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What Are The Different Levels Of Electric Vehicle Charging?

Three levels are available for EV charging. Level 1 is 120 volts and charges the EV all day. Level 2 uses 240 volts to recharge an EV in a matter of hours. Level 3 (DC Fast Charging and Tesla Supercharging), completes the task in less than a minute at public charging stations.

For more than 100 years, we have been filling up our cars with gasoline. There are three types of gasoline: regular, premium or mid-grade gasoline or diesel. Re-fuelling is easy and takes less than five minutes.

But, recharging an electric vehicle isn’t as easy or as fast as it used to be. There are many reasons this is so. For example, every electric vehicle has different power requirements. There are many types of connectors available, but what is most important is the EV charging level.

Charging times and charging levels apply to EVs as well as plug-in hybrids. However, they do not apply to traditional hybrids. Hybrids charge by internal or external charging, but not by external chargers.

Three Levels For EV Charging

There are three levels for EV charging. Level 3 is divided into DC Fast Charge and Tesla Supercharging. The charging speed is determined by the charging level. Higher levels of charging with type 2 to type 2 charging cable mean that the charging process takes longer and delivers more power to your vehicle. Important to remember is that different EVs will charge at different rates on different charging levels. Each EV can accept different power from the EVSE.

An electric vehicle must be plugged into the charger before it can communicate with it. The car first asks the charger for power, then the station will tell the car what power the station can deliver.

You don’t have to worry about your car accepting more power than it can handle. The car won’t allow charging too high.

Level 1 Charging: 120-Volt

  • Connectors: J1772, Tesla
  • Charging Speed: 4-8 Km Per Hr
  • Locators: Home, Workplace & Public

Level 1 charging is done using a standard 120-volt household outlet. Any plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle can be charged on Level 1. Just plug the charging equipment into any regular wall outlet. Level 1 is the slowest method to charge an EV. This will add between 4 and 8 Km to your range every hour.

Level 1 charging works well with plug-in hybrid electric cars (PHEVs), which have smaller batteries than 25 kWh. EVs have larger batteries so Level 1 charging is slow enough to provide daily charging unless the vehicle is not being driven a lot. Many owners of BEVs feel that Level 2 charging is more appropriate for their daily charging requirements.

Level 2 Charging: 208-Volt Up To 240-Volt

  • Connectors: J1772, Tesla
  • Charging Speed: 19 – 128 Km Per Hr
  • Locators: Home, Workplace & Public

Level 2 charging, which is the most popular level for daily EV chargers, is the highest. Level 2 charging equipment is available for installation at home, in the workplace, and in public areas such as shopping centres, train stations, and other destinations. Level 2 charging can provide between 19 to 128 Km of range every hour, depending upon the output power of the Level 2 charger and the vehicle’s maximum rate of charge.

Because it charges the vehicle at least 10 times faster, most BEV owners opt to have Level 2 charging equipment installed at their homes. The vehicle will usually be fully charged overnight if the Level 2 source is used, even if you plug it with a low battery.

Level 3 Charging: 400-Volt Up To 900-Volt. (DC Fast Charge And Supercharging)

  • Connectors: CHAdeMO & Tesla, Combined Charging System (Combo), CHAdeMO & Tesla
  • Charging Speed: 4 to 16 Km per Minute

Level 3 charging is the fastest charging method and can recharge an electric vehicle at a speed of between 4 to16 km per hour. Level 1 and Level 2, which use alternating current, are not compatible with Level 3. Level 3 charging uses direct electricity (DC). It is also more powerful than Level 1 and 2 charging. This is why level 3 chargers are not commonly installed in homes. The high-voltage supply required for level-3 charging is not available in many residential areas.

DC Fast Chargers are also expensive. The cost of installing the charger, even if your home has 400-volt power, will most likely exceed the cost of your electric vehicle. Tesla’s Level 3 chargers are called Superchargers. Others are known as DC Fast Chargers. Current Nissan EVs are using CHAdeMO.

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