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Level 2 EV Chargers

Level 2 EV Chargers



 Level 2 EV Charging is the most popular way of charging electric vehicles. It provides faster charge times than Level 1 and can be used at home or in public places.

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about Level 2 Chargers, including how they work, how they compare to other levels of charging, and more.

The Difference between Level 1, 2 & and DC Fast Chargers

Level 1 Charging: 120-Volt

Level 1 EV chargers are the slowest and most basic type of charger. They use a standard 120V wall outlet, which is the same as what you would find in your home or office. Level 1 charging typically takes up to 12 hours for a full battery charge.

Level 2 Charging: 208-Volt to 240-Volt

Level 2 chargers are more powerful than Level 1 and can provide up to 240V. Level 2 chargers are generally what you will find in public charging stations, as well as at home charging stations. They can reduce a full charge time down to 4 to 6 hours.

DC Fast Charging & Supercharging: 400-Volt to 900-Volt

DC fast charging offers the fastest charging speeds and are considered to offer the best EV chargers. DC fast chargers significantly reduce charging times and are only available in public charging locations. A DC fast charger can charge an EV battery to 80% in as little as 30 minutes.

What Is Level 2 Charging?

Level 2 charging, or EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment), is a type of electric vehicle charging that uses an electric power cable and plug to supply 240 volts of alternating electrical current (AC) electricity directly to an EV. This method of charging provides the second fastest charging time in comparison to other levels of EV charging and is typically used in homes and workplaces as a way to charge the battery of an electric vehicle up to eight times faster than a standard wall outlet. You can even find portable unit charging options. As EV chargers become more advanced, features like being able to be controlled remotely via a smartphone app and Wi-Fi will become more common. Such key features will be a bit cheaper in the coming years, allowing more people to control charging affordably via their phone. 

Determining EV Charging Times

Once you have determined what type of charging equipment you need for your electric vehicle, the next step is to determine how long it will take to charge. This is largely dependent on the size of your car's battery and the speed at which the charger operates. In order to calculate the approximate time to charge your battery, you'll need to know the size of your car's battery in kilowatt-hours (kWh). This information can usually be found in the EV owner's manual or online. Once you have this figure, you can use it to calculate how long it will take to charge with a Level 2 charger.

Level 2 chargers typically provide between 3.3 kW and 19.2 kW, with most offering about 7kW. While a Level 1 charger can provide a maximum of 5kw, which makes it difficult to charge an EV quickly. To determine the time it will take to fully charge your battery with a Level 2 unit, simply divide the kWh of your EV battery by the kW output of the charger. For example, if you have a 24kWh battery and are using an 11 kW charger, it would take approximately 2.18 hours to fully charge the battery (24/11 = 2.18). Keep in mind that this is only an estimate, as charging speed can vary depending on the age and condition of your battery and other factors.

It is important to note that Level 2 chargers are more expensive than Level 1 chargers, as they provide much faster charging times. However, if you plan on using public EV charging stations or are frequently away from home charging, it may be worth investing in a Level 2 charger for the electrical upgrades.

Electric Vehicle Ranges per Hour of Changing

Level 2 EV charging is one of the most widely available and convenient ways to charge an electric vehicle (EV). Most EVs come with the capability to accept Level 2 charging, which is significantly faster than Level 1 charging and ideal for home charging. It usually takes around 4 to 6 hours to fully charge a battery from empty using Level 2 charging (especially with a Level 2 in-home EV charging station), compared to 12 to 20 hours using level 1 charging. The type of Level 2 EV charger you have will determine the amount of range your battery gains per hour of charging. Different vehicles also gain different amounts of range from the same charge rate.

Generally, most electric cars can add between 25 and 45 miles of range for every hour on a level 2 charger. However, some EVs can gain up to 60 miles of range per hour of charging. When looking at an EV’s specifications, you’ll often find the “charge rate” in kilowatts (kW). This is a good indicator of how much range your electric car will charge in an hour. For example, many EVs are rated for 7.2 kW, meaning they can gain up to 45 miles of range per hour on a Level 2 charger.

(Need an EV adapter? Check out our complete collection of adapters for Tesla and J1772 EVs).

EV Charging Levels FAQs

What is an EV Level 2 charger?
An EV Level 2 charger is a 240V/30 amp charging station that can provide up to 7.2 kW of power for Electric Vehicles (EV) and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV). Its charging power is up to five times faster than a Level 1 charger. This is one of the best home EV chargers, and it comes at a reasonable price.

How many amps are needed for a Level 2 charger?
Level 2 EV charging requires a minimum of 20 amps. Most Level 2 EV chargers require 30 to 50 amps, providing up to 19.2 kWh of power. It is important to check with your electric provider before you buy a Level 2 charger, as you may need to upgrade the existing circuit breaker in your home before installation.

How fast can a Level 2 charger charge?
Level 2 chargers can charge an EV up to eight times faster than Level 1 EV chargers—a rate of 25 to 50 miles of range per hour. This makes Level 2 chargers ideal for charging an EV overnight or while running errands. Depending on how much power you need, Level 2 may be the best EV charger for your needs.

Is it worth it to install Level 2 charger?
Yes, installing a Level 2 charger can be worth it if you often take long trips in your electric vehicle. With a Level 2 charger, you can charge your vehicle significantly faster than with a Level 1 charger. This can save you time and money on long trips and make charging less of a hassle.

What is a Level 2 charging system?
Level 2 charging is a fast-charging system that uses a 240-volt outlet. In fact, it’s the same as an electric dryer. This is enough electricity to provide and charge an electric vehicle (EV) in a few hours. It is the most common type of EV charging and is often used for home or workplace charging.

Are all Level 2 EV chargers the same?
No, all Level 2 EV Chargers are not the same. Different models vary in their amperage, voltage, and type of connector. Some common Level 2 EV Chargers come with amperages of 16, 24, or 32 amps. Chargers may also have different types of charge port connectors. These can include J1772, Type 2 Mennekes, or CHAdeMO.

How efficient is a Level 2 EV charger?
Level 2 EV chargers provide significantly faster charging than Level 1. They are usually twice as fast and can charge an electric car in 4 to 8 hours, depending on the car's battery capacity. Furthermore, they are much more efficient than Level 1 chargers and can provide up to 80% of a vehicle’s charge in about 4 hours. Most EV drivers prefer Level 2 charging.

Do any EVs come with a Level 2 charger?
Other than Tesla, all EVs come with a Level 2 charger. This charger is capable of providing up to 19 kW of power, allowing for faster charging times. Only a select number of EVs use DC fast chargers, which provide up to 350 kW.

What size breaker do I need for a Level 2 EV charger?
A Level 2 EV charger typically requires a 40 to 50 amp breaker. But it primarily depends on the type and output of your charger (a higher limit 48A Level 2 charging station requires a 60 amp breaker). It is important to check with an electrician to ensure you have the correct size breaker and electrical panel hard-wired for safe operation of your EV charging station after installation.

What is the difference between Level 2 and DC fast chargers?
The biggest and most noticeable difference is that Level 2 units operate with a by-the-hour charging session. DC (direct current) fast charge units, however, charge by the minute. It is not common to find DC fast chargers in EV owners private residences due to the higher installation costs associated with them.