An electric car can be charged in less than 30 minutes and it will provide 200 miles of range. If you plug in a standard outlet, your EV will only get two to three miles of range. While other factors may affect the charging speed of your battery, such as temperature and age, the most […]

An electric car can be charged in less than 30 minutes and it will provide 200 miles of range. If you plug in a standard outlet, your EV will only get two to three miles of range.

While other factors may affect the charging speed of your battery, such as temperature and age, the most important factor that determines how fast it charges is the type of charging connector.

Electric vehicles and charging devices

Level 3 / DC fast charging

Charge per Hour (approximately)

More than 200 miles

In-home use available?

Yes. Nearly all new EVs come standard with charging hardware.

Yes. However, you will need to purchase additional equipment and have it professionally installed.

No. Public charging stations only.

This type of charger is great for home use

A Level 1 home charger is a good choice if you are driving less than 40 miles per day. Public chargers are faster if you need to charge your device quickly.

A Level 2 home charger might be a good choice for you if you drive more than 40 miles per week or value convenience.

On the road?

Chargers are not available at public charging stations. However, you can bring your charger and use it if you have an outlet nearby.

Yes. Yes. Most public chargers have Level 2. Many public chargers are located in places where you can park your car temporarily, such as a garage or workplace.

Yes. These are usually found in corridors where people want fast charging and to keep driving like the Interstate.

Charger type

J1772 and Tesla.


Level 1 – Slow but easy

(Photo by Getty Images)

The Level 1 charger plugs into standard wall outlets. This charger plugs directly into a standard wall outlet via hardware known as a connector. It looks like a gas pump with an angled nozzle. The end has a plug with five smaller connections. This universal connection is called J1772, and it’s compatible with almost every electric vehicle in the U.S. It’s a higher-end version of the standard plug you find on things like vacuums and lamps.

Level 1 is the slowest type for EV charging. Overnight charging might increase range by 40 to 50 miles. This is enough to get you through a typical day, but you will need more if you have an emergency.

Even if you upgrade to Level 2, there is still a place to charge at Level 1. Although it is not very fast, its compatibility with regular outlets makes this a useful item to have in your car in an emergency.

Level 2 – Faster but requires more hardware

The Level 2 charger connects with your car using the same J1772 connector that is used for Level 1 charging, unless your Tesla uses its own connector. The hardware at the other end is different. It draws power from a stronger source and taps into a dedicated 40-amp circuit. This extra power allows for faster charging: you can travel 25 miles or more per hour.

This power is typically reserved for large appliances like an oven or electric clothes dryer. This type of outlet is different than a regular wall outlet. This type of connection can’t be found in garages, but it may soon become the norm for new build homes. If you need a Level 2 charger to charge your car, an electrician will install one. You can shop around because Level 2 charging hardware almost universally available. Installing this charger in your home may cost you a few thousand dollars.

Approximately 3 out 4 public chargers have Level 2 connections. These chargers can take up to an hour to charge up and are located in places where your car is parked for that time, such as a mall, office complex, or parking garage. The United States has more than 50,000 public charging points.

Level 3 / DC fast charging: Fastest but not necessary for daily use

The Level 3 chargers are the fastest charging speed, also known as DC fast charging or DCFC. In just 30 minutes, you can increase your range by hundreds of miles.

These chargers can only be found at commercial charging stations because of their high-power connections.

Level 3 connectors are available in three configurations:

Charger, CHAdeMO Charger, Tesla Charger (Photo courtesy Getty Images)

CCS connector. This connector looks similar to a regular connector, but with an extra plug underneath it. CCS compatibility is standard on all newer EVs in the U.S.

CHAdeMO connector. Although less well-known in the U.S. as CCS, certain cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, still use it.

A Tesla connector. Tesla’s charger is available for Levels 2 & 3.

Battery health can be affected by excessive DC charging. One way to prolong the life of an electric vehicle battery is to use Level 1 or 2 charging.

This charger level is not compatible with most plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Tesla connectors: Charging outliers

Most car manufacturers use universal charging standards. Tesla however uses its own connector and sells its own at home charging hardware. It also operates a network called Superchargers that includes Level 3 chargers. It also has a network that provides at-home charging for customers.

If they purchase an adaptor, Tesla drivers can use non-Tesla connectors to charge at public charging stations. These adaptors can be used with either a standard connector for Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 charging, or a CCS Level 3. CHAdeMO adapters are not available from Tesla.

Other factors that impact charging speed

The battery’s state will determine how long it takes to charge. Charging from 90% to 100% can take up to twice as long as charging from empty to full. This phenomenon may also be noticeable when charging your phone. It can be frustrating if you have a full battery but it is also a cost-saving option. You will get less power each minute if you charge at a public charger that charges per minute. When your battery is at 80%, it is the most economical time to stop charging.

The sizes of EV batteries vary. Some vehicles, such as the Lucid, have ranges of 500 miles. The Nissan Leaf has a range of 200. It takes longer to fully charge larger batteries. It’s therefore more beneficial to consider charging in terms how much range you can add under similar circumstances than the time it takes to charge 100 span.