One of the most important decisions you’ll make is how you’ll charge them when it comes to electric vehicles. There are three primary levels of charging stations-Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Here’s a breakdown of each level and what you need to know before making your purchase.
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What is a Level 1 electric vehicle charging station?
- A Level 1 electric vehicle charging station is a primary charging station that plugs operate on electric power of 120 volts, 20 Amp circuit, and about 1.4 KW power.
- It is the simplest and cheapest way to charge your electric vehicle at home, and most electric cars come with a Level 1 charging cable standard.
- However, a Level 1 charger can only provide a charge rate of 3-4 miles per hour, so it can take significantly longer to charge your electric car using this type of charger entirely.
What is a Level 2 electric vehicle charging station?
- A Level 2 electric vehicle charging station is a more advanced charging station that plugs into a 240 volt, 40 Amp circuit and provides about 7.2 KW of power.
- Level 2 chargers station can provide up to 32 miles of range per hour of charge, making it much faster to fully charge your electric car than using a Level 1 charger.
- However, a Level 2 charger can only be used in homes with a dedicated 240 volt electric outlet, so it’s not as portable or versatile as a Level 1 charger.
- Additionally, a Level 2 charger can be expensive to install-between $300 and $1,000 depending on the type of charger and the electrical work that needs to be done.
What is a Level 3 electric vehicle charging station?
- A Level 3 electric vehicle charging station is the most advanced and fastest charging station available.
- It can provide up to 350 kW of power, significantly more than a Level 1 or Level 2 charger.
- That means that a Level 3 charger can add up to 298 miles(480km) of range in an hour, making it the fastest way to charge your electric car.
- However, Level 3 chargers are also the most expensive, and they require a particular electrical outlet that is not found in most homes.
What Are the Biggest Differences Between Level 1 and 2 Charging Stations?
Here are the most significant differences between Level 1 and Level 2
The most significant difference between Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations is the speed at which they demand your electric car.
A Level 1 charging station can only provide a charge rate of 3-4 miles per hour, while a Level 2 charging station can provide up to 32 miles of range per hour of charge.
Price and installation:
Level 1 charging stations provide a slower charge but are more affordable and easy to install. It can plug them into any standard 110-volt outlet in your home.
Level 2 charging stations provide a faster charge but are more expensive and require installation by a professional. They must be plugged into a 240-volt outlet, usually only found in homes or businesses with updated electrical systems.
Can you install a Level 3 charger at home?
Due to both their price—which is significantly higher than a Level 1 or Level 2 charger—and their complexity, Level 3 fast-charging stations aren’t suited to home installation. A single DC fast charger can cost as much as $50,000 to purchase and install, which is why they aren’t used in residential buildings. However, DC charging is available in a much higher voltage and can charge some plug-in electric vehicles with 800 volts. This allows for very rapid charging.
Is it cheaper to charge an electric car at home?
Yes, charging an electric car at home is cheaper than at a public charging station.
- Because electric vehicle owners can take advantage of lower electricity rates when charging their cars at night or during off-peak hours.
- Additionally, many electric utilities offer rebates and incentives for using a home charging station, further reducing the cost of charging your electric car.
- Public charging stations can charge anywhere from $2 to $12 per hour, while most home charging stations charge between $0.25 and $0.50 per hour.
How do I install a Level 2 home charger at my home?
Installing a Level 2 home charging station is not as difficult as you may think. It can be a relatively straightforward process, especially if you already have an electrician who can help you. Here are the basic steps you will need to take:
- Determine where you want to install the charging station. This could be in your garage, driveway, or another outdoor location.
- Run a 240-volt circuit to the desired installation location from your breaker panel.
- Install a double-pole circuit breaker in your breaker box that corresponds with the 240-volt circuit you just ran.
- Attach a ground wire to the ground bus bar, a standard wire to the wire bus bar, and two hot wires to the double-pole breaker.
- Connect the charger to the standard wire and one of the hot wires.
- Make sure you know how to operate your new charging station safely. If you are unsure, be sure to consult your owner’s manual or have a qualified electrician help you.
Are electric car charging stations safe?
Yes, electric car charging stations are safe. They are much safer than gasoline-powered cars, leak flammable gas and cause fires.
Firstly, Electric car charging stations use significantly less power than a traditional outlet in your home, and they are designed with safety in mind. All-electric car chargers come with various safety features, such as overcurrent protection and thermal monitoring, to keep you and your car safe while charging.
Secondly, it is essential always to follow the safety instructions for your electric car charger. Be sure to unplug your charger when not in use, keep children and pets away from the charging station, and never operate the
Finally, it is essential to buy a UL-approved charger and doesn’t exceed the amperage of your home’s electrical system.
Choosing the right home charging station can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. We hope this article has given you some insight into how electric car chargers work and how they benefit your family and the environment. If you are considering installing Level 2 charger at your house or garage, please review our tips on installation for more information about what is involved in getting started with an electric vehicle at home. To learn more about other ways to help make life easier for EV drivers like yourself, contact us today!
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