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How to choose the right EV Charging Level?

How to choose the right EV Charging Level?

By Vanessa Peng

The electric vehicle charging station is a device that is used to charge the battery for electric cars. These devices are commonly known as electric vehicle supply equipment or EVSE. They can range from Level 1 which includes a wall plug, Level 2 which includes an EV charging station, and Level 3 charging equipment or commonly known as fast chargers.

In most cases, level 2 charging is recommended because it’s a lot faster than level 1 and doesn’t require the installation costs that come with Level 3 charging. This is the reason why most businesses and homes are installing Level 2 chargers.

Electric vehicles, or EVs, use an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine (ICE), like traditional cars. Just like ICE vehicles need to refuel with gasoline, EVs need to be recharged with electricity in order to have enough juice to power the electric motor. If you plan to own an electric vehicle or are interested in adding them to your company fleet, it is crucial that you understand the major types of electric car charging. In this article, we will review the different levels of EV charging.

In order to make the right decision when it comes to choosing an electric vehicle charger, you need to understand the different levels to determine what solution will fit your needs.

What are the different levels of electric vehicle charging?

There are three different EV charging levels: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3, which is more commonly known as DC Fast Charging. Electric vehicle charging times depend on the type of charging EV drivers choose.

What is Level 1 Charging?

Level 1 charging uses a standard home 120-volt wall outlet. Level 1 chargers are almost exclusively found in home driveways or garages, or home charging. A Level 1 charger is extremely slow at a charge rate of 2 to 5 miles per hour. Level 1 chargers are usually used for an overnight charge

What is Level 2 Charging?

Level 2 charging uses 240-volts and is typically found at a public charging station or workplace charging station. Level 2 chargers can be installed in homes as well, all it takes is hiring an electrician or EV charger contractor. It should be noted some homes, usually older ones, might require an electrical panel upgrade to support Level 2 charging. A Level 2 charging station can fully recharge an electric vehicle in 4 to 6 hours or 30-35 miles per hour.

According to the US Department of Transportation, the average commuter drives 39 miles per day. Simply charging with a Level 2 charger for only a few hours each day would satisfy the average American driver’s needs and provide sufficient driving range.

The good news is a growing number of businesses see the value in commercial EV charging and are starting to install workplace charging stations for their employees and customers. Some workplace or retail charging stations are free, while others charge a flat rate or by kilowatt-hour (kWh). 

What is Level 3 Charging?

Level 3 Charging, also known as DC fast charging, supplies direct current (DC) as opposed to alternating current (AC) like Level 1 and Level 2 chargers do, which allows for rapid charging. Electric vehicles use DC electricity to operate and need to convert the AC power delivered by Level 1 and Level 2 EV charging.

DC fast-charging stations use 480 volts of power which is not always available. For example, most homes and small businesses do not have 480 volts of power being supplied by their electrical utility provider.

DC charging can replenish 80 percent of an EV’s car battery in 30 minutes. You will usually find a DC fast charging station in a commercial or public setting – retail centers, malls, corporate offices, and other commercial locations are common. 

Contact us today if you are interested in installing a DC fast charger and need assistance with design, manage, and installing your commercial charging stations.

How to choose the right charger?

In most scenarios, a Level 2 charger will meet your electric vehicle demands. Level 2 chargers are the most common type of chargers that are used by electric vehicle owners.

Not all EV chargers are the same – they range in power output, warranty, and network capabilities.

Networked chargers come with built-in software that provides charging schedules, power distribution, and analytics. Utilities around the United States are making it a requirement to install a networked charger if you plan on applying for any rebates or incentives.

It’s important to mention that not all EVs can charge with DC fast charging. The Tesla Supercharger is a proprietary DC fast charging system for Tesla vehicles.

Hire a professional like US Energy Recovery to implement your EV charging strategy. Our team of experts will handle everything from initial design, rebate documentation, and getting the EV chargers installed. Get an L2 charger installed today and join all the other EV owners.

Start electrifying your business or home today