EV 101
1 min read
Understanding Different EV Charging Station Types: Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Charging
May 15, 2024
Ferhat Babacan
CEO @Bluedot
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Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more popular worldwide, so the demand for electric vehicle charging stations is increasing. EV charging supplies electrical energy to recharge the battery of an electric vehicle (EV). This is necessary because EVs rely on electricity to power their electric motors, unlike conventional vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel.

EV charging can be done at home, at work, or at public charging stations. Many EV owners choose to install a charging station at home, as this provides a convenient and cost-effective way to charge their vehicles. Some workplaces also offer EV charging stations as an employee benefit.

EV charging infrastructure is essential to support the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. As more people switch to electric vehicles, the demand for EV charging stations increases. Governments and private companies invest in developing EV charging networks to meet this demand. There are various types of EV charging; including Level 1, Level 2, and DC fast charging, which differ in charging speed and power level.

Different Types of EV Charging Stations

Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations come in different types, each with varying charging speeds and power levels.

- Level 1 Charging:

Level 1 charging is the slowest type, providing around 2-5 miles of range per hour. Level 1 charging stations require a standard 120 V electrical outlet and a charging cable for the EV. It is most commonly used for charging overnight at home or work, and it can take up to 8-12 hours to fully charge an EV battery.

- Level 2 Charging:

Level 2 charging is faster, providing around 10-60 miles of range per hour. Level 2 charging stations require a 240 V electrical outlet and a charging cable. They are typically found at public charging stations and available for home installation. It takes 3-6 hours to charge an EV battery using Level 2 charging fully.

- DC Fast-Charging:

DC Fast-Charging, also known as Level 3 charging, is the fastest type of charging, providing up to 300 miles of range per hour. DC Fast Charging stations use a high-powered DC charging port, which can charge an EV battery from 0 to 80% in as little as 20-30 minutes. DC Fast Charging stations are typically found at public charging stations along highways and major roads, making them ideal for long-distance travel.

Selecting the Best Public Charging Level for Your Electric Car

Level 1 charging stations are unsuitable for EV drivers' traveling requirements and move too slowly. A level 3 charger should be used if you want to charge as quickly as possible because these charging stations will give your EV a lot of range quickly. However, using a DC Fast Charging station to charge your battery only works if the battery's state of charge (SOC) is under 80%. After that, charging will start to go very slowly.

Therefore, once your car has charged 80% of the way, you should plug it into a level 2 charger because it will charge the remaining 20% just as quickly as a level 3 station while costing much less. Alternatively, you can keep traveling and recharge your electric vehicle (EV) to 80% at the next level 3 charger. A level 2 charger is slower but less expensive if you have plenty of time and plan to use the charger for several hours.

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