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What is the difference between level 1, level 2, and level 3 EV chargers?

Level 1, level 2, and level 3 EV charging station definitions are all important when choosing the right charger for your electric car.

Understanding the differences between each type can help you decide which one to install at your home or business. Each charger has a different voltage range, meaning that each is best suited for a particular electric vehicle.

Let’s take a closer look at these three types of electric charging stations.

What is Level 1 Charging?

Connectors Used: J1772, Tesla
Charging Speed: 3 to 5 Miles Per Hour
Locations: Home, Workplace & Public

Level 1 EV chargers are for use at home or at work. These chargers can charge a car, but it takes an incredibly long time – around 3 to 5 miles an hour is a range during charging.

This is why level 1 chargers are known as ‘trickle’ chargers. This is not it if you’re looking for a quick way to charge your EV. However, many electric vehicles come with a level 1 charger in the package because they can’t move faster than 3 to 4 mph.

They are so slow because, unlike level 2 chargers, all level 1 chargers only provide 2 amps of power. If you’re driving a slower EV, you might get away with a lower-level charger because it won’t take as long to charge the car.

What is Level 2 Charging?

Connectors Used: J1772, Tesla
Charging Speed: 12 to 80 Miles Per Hour
Locations: Home, Workplace & Public

Level 2 EV chargers are much faster than level 1 chargers and still faster than level 3. They can charge a car in as little as 6 to 12 hours, and some can even be used when you’re charging your car at home or work with a level 1 charger.

If you’re looking for faster charging, level 2 will definitely do the trick.

What is Level 3 Charging?

Connectors Used: Combined Charging System (Combo), CHAdeMO & Tesla
Charging Speed: 3 to 20 Miles Per Minute
Locations: Public

Level 3 chargers are the fastest electric car charging equipment available. Most cars can get up to 80 miles in just 20 minutes. With no downtime, your electric vehicle will be ready for the road in no time at all.

These chargers are most commonly used at public charging stations like high-speed charging outlets in hotels, airports, and shopping centers and offer fast charging even if you have a long wait between charges.

These chargers provide the best benefits for people who drive fast electric vehicles such as Tesla’s Model S. Most Level three chargers are compatible with almost all brands of electric vehicles.

While faster charging is desirable for certain owners, it isn’t always necessary. Level 3 charging is perfect for people with more than one electric vehicle. This can be necessary if you use your car for multiple jobs and don’t have access to a level 2 charger.

You can use these chargers to charge multiple cars simultaneously. Public level 3 chargers are only available at certain locations and often require the user to purchase an account with the location to charge there.

EV Charging Levels FAQs

Do all EVs use the same connector?

All electric vehicles use different connectors. However, electric cars use several different connectors, including the CHAdeMO connector, the Combined Charging System connector, and the Tesla connector.

Can I install a level 2 charger in my home?

You can install a level 2 charger if you have a two-car garage. If you do have a level 2 charger installed in your garage, you should monitor the car’s battery while it is charging. Electric vehicles use more juice while they are driving than they do when they’re parked so it is important to keep an eye on your car’s battery levels.

How do I choose the right EV charger?

It isn’t always easy when it comes to deciding which type of electric vehicle charging station is right for you. The truth is that it depends on your car and your driving habits. Getting the right EV charging station is important, so you aren’t frustrated with your purchase. Learn more by contacting us today.

Making a Choice

While there are many electric vehicle chargers available, some have better features than others. Keep in mind that EV drivers should take advantage of all of the benefits offered by charging electric vehicles at home, as well as at work and public charging locations.

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