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Where do you put an onboard battery charger?

Aug 25,2023 | TCcharger

Electric vehicles (EVs) are steering us toward a greener future, revolutionizing the way we think about transportation. Behind their eco-friendly façade lies an intricate web of components, one of which plays a pivotal role in shaping the EV landscape: the on-board battery charger. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at the strategic placement of on-board battery chargers within these cutting-edge vehicles.

Understanding the Role of On-Board Battery Chargers

On-board battery chargers are the silent architects of EV charging. They convert alternating current (AC) from external charging sources into the direct current (DC) required for charging the EV's battery pack. This transformation ensures that the battery receives the correct voltage and current, promoting efficient and safe charging.

Navigating the Labyrinth: Strategic Placement of On-Board Battery Chargers

Front and Center: The Front Axle Placement

Many electric vehicle manufacturers choose to position the on-board battery charger near the front axle of the vehicle. This strategic placement offers several advantages:

  1. Cooling Opportunities: Placing the charger at the front of the vehicle allows for efficient cooling. As the vehicle moves, air can flow over the charger, dissipating heat generated during the charging process.

  2. Weight Distribution: Distributing the weight of the charger near the front axle can help balance the vehicle's weight distribution, enhancing stability and handling.

  3. Safety: The front of the vehicle is generally designed to withstand impacts, providing an additional layer of protection for the sensitive charging component.

Heading to the Rear: Rear Axle Integration

In vehicles with rear-mounted powertrains or underfloor battery packs, the on-board charger might find its home near the rear axle. This placement offers distinct advantages:

  1. Weight Distribution: Just like front placement, positioning the charger near the rear axle can help maintain balanced weight distribution, contributing to a smoother ride.

  2. Accessibility: Placing the charger near the rear can make it more accessible for maintenance and servicing, as well as simplify cable management.

Under the Veil: Integration into the Undercarriage

Some electric vehicle designs integrate the on-board battery charger within the undercarriage. This approach optimizes interior space and creates a sleek, unobtrusive look. Benefits include:

  1. Space Efficiency: By tucking the charger underneath the vehicle, manufacturers can maximize interior space for passengers and cargo.

  2. Aerodynamic Advantage: An integrated design minimizes protrusions, contributing to better aerodynamics and reduced wind resistance.

  3. Interior Aesthetics: With the charger out of sight, the vehicle's interior design remains uninterrupted, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal.

Balancing Act: Considerations in Charger Placement

While the location of the on-board battery charger offers several benefits, it's essential to balance these advantages with other factors:

  1. Heat Dissipation: Chargers generate heat during the charging process. Strategic placement should facilitate efficient heat dissipation to prevent overheating.

  2. Safety: Charger placement should prioritize safety, ensuring that the component is shielded from environmental hazards and potential impacts.

  3. Accessibility: Easy access for maintenance and repairs is crucial. While integration might save space, it should not compromise serviceability.


The on-board battery charger might be concealed from view, but its strategic placement plays a vital role in the overall performance, efficiency, and safety of electric vehicles. Whether nestled near the front axle, integrated into the undercarriage, or positioned at the rear, the on-board charger is an integral part of the intricate EV ecosystem. As the electric vehicle industry continues to evolve, finding the optimal spot for this component will remain a delicate balance between efficiency, functionality, and aesthetics.