Electric vehicles are more popular than ever before. Their popularity is due, in no small part, to the fact that they’re much cleaner and more efficient than their traditional counterparts. But what makes EVs so appealing isn’t just their fuel efficiency; it’s also the ability to charge them up without any emissions whatsoever.
When you charge your EV on a regular outlet, however, there are some factors that could reduce its efficiency or even damage your car’s battery over time. That’s why it’s important to understand how electric vehicle (EV) charging works before plugging in!
Therefore, in this article, we will explain everything you need to know about EV chargers and levels so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing an electric vehicle.
Charging Types vs Charging Levels
If you’re shopping for an electric vehicle (EV), you’ve probably noticed that there are different types of EV charging plugs. But you might be wondering: What does it mean to have a Level 1 or Level 2 EV charger? And what’s the difference between these two types?
Let’s start with the basics: The EV charging type refers to the type of plug that your electric car uses, while the EV charging level refers to how much electricity your car can take in at once. In order for you to fully understand the difference between charging types and levels, let’s briefly go over each of these things in a bit more detail.
The electric vehicle charging level refers to your car’s maximum charging speed when it is plugged into an outlet or other source of electricity. Electric vehicle charging levels range from Level 1 (Portable EVSE) to Level 3 (DC Fast Chargers).
● Level 1 – Portable EVSE
A portable EVSE is like a big battery that you can plug your car into to charge it up. It’s often like a power strip with some cables attached; you can just plug your car into the power strip, and away you go! The portable EVSEs come in different sizes, so make sure you get the right one for your car. These are great if you’re going on road trips or camping and don’t have access to any other charging options.
● Level 2 – Wall Chargers
This is what most people think of when they think of charging their cars. Wall chargers look like a regular electrical outlet and have two metal prongs sticking out that you plug into the wall. It usually takes less than an hour to charge a car using a wall charger (even less time if you have a Tesla).
● Level 3 – DC Fast Chargers
DCFCs are super-fast chargers that can charge up your vehicle in under an hour! They’re not as common as wall chargers yet, but they’re becoming more popular every day because they save so much time when compared to other methods of charging.
When purchasing an electric vehicle, you’ll need to think about which type of charging system best suits your needs. There are a few different types of EV charging systems, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
● Type 1 Charging
Type 1 chargers are powered by a standard household outlet, and they only provide a minimal charge, typically around 3 miles per hour of charging time. Most EVs come with this type of charger included in the vehicle, but if you don’t have one or if you want to upgrade your EV’s charging capabilities, it’s possible to add an outlet adapter that allows you to plug into a higher-power outlet.
● Type 2 Charging
Type 2 chargers are plugged into a 240V wall outlet and can be found at charging stations around town. They can provide up to 50 miles of range per hour of charging time, depending on the make and model. This is significantly faster than type 1 chargers but is still slower than DC fast charging.
● Type 3 – DC Fast Charging
DC fast chargers are also plugged into 240V wall outlets but use 480V direct current (DC) instead of 120V alternating current (AC). These offer up to 200 miles of range per hour of charging time. However, DC chargers are also considerably more expensive, so you’ll need to decide on what’s most important to you, charging speed or money.
Don’t get confused by electric-vehicle jargon. It’s actually very simple. Just remember that the charge level is how fast the charger can recharge the car, and charge type refers to the kind of plug used when charging the vehicle. Oh, and remember to always ask an electrician for advice before installing your EV charger, as this can be dangerous, especially if it’s your first time doing it.