An electric car can get 25 miles per hour more with Level 2 charging. It is about five times faster that Level 1 charging but at least eighteen times slower than Level 3 fast charging (also known as direct current or DC fast charging). More than three quarters of all public chargers are Level 2. This charger is also the strongest you can place at your home.
Charge types: Differences
Level 1 charging adds about 5 miles per hour to your range. It is flexible, however. Nearly all new EVs come with a Level-1 charger. You can plug it into any standard electrical outlet. Charging at home is typically cheaper than charging at public chargers, making it a more affordable option.
Level 3 charging can be done quickly. In less than one hour, you can go hundreds of miles. This is the most expensive option. However, chargers are located along major highways and other thoroughfares. These chargers are not permitted to be installed in residential areas.
Level 2: A combination of Level 1 & Level 3
Level 2 Charging is the middle ground between two types of chargers.
It attaches to your vehicle with the same connector that Level 1 charging uses, but can charge most batteries up to 100% overnight.
This connector works with almost every new EV. Tesla uses a different connector. Tesla offers adaptors that allow drivers to attach to the standard connector.
Charging stations can be placed at residences, but they also make a great public charging station: There are nearly 100,000 Level 2 charging points available at public places across the country.
Public chargers can be found in many places including parking lots, retailers and downtowns.
Level 2 Charger Installation at Your Home
While the connection to your vehicle is the same as Level 1, Level 2 charging uses a stronger 240-volt connection that connects to the electrical system in your home.
This type of connection is required before installing Level 2 hardware. You might need to verify your local building codes for additional requirements. To install it, you will most likely need to hire a professional electrician.
The Level 2 connector is almost universal so you can shop around for one.
Some car manufacturers sell their own Level 2 chargers.
Shop directly with a company that sells home chargers.
Compare products in an electronics, home improvement or online marketplace.
Installing a Level 2 charger is expensive. This includes hardware and hiring an electrician. You might be able to get tax rebates and other government programs that encourage EV use. You can search the database of federal and state incentives maintained by the Department of Energy to find out what is available in your area.
Where can I find Level 2 chargers far from home
You have thousands of choices if you want to charge from your home.
National charging networks such as Electrify America or ChargePoint offer apps and maps that allow you to quickly locate nearby locations.
Search services such as PlugShare compile locations from multiple charge networks.
The U.S. Department of Energy maintains a detailed map of charging points across the country.
GoElectricDrive is a website maintained and updated by the Electric Drive Transportation Association. It lists locations for public chargers.