What are the differences between EV charger types?

August 5, 2021 5:28 pm

Let’s start from the beginning: do you know what we are referring to when we talk about “electric vehicles” (EVs)? An EV, instead of using fossil fuel, uses electricity from many sources to charge an internal battery and run. This energy can come from solar power, nuclear power, etc. To charge those batteries, these EVs use an external source: EV chargers. Continue reading for a breakdown of  various EV charger types.

Electric vehicle chargers are labeled into “levels”, not “grades” as is this case with gasoline. Each level describes how fast a charger can charge a battery and is usually defined by the number of kilowatts (kWh) they output. The higher the amount of kWh they discharge, the faster that charger will be. There are three EV charger types: Level 1, Level 2, and DC fast chargers (DCFC).

A little more detail please?

Level 1 (L1) chargers are the slowest, with an output range of 1.3 kW to 2.4 kW. A full charge can take over 24 hours. These are mostly found in residential areas. A level 2 charger produces anywhere from 3 kW to 19 kW of AC power, and can fully charge an EV in 8 hours. L2 chargers are very common in the United States and can be found in many popular public places such as parking garages, malls, and hotels. 

DCFCs are the fastest chargers available, with an output of 350 kW. These are designed to charge an EV to 100% in 60-90 minutes. These high speed chargers are increasing in number due to their convenience and are intended for commercial or industrial locations, rather than residential. Locations include grocery stores and gyms; places where people can charge while doing their day to day activities. These chargers are also frequently found in interstate highways to help promote EV road trips.

The cost of charging your electric vehicle with a charger will vary, depending on which you use. If you choose a level 1 charger, the cost may entirely depend on the cost of electricity in the charging locations. On the other hand, with a level 2 charger, the price can vary considerably. Many public L2 chargers cost between $0.20 and $0.30 per kWh, which is about $1.00 to $5.00 an hour, approximately. Charging your car using a level 3 EV charger can cost you between $0.10 to $1.00 per kWh, with an average cost of $0.35 per kWh in the USA.

What about the installation?

EVCS provides a turnkey approach to EV charger installation issues. This includes consultation on compliance issues, design, and engineering requirements. EVCS also takes care of drawing up plans and calculations to determine what is needed at the time of installation, as well as doing research to obtain the necessary permits to be able to carry out the work. 

They install DCFC and Level 2 charging stations, including power source connection, wiring, and testing of each unit.

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