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  • [Difference Analysis]Level 1 vs Level 2 EV Chargers

[Difference Analysis]Level 1 vs Level 2 EV Chargers

June 26, 2023

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, but one of the challenges of owning an electric car is finding a reliable charging solution. There are two main types of EV chargers: Level 1 vs Level 2 EV Chargers. In this guide, we’ll explain the difference between these two types of chargers, their pros and cons, factors to consider when choosing the right charger, and compare both options in terms of cost.

3 Charging Levels to Choose From

The above image is from my article about 3 Types of EV Chargers, feel free to read it.

Understanding the Different Levels of EV Charging

Electric vehicles (EVs) require a charging station to recharge their batteries. The charging speed of an EV depends on the charging power, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). There are three primary levels of EV charging: Level 1, Level 2, and DC fast charging. In this article, we’ll focus on Levels 1 and 2, which are the most practical and commonly used for homes and businesses.

Level 1 Charging

Level 1 charging is the slowest charging option, but it is also the easiest to install and most affordable. It uses a standard 120-volt household outlet and delivers up to 1.4 to 1.9 kW of power. This charging level is best suited for people who have short commutes and can leave their car plugged in overnight. Level 1 charging typically adds 4 to 5 miles of range per hour of charging.

Pros:

  • Can be plugged into a standard household outlet
  • Inexpensive and easy to use
  • No installation required
  • Works with most electric cars

Cons:

  • Slow charging rate
  • Limited range per hour
  • Not suitable for long commutes or road trips

Level 2 Charging

Level 2 charging is faster than Level 1 charging and requires a dedicated 240-volt circuit. It delivers up to 7.2 kW of power and typically adds 20 to 30 miles of range per hour of charging. Level 2 charging stations are commonly installed in homes, workplaces, and public locations.

Pros:

  • Faster charging rate than Level 1
  • Suitable for longer commutes and road trips
  • Can be installed in homes and public locations
  • Works with most electric cars

Cons:

  • More expensive than Level 1 charging
  • Requires a dedicated 240-volt circuit
  • Installation may require a licensed electrician

Level 1 Chargers: A Quick Overview

Level 1 vs Level 2 EV Chargers

Level 1 chargers are the most basic type of electric vehicle (EV) chargers and are commonly referred to as “trickle” chargers. They use a standard 120-volt US household electrical outlet (NEMA) and are the most accessible and straightforward option for charging an EV. In this article, we’ll provide a quick overview of Level 1 chargers.

Charging Process:

Level 1 charging goes with the EV’s factory-provided charging cable, which typically includes a standard three-prong plug for the outlet and a connector for the vehicle’s charging port. The charger delivers a power range of 1.4 kW to 1.9 kW, which is relatively slow.

Charging Time:

The charging time for Level 1 charging depends on the battery size of the EV and the available charging power. On average, Level 1 charging adds 4 to 5 miles of range per hour of charging. This charging level suits people who have short commutes and can leave their car plugged in overnight.

Installation:

Level 1 charging does not require any installation, as it uses a standard household outlet. However, it is important to ensure that the outlet is in good condition and capable of handling the charging load.

Cost:

Level 1 charging is the most affordable charging option, as it does not require any additional equipment or installation. The cost of Level 1 charging is included in the cost of the EV and is typically supplied with the car.

Level 2 Chargers: A Quick Overview

Level 2 chargers are the most common type of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and are faster than Level 1 chargers. They use a 240-volt electrical supply, which is similar to the power used by household appliances like electric dryers and ovens. In this article, we’ll provide a quick overview of Level 2 chargers.

Charging Process:

Level 2 charging requires a dedicated charging cable and connector, which are typically provided for the installation of the charging station. The charging station delivers up to 7.2 kW of power and typically adds 20 to 30 miles of range per hour of charging. This charging level is more suitable for people who have longer commutes and road trips.

Charging Time:

The charging time for Level 2 charging depends on the battery size of the EV and the available charging power. On average, Level 2 charging can fully charge an EV in 4 to 8 hours, depending on the battery size.

Installation:

Level 2 charging requires a dedicated 240-volt circuit and may require professional installation by a licensed electrician. The installation process includes mounting the charging station on a wall or post and connecting it to the electrical supply.

Cost:

Level 2 charging is more expensive than Level 1 charging because it requires a dedicated charging station and professional installation. The cost of a Level 2 charging station varies depending on the brand and features, but it typically ranges from $500 to $1,500. Some manufacturers also offer incentives and rebates to offset the cost of installation.

Level 1 vs Level 2 EV Chargers: Comparison Table

Level 1 ChargingLevel 2 Charging
Voltage120 V240 V
Power1.4 – 1.9 kW7.2 kW
Charging Time4-5 miles/hour20-30 miles/hour
InstallationNo installation requiredProfessional installation required
CostIncluded in EV cost$500 – $1,500
MobilityMobile (uses standard household outlet)Less mobile (requires dedicated charging station)
SafetySafe to useRequires professional installation for safety

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