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The Ultimate Guide to Understanding EV Charging  

As electric vehicles have become increasingly popular in Australia and as vehicle manufacturers pledge to stop selling internal combustion engines (ICE), one of the biggest questions EV owners have is “How will I charge my car in public?”, and “How much does it cost to charge an electric car at a public EV charging station in Australia?” 

The costs of public EV charging stations can vary greatly depending on the power level of the charger being used, and the type of EV you have. However, recharging your EV at even the pricier EV chargers will still cost significantly less than refueling with petrol or diesel.  

There are two types of chargers you will see available for public charging: AC or DC.  

What’s the difference between AC and DC Charging Stations? 

All batteries store DC (direct current) electricity, whether they are small AAA batteries or huge EV batteries – however, AC (alternating current) electricity is the form in which electricity is moved in power lines, across utility poles. 

When your vehicle is charged, this AC electricity needs to be converted into DC electricity first. This is done by a device called a rectifier; your EV will have one somewhere! 

Unfortunately, these rectifiers have a power limit, which is why AC charging can be slow. However, DC chargers have their own rectifier, allowing electricity to move directly from the charger into your vehicle’s battery. 

AC chargers are typically found in locations where a driver is parked for a longer period, such as shopping centres or movie theatres. AC stations have a maximum power of 22kW.  

DC charging stations are found in high turnover areas such as service stations, and along highways where drivers are travelling for long distances. These stations can reach up to 350kW of power!  

How long does it take to charge an electric car in Australia? 

AC chargers will typically charge an EV from 0-100% in about 8 hours (depending on the vehicle) and are mostly used to top-up batteries in public settings.  

DC charging times will vary greatly depending on the power level of the charger and the EV model’s battery capacity. For many EVs, a 150kW DC charger can fully charge in under an hour.  

Every EV is different and charging speeds will differ from model to model.  

What is the cost to charge an electric car at a public charging station? 

The average public AC charger cost on the Exploren platform is priced between $0.40 – $0.60 per kWh. 

As DC chargers have such a large variety of levels of power (from 40kW- 350kW), the cost varies greatly – faster chargers typically bill users at a premium price. The average DC charger on the Exploren platform is $0.60-$0.80. 

For example, how much would it cost to charge a Tesla and how long does it take to charge a Tesla? 

Using Australia’s bestselling EV- Tesla Model 3 

If a Tesla Model 3 has an 80kW battery and after driving for the day is sitting at 50% capacity (40kW) 

  • A 11kW AC charger takes a bit less than 4 hours to fully charge and at $0.40 kWh will cost $16.  
  • A 120kW DC charger will only take about 20 minutes to fully charge and at $0.80 kWh, will cost $32 

In conclusion, understanding how EV charging works and the different types of charging stations available can make a huge difference in both time and cost.  

  • Depending on your vehicle model, charging speeds can greatly vary, depending on battery capacity, rectifier power limits, and charger type (AC vs DC). 
  • Tariffing is mainly based on electricity consumption. The price can vary depending on charging speed, and how the charger owner chooses to charge their customers.  
  • The cost to charge your EV is still significantly cheaper compared to the cost to refuel your vehicle. 

With more and more charging stations being installed across Australia, finding an EV charger for your vehicle while you’re on the go is becoming increasingly convenient. By knowing the charging options and the associated costs, you can make the most of your EV charging experience. 

If you have questions about charging on an Exploren charging station, contact us at 


1300 755 087