The global interest in electric vehicles is skyrocketing. Statistics show that EV sales rose an estimated 200% in the United States between 2020 and 2021. Automobile manufacturers like BMW are taking notice and ramping up production. Many leaders in the industry expect electric vehicles to comprise 52% of sales by 2030.
The 3 Levels of EV Charging
Unlike traditional vehicles, eco-friendly EVs use electricity to power their battery packs. Plugging a vehicle into a charger seems simple, similar to charging a smartphone. However, you have various chargers to choose from and they have differences. To answer most of the FAQ, here’s a look at the three levels of EV charging.
Level 1 EV Charger
A Level 1 EV charger is the most affordable and easiest to install. The charger is compatible with the 120-volt outlets found in most U.S. homes. A Level 1 charger delivers around 15 amps allowing drivers to charge their vehicles overnight.
While Level 1 chargers have advantages, the units also only give you between 2 to 5 miles per charging hour. These chargers are typically found in home garages where overnight charging isn’t an issue. The units can also keep hybrid EVs on the road since they switch over to gas when the electric battery begins running low.
Level 2 EV Charger
Level 2 EV chargers are a step up from Level 1 models. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you get a driving range of around 25 miles per hour of charging. Level 2 chargers can also work in private homes with a 240-volt outlet, typically found in the garage. If you do not have a 240-volt socket, an electrician can easily install one.
You may notice a difference in charging times with Level 2 EV chargers. The units are capable of delivering up to 80 amps of power, but it’s different using your home’s electrical system. Home Level 2 chargers typically provide around 30 amps per hour. It’s double what you get from a Level 1 charger, but it will still take some time to fully charge an EV battery.
Level 3 EV Charger
Level 3 EV chargers or DC fast chargers are typically not found in private residences. The units are expensive, and the connectors are different. Not only is installation costly, but not all electric vehicles support Level 3 charging.
The units are capable of quickly topping off your battery during a lunch break. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates you can add around 100 to 200 range miles with 30 minutes of charging. The chargers deliver around 100 amps and 480 volts of power.
Currently, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates 15% of public EV chargers are Level 3 units. It includes Tesla’s Superchargers and Electrify America’s growing charging network. As more consumers and commercial industries transition to electric vehicles, the number of Level 3 EV chargers is expected to continue to increase. The chargers minimize wait times at charging stations allowing EVs to stay on the road for longer periods.
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