Understanding the 3 Levels of Charging an EV
With electric vehicles, you charge up the battery rather than fill up the gas tank. This may be unfamiliar to folks who have only had non-electric vehicles in the past, but we here at LaFontaine Family Deal Direct Ann Arbor are here to help you understand the different levels of EV charging.
Charging stations are used for both EV and hybrid cars. EV and hybrid vehicles almost always come with a mobile charging cable compatible with standard wall outlets (120-volts) for convenient charging. These cables are used for Level 1 charging.
Level 1 charging tends to be slower due to the lower voltage and circuit breakers that prevent overloading your home’s circuit box. Even a twelve-hour charge won’t leave your car’s battery at a 100 percent charge, but in many cases, you will not need a full charge for everyday drives.
One hour of Level 1 charging provides enough power to drive two to five miles for most EVs, so an overnight charging session would get you up to 60 miles of charge. 60 miles of charge is more than enough for most commutes and other everyday drives, so you can rely on Level 1 charging on a regular basis.
Level 2 charging uses 240-volt outlets and is the kind of charging you will see at most public charging stations. Though some homes may offer these outlets, it’s most likely hooked up to your washer and dryer. With this increased voltage, charging speed is 10 to 25 miles of range per hour of charging, so you can reach a near-full charge overnight.
Public charging stations provide multiple plugs so you can find one that works for your car. Many of these stations are free to use, though some use third party companies like EVGo or ChargePoint which charge a fee.
DC Fast Charging (Level 3)
The fastest EV charging option is DC Fast charging, which uses a 480-volt AC circuit. Many EV models get up to an 80 percent charge from DC Fast charging in just 15-45 minutes. There are three kinds of DC Fast charging available currently: CHAdeMO, Combined Charging System (CCS), and the Tesla Supercharger.
DC Fast charging is usually found along major interstates and in large cities, but they will expand in the future as electric vehicles become increasingly popular.