By Dean Adams Curtis
The first thing you ought to know about electric vehicle charging is that it has three flavors, three levels of charging. The main difference between the three flavors is how fast each charges an EV.
At Level 1 an EV’s battery is charged by plugging into any home or business outlet as any appliance does. Plugging into a regular plug can give you a full charge overnight. It is actually just fine for charging an EV at home at the end of a day’s running about, as the EV’s battery will be full by morning. It can take eight to ten hours to fully charge an EV’s battery at Level 1.
At Level 2, an EV’s battery is charged by plugging into a charger that uses the level of electricity that a clothes washer and dryer uses, twice as much as a normal home or business outlet. These chargers are the choice of many EV charging lots, such as workplaces, as they can charge up EVs in a few hours at Level 2.
At Level 3, an EV’s battery is charged by plugging into a specially equipped fast charger, often called a DC (direct current) fast charger. These chargers throw AC and DC electrons into an EV’s battery at max power, often resulting in full charges in under half an hour at Level 3. Thus, is Level 3 the best choice? Not necessarily. What to select is situational, depending on the local circumstances.