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EV Charging Station Levels: What Level Is Right For Your Property?


Whether you’re new to researching electric vehicles or own one and want to research EV charging at home, the most common question is:


What is the difference between a Level 2 and Level 3 EV charger?


Not all EV charging stations are created equal but that doesn’t mean it has to be confusing or daunting! Knowing the difference between each EV charging level will help you determine the best option for your electric vehicle charging needs when considering installing a charging station at your property.


To start, there are three levels of EV charging:


Level 1 - Plug-in, Slowest, Least Recommended


Level 2 - Hardwired, Full Charge in 4 to 5 Hours, Highest Recommended for Residential


Level 3 - Direct Current Infrastructure, Full Charge in 30 Minutes, Recommended for Commercial Properties


Each of these levels differ in charging speed, total equipment and installation cost, and the electrical infrastructure already existing at your residence. Level 1 being the lowest cost and Level 3 being the highest cost for installation.


The newer generations of electric vehicles have been built to accept a certain amount of power, so there’s no worry about a certain level being too powerful for your EV. Your car won’t allow the charger to receive more power than it can handle.



Level 1 EV Charger


The Level 1 EV Charger is the slowest charger, usually being able to plug-in to a 120(V) AC outlet. Provides 3 to 5 miles of range per 1 hour of charging, taking around 40 hours to fully charge the EV.


Level 1 EV chargers are convenient since they can be plugged into basically any household outlet, but they aren’t compatible with Level 2 or Level 3 chargers, and definitely don’t compare in charging times. That is why we recommend spending a little more on at least a Level 2 EV charger for the quicker charge times.


If you’re looking to install an EV charging station at your residence, COIL most likely recommends going with a Level 2 EV charging station. Level 3 charging stations are generally a lot more expensive and take more electrical infrastructure, making Level 2 the more practical option.



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Level 2 EV Charger


If you own or have researched electric vehicles and their chargers, you’ve seen Level 2 EV chargers. These are the most common chargers because they can charge your EV 3 to 5 times faster than the standard Level 1 EV charger.


Level 2 provides 10 to 20 miles of range per 1 hour of charging via 240V (residential) or 208V (commercial) outlets. This level of charging can usually reach full charge from empty within 4 to 5 hours.


Not only is a level 2 EV charging station faster than level 1, it’s also still affordable and the necessary electrical infrastructure is commonly found in place already.



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Level 3 EV Charger


While the difference between Level 1 and Level 2 EV chargers seems big, it doesn’t compare to the jump between Level 2 and Level 3.


Level 3, also known as DC Fast Charging, provides 20 to 70 miles of range per 20 to 30 minutes of charging, meaning it can fully charge an empty battery in 30 minutes! That’s FAST.


Level 3 EV charging stations are rare to have installed at a single family home due to the price of not only the equipment but the necessary electrical infrastructure to get it installed. In order to install a level 3 charger, a three-phase input is required and your electric vehicle must have DC fast charging capabilities.


These requirements often cost tens of thousands of dollars to install, resulting in the equipment possibly costing more than the electric vehicle itself. For these reasons, Level 3 are most commonly found in public charging areas with high traffic.


What Level EV Charger Should I Get Installed At Home?


COIL recommends installing a Level 2 EV charger at your residence. It’s powerful enough to charge your EV in a convenient amount of time with the added convenience of being at home.


Whether you live in a single family home, apartment, multi-unit, or HOA, COIL provides the services for end-to-end EV charging installation. We will personally handle everything - determining which charger is best for your property, pulling permits, working with your HOA or property manager, and installing the necessary infrastructure.


If you’re a business owner with a property that already has the required infrastructure, Level 3 DC Fast Charging Stations are a great option for you! These charging stations can potentially be a lucrative return on investment with RFID options built in.


COIL can handle your Level 3 DC Fast Charging Station installation needs from start to finish. We provide design and engineered plan sets, load calculation management, permit services, direct unit metering solutions, power sharing solutions, installation, configuration, HOA solutions, and EVSE administrative payment solutions.


Other benefits of installing a Level 2 Charger at home are local incentives and rebates. COIL provides our customers with local county and state incentives available on EV charging equipment or cost of installation.


Reach out to COIL for an EV charger installation quote today!