As electric vehicle charging has become mainstream, it’s not uncommon to see EV owners plugging in before getting on the road. However, the differences between Level 1 and Level 2 charging may be unfamiliar to newcomers. But with electric cars growing in popularity, it’s important to understand the advantages of Level 2 chargers and charging stations.
Level 1 charging is the cheapest; DC Fast Charging is the most expensive. Providing a middle ground in terms of cost and charging speed, Level 2 charging supplies 240-volts of power. This is similar to an electric oven or dryer. Both levels tap into household electricity to charge up a car.
Level 2 chargers are beneficial in several ways:
- Charging time is reduced; you can charge your EV overnight, but also if you have some household chores to complete. A full charge can be reached in 3 to 8 hours, which is 3 to 7 times faster than a Level 1 system.
- An electric vehicle charges faster during the first few hours it is plugged in. The charging system operates based on battery capacity and the state of its charge, thereby extending vehicle range if you plan to stop home for a brief time.
Level 2 Chargers and Electricity Consumption
If you’re concerned about the costs associated with supplying electricity to your vehicle, you can save money by charging it at times of low electrical demand. At night, electrical rates are typically lower. You can, therefore, increase savings on a car that is already highly efficient.
What Impact Does Level 2 Charging Have on Range?
A Level 2 EV charger can charge at various speeds. It’s capable of up to 19.2 kilowatts, which means you can get 70 miles of range just by charging your EV for an hour at home. Federal funds for public charging stations support a maximum of only 6.6 kilowatts, which supports only a 26-mile-range-per-hour of charging. And the system is safe; electricity passes through a box and cord, but only sends power when the charger is plugged in.
Which Vehicles Currently Support Level 2 Charging?
Many EVs are capable of Level 2 charging, which adds to its benefits. The Tesla Roadster can charge in 3.5 hours on Level 2, while the Nissan Leaf takes 8 hours (far less than the 22 hours with Level 1). Currently, the Roadster can charge at 16.8 kilowatts. Other vehicles limited to 6.6 kilowatts are likely to be upgraded soon, so another benefit is the available technology continues to be improved.
How Do I Get a Level 2 Charging Station?
There are several models on the market, which can run up to $1,000 or more. But you will need a trained electrician to install them, especially if you don’t have a 240-volt outlet. Current safety guidelines require one for use with devices such as Level 2 EV chargers.
These chargers are suited for EV owners who use their vehicle frequently. If you drive several times per day, and go extended distances, you might have little time in-between activities for charging. A Level 2 charger can be advantageous to your schedule and patience.
Contact Express Electrical Services
Since 1982, we’ve provided a full set of electrical services to residents in Los Angeles and Southern California. We’re known for 24/7 availability and fast response time, but also install, repair, and replace electric vehicle chargers. Level 2 charging is practical for most homeowners. For affordable service and details on our fix now pay later program, call us at 323-727-7799.