Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular each year. As the number of electric vehicle owners grows, so does the demand for charging stations. There are three levels of EV charging stations: level 1, level 2, and DC fast charging. So what’s the difference between them? And which one is right for you? This blog post will discuss the three levels of EV charging stations and help you choose the right one for you.
Level 1 Chargers
Level 1 charging stations are the slowest and most basic type of EV charger. They use a standard 120-volt outlet and can charge an electric vehicle in about eight hours.
Due to their smaller batteries, which are currently less than 25 kWh, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) do well with level 1 charging. However, because EV Chargers are much larger than conventional batteries, a level 1 doesn’t work well for daily charging unless you only plan to drive your car short distances.
Best For: Level 1 chargers are best for overnight charging at home and work best with PHEV vehicles.
Level 2 Chargers
If you have a level 2 charger, you can charge your car up to four times faster than a level 1 charger. A level 2 charger uses a 240-volt outlet, like those used for clothes dryers and stoves. Level 2 chargers can fully charge an electric vehicle in as little as four hours.
For daily EV charging, level 2 charging is the most popular. You can have a level 2 charging station installed at home, at work, and in public areas like malls, train stations, and other establishments.
Depending on the power output of the level 2 charger and the maximum charge rate of the vehicle, level 2 charging can restore 12 to 80 miles of range per hour.
Best For: Level 2 chargers are best for Electric Vehicle (EV) owners and Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) owners looking for a faster charging time of up to 12 to 80 miles per hour.
Level 3 Chargers
The third level of EV charging stations is the DC fast charger. DC fast chargers use direct high-voltage current (DC) power to charge an electric vehicle’s battery. DC fast chargers can charge an electric car in less than 30 minutes.
Level 3 charging uses direct current (DC), whereas level 1 and level 2 charging use alternating current (AC). The voltage is significantly higher than level 1 & 2 charging, which is why level 3 chargers are not commonly found in homes. The high-voltage supply necessary for level 3 charging isn’t standard in most residential homes.
Best For: Level 3 chargers, or DC fast chargers, are best for public locations like shopping malls and multifamily businesses such as hotels and apartment complexes.
Cost of EV Charging Stations in Colorado
The cost of electric car charging stations includes installation and the cost of electricity. Pricing out the total cost of the charging stations can be hard to estimate without the help of a professional. Still, we’ve outlined the most critical factors and ways to save with tax incentives in our blog, How Much Do Electric Car Charging Stations Cost in Colorado?.
What Type of EV Charger is Right For Me?
So, which type of charger is right for you? If you own a public business and want to provide chargers for customers or tenants, a level 3 or DC fast charger is likely the best option for you. A level one or level two charger will suffice if you want a charger installed at your home and mostly drive around town and charge your car overnight.
No matter which type of charger you choose, consult with an electrician to ensure that your home or office has the proper electrical outlets and wiring to support charging your electric vehicle!
Do you have any questions about EV charging stations? Send us a message. We are happy to help answer any questions you may have.
About Mac Electric
MAC Electric & Lighting is here to help you future-proof your Colorado home or business and show your commitment to sustainability by investing in an EV charging station. Mac Electric & Lighting provides everything from strategic EV charging station placement plans and expert installation to ensure you get the most out of local and federal government incentive programs.