16 September 2020

The ultimate guide to CSS charging

The automobile industry is rapidly getting electrified. The production of electric vehicles has grown over the past few years. Many people are now using electric cars as they are convenient and easy to use. Due to this, new charging systems have come up. CSS charging is among the charging methods that are gaining popularity at a fast rate. This article will, therefore, provide you with everything you need to know about CSS charging.

What is CSS charging?

CSS charging is simply a European standard for charging EVs. It is another type of EV connector used for fast and rapid charging. The combined charging system, which is popularly known as CSS, is an open international standard. This means that it can be used anywhere across the globe, and is wildly popular in North America and Europe.

The combined charging system utilises a J-plug and an addition of two Direct Current rapid charging pins. The additional Direct Current pins allow for fast charging of EVs. Therefore, this fast car charger can be used at home and work or on the road.

A CSS charger makes charging on the road easier because EV users do not need to purchase a cable to connect the vehicle to the CSS charger. This is because CSS chargers are provided in motorway services. The charger cable is usually tied into the station. Thus, if you are travelling, you can charge your vehicle anytime. The CSS DC connector takes up less space on the vehicle, unlike the CHAdeMO connector. Therefore, it is convenient for smaller EV cars.

CSS charging also uses Power Line Communication in the initiation and control of charging. This makes the vehicle being charged to become a smart appliance. When the car operates as a smart appliance, it means it can easily optimise energy and use it when needed.

All smart appliances can communicate with any nearby devices connected to the same electrical grid. This communication allows for the optimisation of energy. The energy is then used at a community level.

How is a CSS charger used?

The CSS connector is a type of fast car charger. Thus, like all EV chargers, it is easy to use. All you need to do is visit a supported EV charging station and select the connector you need. However, you must ensure that you follow all the instructions provided before you plug the connector into your vehicle.

There are various tools such as Open Charger Map that can provide you with guidelines for connecting the charger. When using such tools, search for the CSS connector and follow the instructions provided to charge your car. The connector will lock itself in your vehicle when charging and unlock upon the completion of charging.

The CSS can supply between 25 kWh to 350 kWh of energy. This means that an Electric Vehicle can be charged from zero percent to about eighty percent within one hour. The speed of charging is, however, dependent on the capability of your EV.

The combined charging system is an open standard. Thus, it is fast becoming one of the most commonly used charging connectors.

Volkswagen ID3

Before you buy an electric car

Charging an electric car cannot be compared to the process of filling up combustion engine vehicles with fuel. This does not mean that it is difficult to use an EV. On the contrary, EVs are easier to use and maintain compared to other cars. However, before buying an EV, it is essential to do a quick search on the type of connectors available in your area.

If your locality has more CSS chargers than other types of connectors like CHAdeMO, it would be wiser to purchase a vehicle that is equipped with a CSS connector. However, since the charging infrastructure is conforming to be in line with the current technology, charging all types of EVs will be more comfortable in the future.

What types of cars support CSS charging?

If you are interested in using an electric car, it is essential to know that not all electric-powered vehicles use a CSS charger. Different manufactures manufacture vehicles. These manufactures tend to promote the methods of charging preferable to them. Therefore, the cars that support a CSS charger include BMW, Kia, Jaguar, Ford, Renault and Volkswagen.

Before you buy an Electric car, you should, thus, consider whether it will be compatible with a CSS charger. Also, as mentioned earlier, ensure that the charging stations around you provide combined charging system services.

EV charger cable types

What is the future of CSS charging?

Since there are many models of electric vehicles, buying the best fast EV charger is essential. A CSS charger is among the best choices of fast and rapid chargers. Although there are more CHAdeMO chargers than the CSS ones in various parts of the world, this will not be the case in the next few years. This is because the CHAdeMO chargers have significant shortcomings that might make it to be less considered by EV users.

Most users claim that CHAdeMO chargers are usually concentrated in urban areas. Besides, these chargers are often unavailable or out of service or have only one or two plugs in each station.

These significant disadvantages that CHAdeMO chargers have are slowly paving the way for the CSS chargers. Several companies are moving to the combined charging system now. Also, the popularity of CSS chargers is growing by the day. Hence, in a few years, the integrated charging system might overtake other connectors.

Conclusion

Charging an EV might seem complicated to the eye, but when you begin, the process becomes more manageable. Also, the types of chargers vary in terms of charging speed and model. It is therefore essential to know the kind of vehicle you wish to buy and the charger you would like to use. A CSS charger is one of the best chargers to use as it is fast and can charge your EV to the maximum in less than two hours.

Also, the combined charging system is convenient, especially when one is travelling because it can charge your car within a short period. Since CSS is becoming trendy, it is wise to consider it when looking for a fast car charger.