working tirelessly under the hood - your onboard charger.