When it comes to charging your electric vehicle, there are several different options to choose from. Most people will charge their car at home (72%), but others may want to save on fuel costs by filling up their tank with electrons instead of gasoline. In that case, a public electric vehicle (EV) charging station is the perfect solution.
In this post, we’ll explain whether Level 2 EV chargers are the best option for your EV and how much it will cost you to install one at home. Keep reading to learn everything you need about Level 2 EV chargers.
Understand Different EV Charging Levels
First, we need to understand the different charging levels (also referred to as DC fast chargers ) and what they all offer.
Level 1 Charging
Level 1 charging uses a standard 120-volt outlet, and it’s the slowest charging method available, which only offers 4 to 5 miles of range per hour. Some folks believe this is adequate because they don’t go very far each day and can leave their car plugged in for several hours to recharge. Plug-in hybrids may be better options for Level 1 charging because they have smaller battery packs than pure battery electric vehicles. It’s also important to remember that Level 1 charging is primarily limited to North, Central, and South America. In contrast, plug-in electric vehicles in Europe and most of the rest of the globe operate on a 220V electric supply.
Level 2 Charging
Level 2 charging uses a 240-volt outlet, the most commonly used charging method. Given that it can add up to 25 miles of range per hour, Level 2 charging isn’t quite as slow as Level 1, but it isn’t very fast either. That makes it a great option for overnight charging at home, where you can plug in your car when you go to bed and have a full battery by morning.
Level 3 Charging/ DC Fast Charging
Level 3 Charging (DC fast chargers) Level 3 or DC fast charging uses 480-volt or higher, high-power direct current (HVDC) technology and provides 80 to 200 miles of range in 30 minutes or less. The level 3 chargers can support higher voltages, such as 300 volts. They are much more expensive than other chargers, although they are fast chargers that can charge within 30 minutes or less. These chargers are the fastest and most efficient but also the most expensive.
What is the Charging Option for Your EV?
The most convenient charging option for most people will be Level 2 charging, which uses a 240-volt outlet. This is because it’s possible to charge your car overnight, which means you can wake up to a full battery every morning.
As we mentioned, Level 2 charging stations are easy to install at home because they use the same 240-volt outlets you currently have for other household appliances. Level 2 chargers generally cost between $500 and $2,000, depending on your chosen brand and model. This is considerably less than the cost of installing a Level 3 charger and is one of the reasons you see so many Level 2 chargers at public locations like shopping malls, universities, and office complexes.
It’s important to remember that the time it takes to charge your car will vary depending on the type of charger that you choose. Level 2 charging at home is slow, which might not be an issue if you’re not constantly on the road or have a very long commute. On the other hand, Level 3 charging is fast but costly because it uses high-power HVDC technology.
Available Electrical Capacity
When you’re looking for the most cost-effective Level 2 EV charger, it’s important to consider how much electrical capacity you have at your home. If your battery bank is less than 15 kWh, you can add a level 2 EV charger with a capacity between 3.3 and 11 kW. If you want to charge your car faster, installing a level 2 charger that offers anywhere from 3.7 to 22 kW of power is possible.
A public Level 3 charger is the best option if you want fast charging. However, it’s more expensive to install one at home, and it will cost you more per charge. Conversely, if you want to save money by charging at home overnight, then a Level 2 EV charger is the most economical choice. It’s important to remember that your current electrical capacity will affect how much it will cost to install an EV charger at home.