Difference Between Level1, Level2, Level3 EV Chargers
Aug 23, 2023
The number of electric vehicle charging stations has been steadily increasing in recent years, with references to Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 charging stations often appearing in various sources of information. These different types of EV chargers may be confusing to non-professionals, so in this article, I will explain the differences between them in detail.
Types of Electric Vehicle Chargers
Electric vehicle chargers are divided into three types or levels, namely Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Among them, Level 1 is the slowest charging method, while Level 3 is the fastest and can typically recharge an EV in about 1 hour.
- Level 1 EV Charger
Level 1 EV chargers refer to the charging equipment that can be plugged into a standard household outlet, usually a 120-volt outlet in North America. Unlike specialized charging stations, Level 1 EV chargers don't require any additional installation, as they can be connected directly to existing electrical infrastructure. These chargers are typically equipped with a J1772 plug that connects to the vehicle and a standard three-prong plug that connects to the outlet.
When an electric vehicle is charged using a Level 1 EV charger, the vehicle's on-board charger converts the AC power from the outlet to DC power, which is then used to charge the vehicle's battery. Due to the limited current available from a standard household outlet, Level 1 EV chargers provide a relatively slow charging speed, typically around 2 to 5 miles of range per hour of charging.
Level 1 EV chargers are well-suited for overnight charging or for vehicles with smaller battery capacities, as they can fully charge most electric vehicles in 8 to 20 hours, depending on the battery size. They are ideal for EV owners who drive shorter distances and can charge their vehicles at home overnight. However, for long-range EVs or for those who need a quicker turnaround time, Level 1 charging may not be the most efficient option.
This type of EV charger is often included with the purchase of an electric vehicle, making it a convenient and cost-effective solution for many EV owners, especially those who primarily charge their vehicles at home.
Power Output: Up to 1.9 kW
Charging Time: Approximately 20-30 hours for a full charge (depending on battery size)
Installation: Easy, requires a standard three-prong household outlet
Use Cases: Suitable for overnight charging at home
- Level 2 EV Charger
Level 2 EV chargers are commonly found at commercial locations and home charging stations. They operate at a voltage of 240V with a current typically ranging from 15A to 80A. Level 2 charging provides a significantly higher output power and faster charging speed than Level 1 charging. The charging time for a Level 2 charger is typically around 4-6 hours, making it 5-7 times faster than a Level 1 charger. It is suitable for fully charging most electric cars overnight.
Level 2 chargers use the IEC Type 2 plug in Europe or the J1772 plug in North America. This allows for easy connection to home charging stations and most public car chargers.
Power Output: Up to 19.2 kW
Charging Time: Approximately 4-6 hours for a full charge (depending on battery size)
Installation: Requires a dedicated 240V circuit and may involve professional installation
Use Cases: Suitable for home, workplace, and public charging stations
- Level 3 EV Charger: DC Fast Charging Station
A Level 3 charger, also known as a DC fast charger, provides high-voltage DC power directly to the vehicle's battery, bypassing the vehicle's on-board charger. These chargers can operate at voltages ranging from 200V to 800V, allowing them to provide rapid charging for EVs with large batteries.
Level 3 charging stations are typically located at gas stations, rest stops, or shopping malls to enable long-distance travel or provide a quick charge option. Currently, about 15% of the charging network in North America uses this type of charging station. Manufacturers such as Blink, ChargePoint, Electrify America, EVgo, and Tesla Supercharger have adopted this format.
Voltage: 200V to 800V
Power Output: Up to 350 kW
Charging Time: Approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour for 80% charge (depending on battery size and charger power)
Installation: Requires specialized equipment and infrastructure
Use Cases: Suitable for fast charging on long trips or for commercial fleets
Lastly, I would like to recommend the AMPROAD home EV charger iFlow P9. In addition to being a home charger, it is also portable, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. Compatible with both Level 1 and Level 2 charging, it features adjustable current and a voltage range from 90V to 250V. For Tesla owners, it is compatible with Tesla vehicles using a J1772 to Tesla adapter.
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Title: Difference Between Level1, Level2, Level3 EV Chargers
Key words: home ev charger, level2 ev charger, level3 ev charger, Amproad, Tesla, Chargepoint
Description: Let me introduce differences between leve1, level2, level3. Here are some tips to help you how to choose ev charger properly.