In the world of electric cars chargers, there are three levels. The speed of these chargers usually increases as the number increases, so level 1 is the slowest and level 3 is the fastest. Level 2 chargers are the most common type of charger you can find in public places like gas stations and offices. You can’t get anywhere without charging your electric car, and when taking trips, it is good to know how long it will take to charge your car if need be.
How long does it take to charge an EV with a level 2 charger? A level 2 electric vehicle charger will take anywhere from 6-12 hours to charge an electric car. The time it will take to fully recharge an electric car will depend on the size of your car’s battery. A level 2 charger will give your car anywhere from 14 to 34 miles of charge per hour depending on the amperage of the charger.
Battery size and amperage of the charger can make a big difference when you are trying to figure out the amount of time it will take to charge your electric car. Level 2 chargers, or 240-volt chargers, can charge your vehicle at a quick yet healthy speed for your car. When charging your vehicle it is important to factor in things like the time it will take to charge, accessibility, and cost of using certain chargers.
How Long Does It Take To Charge An EV With A Level 2 Charger?
As stated above, it will take anywhere from 6-12 hours to recharge your electric car when you use a level 2 charger. If your car is already charged up to around 60 or 70 percent, that could be even quicker. Battery sizes vary in electric cars and that is why charging times will vary so much between different cars. Your electric car will most likely have a battery of around 100 kWh, this is the size that is in a Tesla Model S and Model X. If you know your car’s battery size you will be able to get a better idea of how long it will take to charge it. The bigger the size of your battery, the longer it will take to charge it.
Another factor to consider when trying to figure out how long it takes to charge when using a level 2 charger is the rate of the OBC or On-board Charger. Most level 2 chargers will be using alternating current to charge your car when in fact electric vehicle batteries use direct current. All this means is that all of that alternating current electricity has to be converted to direct current electricity. That is the job of the on-board charger, to convert the alternating current electricity to direct current electricity.
We have another article going into much more detail about that, so if you’re curious, visit our article ‘What is a Level 2 Charger‘. Anyways, if your on-board charger only has the capacity to convert at a rate of 7 kW, then it doesn’t matter if you are charging with a level charger that can do 12 kW because your caronly has the capacity to charge at a 7kW rate, if you are charging with AC. If your car has an OBC with a rate of 12 kW then you will be able to take full advantage of that level 2 charger. It is good to note that most level 3 chargers are direct current, so you don’t have to worry about this with level 3 chargers.
How To Find Free Level 2 EV Charging Locations In Public
Always be keeping your eyes out on common paths to work or around where you live for EV charging stations, a lot of times, chargers installed in public spaces will be level 2 chargers. Depending on where you are, you might even be able to find level 2 chargers that will charge your car for free. A lot of cities and states are doing this as a “thank you” to electric car drivers for driving electric cars. If you are new to driving electric cars you may not be aware where you can find these free use level 2 chargers, so how can you fix that?
Google maps or Maps on Apple can be your best friend when finding almost anything. If you are trying to find free charging stations it might be harder to specify that with these apps. You can always search up “charging stations” near me and you’ll have a lot of options that show up, but be aware that a lot of them won’t be free charging stations. It turns out there is this amazing website called PlugShare that has all locations of the free charging stations in the entire United States listed.
PlugShare is super nice because you have the ability to specify your location and it will show you all of the available charging stations near you. Not only that, but there are a ton of filters available, including if the station is free or requires payment, the type of plug/sockets shapes available, and even what charging company it is. Once you find a charging station that is at a good location for you, the website will even redirect you to google maps and give you directions on how to get there.
What Is The Cost Difference Of Using Different Level EV Chargers?
The cost difference of using different level EV chargers is going to vary depending on where you live. States where electricity is more expensive, like New York, will be more expensive than states with less expensive electricity, like Wyoming. California has historically been the most expensive state to charge your car in. Another factor is going to be which company owns the charging stations since they are the ones that set the price.
Charging stations charge either by the amount of time that the charger is used or by the kWhs that are consumed. As a side note, if you are going to use a charger that costs per minute used, I would suggest only charging your car to 80% because after your car’s battery is 80% full, the rate that your battery charges is significantly slowed to avoid damaging the battery. There are some chargers that even will charge you a small fee if your electric car remains attached to the plug for a certain amount of time, even if it is fully charged.
As I have researched prices for using public chargers, it seems to me that Level 2 chargers are actually slightly more expensive to use than Level 3 chargers, but not in all cases. If you do end up finding any public charging stations with level 1 chargers, be sure to do the math because even if they seem like the cheapest, they will take the longest. So if the charger costs you per minute, it wouldn’t be a good idea to use those chargers.
The cost per kWh can range from anywhere between $0.21 and $0.50. Tesla Level 2 chargers can even get up to as much as $1.08 per kWh according to the greencarjournal.com. Level 3 chargers are usually less expensive, with a price between $0.16 and $0.42 per kWh. Superchargers that charge your car insanely fast and are 7 times as powerful as level 3 chargers are the cheapest being between, $0.34 and $0.17 per kWh. Superchargers are still pretty rare seeing that they are fairly new and still being developed.
What Is The Cost Difference Of Installing Different Level EV Chargers At Home?
Depending on how much time you spend at home, you may even want to think about installing a charger at your house. There are many electric cars that you can plug into a standard 120V socket at your house, even though these will charge your electric vehicle very slowly and this of course would cost $0 to install. If you want something more speedy where you would be able to charge your electric car overnight, it might cost you a little bit more.
There are other chargers that you can install in your home that might be a little faster than just the regular socket and may enable you to have a manufacturer-specific plug head. These level 1 chargers can usually be bought for between $200 to $300 hundred dollars.
Level 2 chargers can be purchased and installed in your home for generally anywhere between $300 to $1200. Level 3 chargers are much more expensive and can be anywhere from $12,000 to upwards of $50,000. Personally, I would think a level 2 charger is just fine, but if you are always in a rush and have the cash, then you have the option of purchasing a level 3 charger.