Tech

Level 1 vs. Level 2 vs. Level 3 Charging Explained

The ultimate guide to charging solutions for electric vehicles

When driving an electric vehicle (EV), it must be charged. It can be a bit tricky if you don’t know how the various EV charging options work. Here is a quick guide to the terms you need to know and the three EV charging stages you need to know.

What is the state of charge of electric vehicles?

Charge levels L1, L2 and L3 are three general terms that describe how fast an EV battery can be charged.

Think of charging an electric vehicle like filling a swimming pool. I would never use a fire hose to fill a children’s pool or a regular garden hose to fill an indoor pool. EV charging is as follows: Depending on the car’s battery capacity, electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and vehicle onboard charger (OBC) capabilities, this can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. In other words, how to charge an EV is similar to understanding the size of an EV’s “pool” and the “hose” used to fill it.

Joshua Castle

The basic terms you need to know are:

Charging Station Equipment: EVSE

The power of the charging station is expressed in kilowatts (kW). A higher kW number means faster charging. If your charging station is rated in amps (A), kW can be easily calculated by multiplying by voltage (V) and dividing by 1,000.

Electric “hose”: OBC

EVSE powers the OBC, which can only supply the battery up to its maximum rating. For example, a 12kW charger can only charge up to 7.2kW if the OBC is rated at 7.2kW, but only 6kW if the battery is too hot or too cold.

Vehicle (or swimming pool) capacity: kWh

Battery capacity is expressed in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Typical charging time is simply a matter of capacity divided by power. For example, it takes about 10 hours to restore 50 kWh from 5 kW. At 150kW it takes about 20 minutes, but at 1.4kW it takes about 35 hours to complete.

How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?

Charging Phase 1 Description

Each electric vehicle comes with a free L1 charging cable. Universally compatible, no installation cost, plugs into a grounded 120V outlet. Depending on your electricity bill and the efficiency class of your electric vehicle, an L1 charge will cost between 2 and 6 cents per mile.

The L1 charger is rated at 2.4 kW and recovers charging times of up to 5 mph (about 40 miles every 8 hours). It works for a lot of people because the average driver travels 60 km per day.

The L1 charger can also be used by those who offer L1 charging stations at work or school, so you can charge your EV all day while on the way home.

Many EV drivers call the L1 charging cable an emergency charger or trickle charger because they can’t keep up with long commutes or long weekend trips.

Charging Phase 2 Description

The L2 charger operates from a higher input voltage of 240V and is usually wired into a dedicated 240V circuit in the garage or driveway. The portable model plugs into a standard 240V outlet for a dryer or welder, but not all homes have it.

Tier 2 chargers cost between $500 and $2,000 depending on brand, grade, and installation requirements. Depending on your electricity bill and the efficiency class of your electric vehicle, an L2 charging will cost you between 2 and 6 cents per mile.

Level 2 charging stations are universally compatible with electric vehicles equipped with industry standard SAE J1772 or “J-Plug”. You can find public L2 chargers installed in parking lots, car parks, in front of the company, for employees and students.

Level 2 charging stations are typically up to 12 kW and recharge at around 100 miles every 8 hours, up to 12 mph. For a typical driver who drives 60 km per day, the charging time is about 3 hours.

However, if you are driving farther than the vehicle’s mileage, you need the fast charging that level 2 charging can provide.

Charging Phase 3 Description

The Level 3 charger is the fastest EV charger on the market. They usually run at 480V or 1,000V and you won’t usually see them in homes. It is more suitable for high-traffic areas such as highway rest areas, shopping and entertainment districts, and the vehicle can be charged in less than an hour.

Charging rates can be on an hourly basis or per kWh basis. Depending on your dues and other factors, it will cost you between 12¢ and 25¢ per mile to top up your L3.

Level 3 chargers are not universally compatible and there is no industry standard. Currently, the three main types are superchargers, SAE CCS (Integrated Charging System), and CHAdeMO (nodding your head to “I want a cup of tea” in Japanese).

Superchargers work on select Tesla models, SAE CCS chargers work on select European EVs, CHAdeMO works on select Asian EVs, but some vehicles and chargers may be compatible with adapters.

Tier 3 charging stations typically start at 50 kW and increase from there. For example, the CHAdeMO standard operates up to 400 kW and a 900 kW version is under development. Tesla superchargers are typically charged at 72 kW, but some can charge up to 250 kW. This high performance is possible because the L3 charger bypasses OBC and its limitations and charges the battery directly from a DC supply.

Fast charging is limited to 80%. After 80%, the BMS will heavily throttle the charging rate to protect the battery.

2.4kW7kW22KW50kW150kW300kW
charged capacity
40 kWh5pm6 hours2 hours48m16 minutes8m
75 kWh31 hours11 am4 hours90m30m15m
100 kWh42 hours14:005 hours2 hours40m20m

Hours are expressed in hours (h) and minutes (m).

Last plug to charger

In the end, finding the right charger will depend on the performance of your electric vehicle and how long you plan to drive it. In general, do not rely on the L1 charging cable that came with your vehicle unless you do a lot of driving.

Most EV drivers need access to an L2 charger from home, work, school or other places. However, unless you have a reliable reservation location elsewhere, home is the best place for an L2 charger. It would be nice to have an L2 charger that can charge the car in 8 hours, but the charging times can be longer on dog days in midwinter and summer.

Finally, if it’s not your usual commute, download the app to find the right L3 charging station for your vehicle and pay for it. Charge well!

Description of each EV charging specification and connector type


More information

Level 1 vs. Level 2 vs. Level 3 Charging Explained

The ultimate guide to charging solutions for your EV

If you’re going to drive an electric vehicle (EV), you’re going to need to recharge it. That can get a little complicated if you’re not clear on how the different charging options work for electric vehicles. Here’s a quick guide to the terms to know and the three EV charging levels you need to know.

What Are EV Charging Levels, Anyway?

Charging levels L1, L2, and L3 are three general terms that refer to how fast you can charge your EV battery.

Think of charging your EV like filling up a pool. You probably wouldn’t use a fire hose to fill a kiddie pool or a standard garden hose to fill an inground pool. Recharging an EV is kind of like that: It can take minutes to days, depending on the car’s battery capacity, electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), and vehicle on-board charger (OBC) capabilities. In other words, how you charge your EV is similar to understanding the size of your EV’s ‘pool’ and the ‘hose’ used to fill it. 

Joshua Seong

Here are the basic terms to know:

The Charging Station Equipment: EVSE

Charging station power is rated in kilowatts (kW). Higher kW numbers mean faster charging. If the charging station is rated in amps (A), kW can easily be calculated by multiplying by voltage (V) and dividing by 1,000.

The ‘Hose’ for Receiving Power: OBC

The EVSE delivers power to the OBC, which can only deliver up to its maximum rating to the battery. For example, a 12-kW charger can only charge a maximum of 7.2 kW if the OBC is rated for 7.2 kW, but it may only charge at 6 kW if the battery is too hot or cold.

The Car’s Capacity (or Pool): kWh

Battery capacity is given in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Typical charge time is a simple matter of dividing capacity by power. For example, restoring 50 kWh at 5 kW will take about 10 hours. At 150 kW, it’s about 20 minutes, but at 1.4 kW, it’ll need about 35 hours to finish.

How Long Does it Take to Charge an EV?
Level 1 Charging Explained

Every EV comes with a free L1 charge cable. It’s universally compatible, doesn’t cost anything to install, and plugs into any standard grounded 120-V outlet. Depending on the price of electricity and your EV’s efficiency rating, L1 charging costs 2¢ to 6¢ per mile. 

The L1 charger power rating tops out at 2.4 kW, restoring up to 5 miles per hour charge time, about 40 miles every 8 hours. Since the average driver puts on 37 miles per day, this works out for many people.

The L1 charger can also work for people whose workplace or school offers L1 charge points, allowing their EVs to charge all day for the ride home.

Many EV drivers refer to the L1 charge cable as an emergency charger or trickle charger because it won’t keep up with long commutes or long weekend drives.

Level 2 Charging Explained

The L2 charger runs at higher input voltage, 240 V, and is usually permanently wired to a dedicated 240-V circuit in a garage or driveway. Portable models plug into standard 240-V dryer or welder receptacles, but not all homes have these.

Level 2 chargers cost $500 to $2,000, depending on brand, power rating, and installation requirements. Subject to the price of electricity and your EV’s efficiency rating, L2 charging costs 2¢ to 6¢ per mile.

Level 2 charging stations are universally compatible with EVs equipped with the industry-standard SAE J1772 or “J-plug.” You can find public-access L2 chargers in parking garages, parking lots, in front of businesses, and installed for employees and students.

Level 2 charging stations tend to top out at 12 kW, restoring up to 12 miles per hour charge, about 100 miles every 8 hours. For the average driver, putting on 37 miles per day, this only requires about 3 hours of charging.

Still, if you’re on a trip longer than the range of your vehicle, you’re going to need a quick top-up along the way that Level 2 charging can provide.

Level 3 Charging Explained

Level 3 chargers are the fastest EV chargers available. They typically run on 480 V or 1,000 V and aren’t typically found at home. They’re being better suited to high-traffic areas, such as highway rest stops and shopping and entertainment districts, where the vehicle can be recharged in less than an hour.

Charging fees might be based on an hourly rate or per kWh. Depending on membership fees and other factors, L3 charging costs 12¢ to 25¢ per mile.

Level 3 chargers are not universally compatible and there is no industry standard. Currently, the three main types are Superchargers, SAE CCS (Combined Charging System), and CHAdeMO (a riff on “would you like a cup of tea,” in Japanese).

Superchargers work with certain Tesla models, SAE CCS chargers work with certain European EVs, and CHAdeMO works with certain Asian EVs, though some vehicles and chargers may be cross-compatible with adapters.

Level 3 charging stations generally start at 50 kW and go up from there. The CHAdeMO standard, for example, works up to 400 kW and has a 900-kW version in development. Tesla Superchargers typically charge at 72 kW, but some are capable of up to 250 kW. Such high power is possible because L3 chargers skip the OBC and its limitations, directly DC-charging the battery.

There is one caveat, that high-speed charging is only available up to 80% capacity. After 80%, the BMS throttles the charge rate significantly to protect the battery.

2.4 kW
7 kW
22 kW
50 kW
150 kW
300 kW
Capacity Charged

40 kWh
17h
6h
2h
48m
16m
8m
75 kWh
31h
11h
4h
90m
30m
15m
100 kWh
42h
14h
5h
2h
40m
20m

Times shown in hours (h) and minutes (m).

A Final Plug About Chargers

In the end, finding the right charger will come down to the capabilities of your EV and how much you want to drive it. Generally, do not count on the L1 charging cable that came with the vehicle, unless you don’t drive much.

Most EV drivers need access to an L2 charger, whether it’s at home, work, school, or some other place. Home is the best place for an L2 charger, though, unless you have a dependable reserved space elsewhere. An L2 charger that can charge your vehicle in 8 hours is going to serve you well, but expect longer charge times in deep winter and the dog days of summer.

Finally, if you’re heading outside of your normal commute, download an app to locate and pay for the right L3 charging station for your vehicle. Charge well!

Every EV Charging Standard and Connector Type Explained

#Level #Level #Level #Charging #Explained

Level 1 vs. Level 2 vs. Level 3 Charging Explained

The ultimate guide to charging solutions for your EV

If you’re going to drive an electric vehicle (EV), you’re going to need to recharge it. That can get a little complicated if you’re not clear on how the different charging options work for electric vehicles. Here’s a quick guide to the terms to know and the three EV charging levels you need to know.

What Are EV Charging Levels, Anyway?

Charging levels L1, L2, and L3 are three general terms that refer to how fast you can charge your EV battery.

Think of charging your EV like filling up a pool. You probably wouldn’t use a fire hose to fill a kiddie pool or a standard garden hose to fill an inground pool. Recharging an EV is kind of like that: It can take minutes to days, depending on the car’s battery capacity, electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), and vehicle on-board charger (OBC) capabilities. In other words, how you charge your EV is similar to understanding the size of your EV’s ‘pool’ and the ‘hose’ used to fill it. 

Joshua Seong

Here are the basic terms to know:

The Charging Station Equipment: EVSE

Charging station power is rated in kilowatts (kW). Higher kW numbers mean faster charging. If the charging station is rated in amps (A), kW can easily be calculated by multiplying by voltage (V) and dividing by 1,000.

The ‘Hose’ for Receiving Power: OBC

The EVSE delivers power to the OBC, which can only deliver up to its maximum rating to the battery. For example, a 12-kW charger can only charge a maximum of 7.2 kW if the OBC is rated for 7.2 kW, but it may only charge at 6 kW if the battery is too hot or cold.

The Car’s Capacity (or Pool): kWh

Battery capacity is given in kilowatt-hours (kWh).

Typical charge time is a simple matter of dividing capacity by power. For example, restoring 50 kWh at 5 kW will take about 10 hours. At 150 kW, it’s about 20 minutes, but at 1.4 kW, it’ll need about 35 hours to finish.

How Long Does it Take to Charge an EV?
Level 1 Charging Explained

Every EV comes with a free L1 charge cable. It’s universally compatible, doesn’t cost anything to install, and plugs into any standard grounded 120-V outlet. Depending on the price of electricity and your EV’s efficiency rating, L1 charging costs 2¢ to 6¢ per mile. 

The L1 charger power rating tops out at 2.4 kW, restoring up to 5 miles per hour charge time, about 40 miles every 8 hours. Since the average driver puts on 37 miles per day, this works out for many people.

The L1 charger can also work for people whose workplace or school offers L1 charge points, allowing their EVs to charge all day for the ride home.

Many EV drivers refer to the L1 charge cable as an emergency charger or trickle charger because it won’t keep up with long commutes or long weekend drives.

Level 2 Charging Explained

The L2 charger runs at higher input voltage, 240 V, and is usually permanently wired to a dedicated 240-V circuit in a garage or driveway. Portable models plug into standard 240-V dryer or welder receptacles, but not all homes have these.

Level 2 chargers cost $500 to $2,000, depending on brand, power rating, and installation requirements. Subject to the price of electricity and your EV’s efficiency rating, L2 charging costs 2¢ to 6¢ per mile.

Level 2 charging stations are universally compatible with EVs equipped with the industry-standard SAE J1772 or “J-plug.” You can find public-access L2 chargers in parking garages, parking lots, in front of businesses, and installed for employees and students.

Level 2 charging stations tend to top out at 12 kW, restoring up to 12 miles per hour charge, about 100 miles every 8 hours. For the average driver, putting on 37 miles per day, this only requires about 3 hours of charging.

Still, if you’re on a trip longer than the range of your vehicle, you’re going to need a quick top-up along the way that Level 2 charging can provide.

Level 3 Charging Explained

Level 3 chargers are the fastest EV chargers available. They typically run on 480 V or 1,000 V and aren’t typically found at home. They’re being better suited to high-traffic areas, such as highway rest stops and shopping and entertainment districts, where the vehicle can be recharged in less than an hour.

Charging fees might be based on an hourly rate or per kWh. Depending on membership fees and other factors, L3 charging costs 12¢ to 25¢ per mile.

Level 3 chargers are not universally compatible and there is no industry standard. Currently, the three main types are Superchargers, SAE CCS (Combined Charging System), and CHAdeMO (a riff on “would you like a cup of tea,” in Japanese).

Superchargers work with certain Tesla models, SAE CCS chargers work with certain European EVs, and CHAdeMO works with certain Asian EVs, though some vehicles and chargers may be cross-compatible with adapters.

Level 3 charging stations generally start at 50 kW and go up from there. The CHAdeMO standard, for example, works up to 400 kW and has a 900-kW version in development. Tesla Superchargers typically charge at 72 kW, but some are capable of up to 250 kW. Such high power is possible because L3 chargers skip the OBC and its limitations, directly DC-charging the battery.

There is one caveat, that high-speed charging is only available up to 80% capacity. After 80%, the BMS throttles the charge rate significantly to protect the battery.

2.4 kW
7 kW
22 kW
50 kW
150 kW
300 kW
Capacity Charged

40 kWh
17h
6h
2h
48m
16m
8m
75 kWh
31h
11h
4h
90m
30m
15m
100 kWh
42h
14h
5h
2h
40m
20m

Times shown in hours (h) and minutes (m).

A Final Plug About Chargers

In the end, finding the right charger will come down to the capabilities of your EV and how much you want to drive it. Generally, do not count on the L1 charging cable that came with the vehicle, unless you don’t drive much.

Most EV drivers need access to an L2 charger, whether it’s at home, work, school, or some other place. Home is the best place for an L2 charger, though, unless you have a dependable reserved space elsewhere. An L2 charger that can charge your vehicle in 8 hours is going to serve you well, but expect longer charge times in deep winter and the dog days of summer.

Finally, if you’re heading outside of your normal commute, download an app to locate and pay for the right L3 charging station for your vehicle. Charge well!

Every EV Charging Standard and Connector Type Explained

#Level #Level #Level #Charging #Explained


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