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Difference Between Level 1 & 2 EV Chargers

Difference Between Level 1 & 2 EV Chargers

Whether you already own an electric vehicle (EV) or are looking to purchase one soon, the biggest topic of concern for most drivers comes down to where charging will occur and how much it will cost.


Despite having an environmentally friendly vehicle that cuts reliance on gasoline, using a Level 1 home charger is not reliable or convenient for most EV drivers. Instead, having a faster, Level 2 charging station can reduce range anxiety and calm logistical fears, as you become less reliant on charging on the go.


But what exactly is a Level 2 car charger and why does it present better value than its Level 1 counterpart?


Types of EV Charging Connectors: What is Level 2 Charging?

Vehicle owners are often supplied with Level 1 chargers from automobile manufacturers at the time of purchase to use at home with 120v standard outlets. However, upgrading to a Level 2 EV charger is a good and practical investment. A Level 2 charger is like having your own gas pump in your garage, but it is a smart appliance that charges your vehicle. An added convenience: not only is a Level 2 car charger ready when you need it to be, you can save on electricity by charging during lower rate times.


A Level 2 EV charging station delivers an electrical current from an outlet or hardwired unit to the vehicle via the connector, like a standard-issue charger. Level 2 car chargers use a 208-240v power source and a dedicated circuit — potentially up to 60 amps Level 1 will deliver around 1.2 kW to the vehicle, while a Level 2 charger ranges from 6.2 to 19.2 kW, with most chargers around 7.6 kW. basic needs of charging your vehicle at home quickly and safely.


How Fast is a Level 2 EV Charger?

While a Level 1 charger will typically get 4 miles of driving range per hour of charge, a Level 2 charger will get an average of 32 miles of driving range per hour of charge. This means that you’re charging up to 8 times faster with a Level 2 charging station. Typical charging time for a Level 2 EV charger is around 3-8 hours from empty to full while the average Level 1 EV charger will take 11-20 hours to fully charge.


Level 2 chargers will deliver 6.2 to 19.2 kW versus the 1.2 kW you get with a Level 1. For a direct comparison, check out this resource to see how fast a Level 2 charger is compared to its counterpart.


When One Might Consider a Level 1

A Level 2 EV charger needs a 240v outlet, which many new homes or new multi-unit homes and building standards require. If you do not have a 240v outlet, a certified electrician can easily install one and the cost can sometimes be offset through local, federal, state or utility companies which offer rebates and financial incentives for the charger, installation, or for charging during lower electric rate times.

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