Home > Blog

Introduction of Different EV Charging Levels

Table of Contents

As a new owner of an electric vehicle, your interest peaks and your curiosity drive you to gain knowledge about everything that has to do with your new car. From the way she runs to the maintenance and schedules for top-ups and charging, including the different charging levels of your EV. That is exactly why we’re here to help you figure it out. Without wasting any more time, let’s dive straight in. we’re ready whenever you are.

I. For Level 1 Chargers

These types of chargers are the default chargers that come with your EVs as provided by EV charger manufacturers. They usually take longer durations to charge your EV. This is due to the power supplied to charge your electric vehicle. The level 1 charging outlet is the regular 120V socket you’ll find in any home. Therefore, the miles of range you’d get charging per hour with a level 1 charger is only about 3-7 miles. And because of this, it can take more than 12 hours to charge your EV. The Level 1 charger is typically used as a backup charger or for emergencies, especially when there isn’t any other charger available for you to charge your EV. The level 1 charger is perfect for EVs with smaller batteries or plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs). The recommended connector for your Level 1 charger is the J1772 connector, majorly for all EVs except Tesla EVs.

For Level 1 Chargers
source: flickr.com

II. For Level 2 Chargers

The EV charger level 2 functions in a faster mode than the level 1 charger. This is why they’re typically found in workplaces and public stations. Although, they are sometimes used at various residences because of their ability to charge faster. Its electrical power supplied is 240V similar to what some homes use for bigger and more powerful equipment such as their ovens and dryers. Furthermore, Level 2 chargers likewise utilize the J-Plug connector commonly referred to as J1772. And this charging method provides a faster charging rate of around 10 to 60 miles of range per hour, depending on the vehicle and the charging station.

III. For Level 3 Chargers

The level 3 EV charger, also called the DC fast charger or supercharger for Tesla EV owners, is the fastest type of EV charging equipment EV owners can enjoy. Additionally, they are typically available in public charging hubs like malls, train stations, and other commercial spots. The level 3 charging outlet supplies an electric charge of over 400V and can charge your EV from 0-80 in 45 minutes because it provides a charging rate of up to 350 miles of range per hour, hence its name. It also uses a direct current power source, diverse from the level 1 and level 2 chargers that use an AC power source to charge. Therefore, due to the high cost of installation and the standards required for installation, it is very rare to find a level 3 charger for home use.

IV. What’s the best home EV charger?

Finding the best EV chargers, especially from top EV charger companies, can be difficult sometimes, and they can also rely on the owner’s preference. But overall, the best EV chargers should offer the following exceptional benefits:

  • Convenience: Your EV charger doesn’t have to stress you before you can enjoy a seamless charging experience. Convenience is very important right from the point of purchase, to installation, and user experience has to be fantastic. Although most EV chargers are very user-friendly, features that assist in scheduling a charging time, and fit your driving style must be considered. In addition, some chargers come with Wi-Fi connectivity. How cool is that? 
  • Operating costs: The cost of electricity varies by location, and it is important to select a charger that maximizes efficiency and reduces energy costs. Some chargers have features like smart charging and load balancing that can help reduce operating costs.
  • Available electrical capacity: A major determinant of the type of charger you can install in your home is the amount of electrical capacity your home has. Some old houses lack this electrical capacity. Therefore, it is not advisable to install a charger with no capacity to sustain it. You can seek the help of a licensed electrician to help evaluate your residence’s available electrical capacity before installing a high-power charger.
  • Amperage: Amperage is another crucial factor to consider. The amperage your EV can take determines the charging rate of your EV. Many, if not all EVs can charge at 30-40 amps, and some models take up to 48 amps. Newer models might be able to accept higher amps, therefore it is essential to consider the amperage required for your EV for maximum satisfaction.

V. EV Charging Levels FAQs 

There are some questions that EV owners repeatedly want answered. Here are some of the most frequent ones with useful responses that are filled with experienced insights. 

  • Are the connectors used for all EVs the same? 

There are several types of charging connectors, including CCS, CHAdeMO, and Tesla Supercharger. It is essential to check the charging requirements for your specific EV model and choose a compatible charger. Therefore, your answer is no. A brand such as Nissan uses the CHAdeMo connectors while other manufacturers utilize the combined charging system commonly referred to as CCS. However, Nissan is considering switching to the CCS in their newer EV models.

  • Is it advisable to install a Level 2 charger on residential properties?

Most homes can accommodate a Level 2 charger with the help of a licensed electrician. However, it is essential to have your home’s electrical capacity evaluated before installation. So, yes you can install a level 2 charger in your home.

  • What is the cost of installing a Level 2 charger?

One of the few factors that determine how much it costs to install a level 2 charger is the available capacity for a level 2 charger. Usually, installation can take up to hundreds of dollars or more into thousands. If an additional circuit is needed to be installed, then the cost might go up. Consulting a professional electrician before you acquire your EV will also save you some costs. However, the location of the charger and the type can also determine how much installation would cost you.

EV Charging Levels FAQs
source: flickr.com
  • Is it safe to use a Tesla Supercharger for charging my EV?

It is quite impossible to charge your EV with a Tesla supercharger, except if there is an adapter that can plug into a Tesla supercharger and this is rare to find. Moreover, Tesla superchargers are made only for Tesla EV owners. Therefore, Tesla EV chargers only work with Tesla products and for Tesla users alone. However, you can have a portable EV charger handy if you’re not sure you’ll find a compatible charging station on your way especially when taking your EVs on a long trip. 

  • What is the cost of using a Level 3 charger for charging my EV?

Most level 3 charging stations are privately owned. Therefore, the charges that may accrue from charging at a public level 3 charging station may differ. Depending on the estimation of each charging station, charging is determined sometimes by how long your EV was plugged in or how much energy was consumed when charging. Albeit, charging at a level 3 outlet could cost more than charging at home.

In a nutshell, it is crucial to note that all charging levels offer different charging speeds. And charging at a level 3 station can be costlier than charging with either a level 1 or level 2 charger. Furthermore, the best EV chargers offer convenience, a good amperage that suits your EV, and support the available capacity installed in your home. And finally, non-Tesla chargers vary from Tesla chargers, and it is impossible to charge your non-Tesla EV with a Tesla supercharger.