How To How To How to Use DC Fast Charging

Difficulty Level: Intermediate  |  Time Required: 30 minutes  |  Tools Required: None  |  Related Parts, Products, Services or Technology: None

DC Fast Charging is a type of electric vehicle charging available from certain public charging stations. If your vehicle is equipped with this type of charging capability, it allows you to quickly charge your vehicle’s battery while you’re away from home.


How It Works

The process of DC Fast Charging your electric vehicle is similar to fueling up at the gas pump with a gas-powered vehicle. To find a DC Fast Charging station, you can search the area or along your route using your vehicle’s mobile app.


Start Charging

Once you locate a DC Fast Charging station that’s compatible with your vehicle, you’ll simply plug the charge cord into your vehicle and follow the instructions on the charging station to begin charging. Here’s how:

  1. With your vehicle in PARK, locate the charging port on the outside of the vehicle, typically located on the driver’s side behind the rear wheel or front fender, depending on your model.
  2. Press the rear edge of the port door to pop it open.
  3. Remove or flip open the DC Fast Charging dust cover on the charge port, depending on your model.
  4. Plug the DC Fast Charging station’s cord into the vehicle’s charge port.
  5. Follow the steps on the charging station to start charging.
  6. The DC Fast Charging plug will be locked and cannot be disconnected while charging is active. On some models, your Electric Parking Brake may turn on.
  7. Your vehicle’s Charging Status Indicator will light up when charging begins, and you may hear a chirp (unless disabled in your vehicle settings). The Charging Status Indicator light color and pattern provide information about the status of charging. See your Owner’s Manual to see what each color/pattern means.
  8. On some models, while your vehicle is plugged in, you can check the “peek-in” screen on the Driver Information Center (DIC) for a quick look at the current state of charge and estimated time to full charge. This information is also available in your vehicle’s mobile app if you want to check it remotely.
  9. Charging will continue until you stop the process or until the vehicle is fully charged.

Keep in mind:

  • Charging will slow down as the battery fills up
  • Consider charging only as much as you need to comfortably reach your next stop. Your vehicle’s mobile app can help you determine how long to charge along a planned route
  • For normal daily driving and when your driving plan allows, it is suggested to avoid charging beyond 80% when DC Fast Charging for the best charging experience. Using DC Fast Charging above 80% is recommended only if no other method of charging is available to reach your next charging stop

Finish Charging

When the vehicle is fully charged, charging will automatically stop and the plug will be unlocked. You can also manually stop charging using the button on the charge cord vehicle connector, the controls at the charging station or by tapping “Stop” on the Charging page on your infotainment screen.

  1. Unplug the charge cord from the vehicle
  2. Replace or close the dust cover inside the charge port, depending on your model, and close the charge port door


Related Links and Resources


Q&As

Why does charging start slowing down the longer I’m at the DC Fast Charge station?

In order to provide optimal charging rates and to maximize performance and battery life, the rate of charging will start slowing down as your battery fills up. It will charge most quickly when the battery is at a low charge during the beginning of your charge and then gradually slow down.

Does my battery have to be completely empty before I use DC Fast Charging?

No. You can charge your battery from any level, even just to “top off” the battery for your drive. However, the battery will charge slower when it is near the top of its charge.


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To find out if your vehicle has this feature, contact your dealer or refer to your vehicle’s equipment list. Please check your Owner’s Manual for more information about features. 

  • Actual charge times will vary based on battery starting state of charge, battery condition, output of charger, vehicle settings and outside temperature.

  • Available on select Apple and Android devices. Service availability, features and functionality vary by vehicle, device and the plan you are enrolled in. User terms apply. Device data connection required. See onstar.com for details and limitations. 

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