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A PowerPC-centred 110 VAC/2.5 kW full-bridge isolated battery charger was developed for the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Genetic algorithm was adopted to optimise the system key parameters. Phase-shift-based operation modes were analysed in detail. The system-level safe operational area and other practical design considerations were discussed in detail. Experiments validated the design strategies. Finally, the optimisation of a fast PHEV charger was provided.