What Are the Three Different Types of EV Charging?

Electric vehicles (EVs) have gained significant popularity in recent years as a sustainable – and fun – transportation option. However, one key consideration for EV owners is the availability and efficiency of charging infrastructure. While each method ultimately gets the job done, the differences between options on the market today are nothing short of shocking.

The three different types of EV charging are as follows:

Level 1

Level 1 charging is the most basic and accessible form of EV charging. Also known as “trickle charging,” it involves plugging your EV into a standard 120-volt electrical outlet, similar to those found in your home. This charging method typically provides around 2-5 miles of range per hour, depending on the vehicle. While Level 1 charging is convenient for occasional use or when other options are not available, its snail’s pace speed (taking almost 100 hours per full charge) makes it largely impractical for routine EV use.

Level 2

Level 2 charging offers a significant improvement in charging speed compared to Level 1. This type of charging requires a dedicated 240-volt circuit and can be installed either at home or in public charging stations. Level 2 chargers typically provide an average of 20-44 miles of range per hour, depending on the vehicle and charger’s power output.

For homeowners with electric vehicles, Level 2 EV chargers are the most efficient choice. They offer faster charging times, enabling EV owners to charge their vehicles overnight or during extended periods of inactivity, such as when they are at work. Level 2 chargers are also widely available, and many master electricians can install them in residential garages without significant modifications to a home’s electrical system.

Level 3 (DC Fast Charging)

Level 3 charging, also known as DC Fast Charging or rapid charging, is the fastest charging option currently available for electric vehicles. It utilizes high-powered chargers that directly supply direct current (DC) electricity to the vehicle’s battery, bypassing the vehicle’s onboard charger. This type of charging can provide an impressive range of 60-80 miles in just 20 minutes, depending on the vehicle and charger specifications.

While Level 3 charging offers unparalleled speed, it also requires specialized infrastructure. For that reason, it is typically found in public charging stations along highways or at specific locations, like shopping malls. The cost of Level 3 chargers is also considerably higher than Level 2 chargers, making them less feasible for residential use. However, Level 3 charging plays a vital role in enabling long-distance travel and reducing range anxiety for EV owners.

Why Level 2 EV Chargers are the Most Efficient for Homeowners

Level 2 EV chargers strike a balance between charging speed, cost, and accessibility, making them an ideal choice for homeowners. The faster charging rate compared to Level 1 units allows EV owners to conveniently replenish their vehicle’s battery overnight, ensuring it is ready for daily use. The cost of Level 2 chargers and installation is relatively affordable, especially when considering the long-term savings in fuel costs for electric vehicles.

Additionally, Level 2 chargers can often be integrated with smart charging features, allowing homeowners to schedule charging during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower. This further maximizes cost-efficiency and reduces the strain on the electrical grid during peak demand periods.

Understanding the three different types of EV charging is crucial for electric vehicle owners. While Level 1 charging provides the most basic functionality, Level 2 chargers offer the speed and efficiency that most EV owners desire and need.

EV Power Solutions works with today’s leading EV charging companies to get you on the road fast. Our team will help you find the charger that best fits your vehicle and your personal preferences while delivering straightforward and transparent pricing that won’t break your budget. We regularly stock both Tesla units (J1772 and NACS), ChargePoint Home Flex, and WallBox Pulsar Plus, and can provide all at MSRP. Most importantly, our master electrician will perform a seamless and flawless install that works with your schedule and can expertly navigate occasionally finicky software to get your EV up and running in no time flat.

Reach out to our team today to schedule a consultation.