The convenience of being able to “fill up” your car at home is one of the reasons many drivers are ditching their gas-powered vehicles for electric ones. However, the type of charging station you have at home can make a big difference in how fast your vehicle charges and how economical it is to use.
Besides the charger that comes with your EV, there are several types of EV Chargers. A little research can help you determine which charger is right for your home, whether you want to get a unit installed or simply plug in overnight. Here are few to consider:
There are several types of electric car chargers and all of them do the same thing. They recharge the battery pack that powers your EV. But they differ greatly in how fast they can do this job — and in price.
Level 1 EV Charger
The Level 1 charger that comes with your EV is all you need if you have access to a standard 120-volt outlet. However, because it uses only about half as much power as a full-size dryer and oven combined, it can take more than 20 hours to fully charge some EVs.
Level 2 EV Charger
Level 2 chargers use 240-volt outlets that are common in most homes and can charge an EV in as little as four hours. They’re often used when the vehicle will be parked for an extended period or overnight. Most public charging stations are Level 2 chargers.
Fast EV Charger
These chargers use 480-volt high-powered outlets that can deliver up to 100 miles of range per hour of charging time. DC fast chargers can deliver as much as 90 miles of range in just 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the car and its battery size. Sometimes called Level 3 or CHAdeMO (after a Japanese consortium that developed the standard), these public charging stations are rarer than Level 2s because they cost more to install and maintain.
With an alternating current (AC) charger, the electricity goes through a transformer to change the voltage and make it compatible with your car. While an AC charger is useful for everyday charging, these chargers are relatively slow, taking hours to fully charge your electric vehicle.
A direct current (DC) fast charger is much faster. They’re commonly found in public places like shopping centers and parking lots because they can be used by anyone who needs them. These chargers use a different system to deliver electricity to your car, making them more efficient and faster than AC chargers.
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