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A Guide to Different Types of EV Chargers

  • Way app
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 7 minutes

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When you own a car that doesn’t run on electricity, there’s not much to worry about. Your car will either run on gasoline, diesel, or gas. But there are some things you need to know about EV car chargers and EVs. This study will give you comprehensive information about the different types of EV chargers. 

There are two basic ways to charge your electric vehicle: AC or DC power. AC charging also gives you two options for recharging your electric car: slow or fast. DC charging, on the other hand, is fast.

Types of EV Chargers

EV charging has been a significant source of debate and decision-making for charging station investors. 

Find your nearest electric vehicle charger with ease! Say goodbye to range anxiety and hello to a seamless charging experience with Way.com. Our platform offers real-time charger availability, locations, and pricing updates, so you can confidently plan your trips.

The amount of time it takes to charge an EV depends on the type of EV charger. A hybrid car may or may not need to be charged from the outside. This depends on whether it is a plug-in hybrid or a traditional regenerative hybrid. 

Let’s look at the different types of EV chargers.

Types of EV Chargers

As a general rule, there are three ways to charge an EV. They are:

  • Level 1 (Slow Charging)
  • Level 2 (Fast Charging)
  • Level 3 (Rapid Charging)

Level 1 and Level 2 chargers use AC, but Level 3 uses DC. As the amount of charging increases, the rate of charging goes down. 

The less time it takes to charge an EV, the more power it has.

What is Level 1 Charging?

Level 1 charging is done with a regular 120-volt wall outlet. On Level 1, the charging equipment for any electric car or plug-in hybrid can be plugged into a regular wall outlet. The slowest way to charge an EV is with Level 1. 

It increases the range by between 3 and 5 miles per hour.

Level 1 charging is suitable for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) because their batteries are less than 25 kWh. Since EV batteries are much more significant, Level 1 charging is too slow for most daily charging unless the car is driven minimally daily. 

What is Level 2 Charging?

Level 2 charging works better for most BEV owners’ daily charging needs. Most EVs are charged daily at level 2, the most common level. Level 2 charging stations can be put in at home, the office, and in public places like shopping malls, train stations, and other places. Depending on how much power the Level 2 charger puts out and how fast the car can charge, it can add between 12 and 80 miles of range per hour.

Most BEV owners install Level 2 charging equipment at home because it can charge the car up to 10 times faster than Level 1. If you plug your car into a Level 2 source, it will usually be fully charged overnight, even if the battery was almost dead when you plugged it in.

Level 2 chargers can put out as much as 80 amps. But to do that, you need a dedicated 100-amp 208-240V circuit and a heavy, expensive line from the breaker box. 

Most EV owners will do well to pick a 40-amp charger that can give the EV 9.6 kW. A 48-amp charger can charge a little faster at 11.5 kW, but it needs a thicker wire and must be hardwired to meet NEC code. 48-amp chargers cost much more than 40-amp chargers, but they only charge a little bit faster.

What is Level 3 Charging?

Level 3 charging is the fastest and can add 3 to 20 miles of range per minute to an electric vehicle. This charging uses direct current (DC). Level 1 and Level 2 charging using alternating current (AC). 

The voltage is also much higher than Level 1 and Level 2 charging, which is why you don’t see Level 3 chargers at home. Level 3 charging requires high voltage, which is available in many homes.

DC Fast Chargers are also very expensive, costing thousands of dollars. So, even if your home has 400-volt electricity, installing the charger would be more than your EV. Some of Tesla’s Level 3 chargers are called “Superchargers,” while others are called “DC Fast Chargers.” 

The current Nissan EVs use CHAdeMO, which is a third standard.

Can All EVs use the same chargers?

In North America, all EVs except Tesla use the J1772 or “J-Plug,” the same connector for Level 1 and Level 2 charging. There are three standards in use right now for Level 3 charging. 

All other manufacturers use the Combined Charging System, CCS, or “Combo” plug besides Tesla, Nissan, and Mitsubishi, which use the Asian standard CHAdeMO. On the other hand, Nissan said that their new EVs in North America and Europe would start using the Combo plug for Level 3 charging later in 2021.

EV Chargers at your Homes

Most homes in the US can add a circuit for a Level 2 charger without having to upgrade their service. A Level 2 charger needs a dedicated 240-volt circuit, like the one in a clothes dryer or electric stove. Sometimes, if your Level 2 EV charger is in your garage or close by, you can use the same circuit that powers your electric clothes dryer.

Cost of Level 2 and Level 3 Chargers

Depending on how much power they have and what features they have, level 2 chargers can cost anywhere from $250 to $1,000. Installation usually costs between $200 and $1,000 and can go into the thousands if you upgrade your service to add the extra circuit. 

Before you buy an EV, it’s a good idea to talk to a licensed electrician to find out how much it will cost to install the charging equipment at home. 

Every electric car has a portable charger that comes with it. Some are Level 1, others are Level 2, and some come with adapters that let them plug into Level 1 and Level 2 outlets and charge. 

Some units are all the owner needs to charge their EV, but others aren’t powerful enough, and the owner will need to buy a more powerful charger. You need to check the standard charger’s power output and see if it meets your charging needs based on how many miles you drive on average.

Private charging networks run Level 3 chargers, and the prices vary significantly from network to network. Some charge the customer based on how long the car is plugged into the charger. Others charge based on how much energy was used. Using a level 3 charger to charge your EV will almost always cost much more than charging at home. In some places, it can cost 2 to 3 times as much. 

At that point, the cost of driving with electricity is almost the same as that of driving with gas, but less pollution is made.

Only Tesla cars can be charged at Tesla Superchargers. The Tesla Supercharger network is a private network set up by Tesla and is only available to Tesla owners.

Image by Freepik

Can a Tesla Supercharger be used for other EVs?

Only Tesla cars can be charged at Tesla Superchargers. The Tesla Supercharger network is a private network set up by Tesla and is only available to Tesla owners.

Tesla sells an adapter for $400 that lets owners plug their cars into CHAdeMO DC fast chargers. Tesla also wants to sell a Combo adapter. This will let Tesla owners use DC Fast chargers that use the Combo standard. 

Can I get a discount on EV chargers?

Most EV charging networks offer cheaper charging if you sign up for a monthly or yearly plan that costs money. Many car companies have offered discounted or even free charging on a particular network for several years. Sometimes, an EV can be charged for free, as much as you want. Always ask the dealer if the EV you’re interested in comes with discounted or free charging plans.


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