Level 2 EV Charger: Worth the Investment?
Switching from a traditional gas-powered vehicle to an electric vehicle offers drivers numerous benefits. Driving an electric vehicle (EV) can significantly reduce fuel expenses and emissions while allowing drivers to charge their vehicles right at home or work. However, the number one concerns for EV ownership remain: charger accessibility and re-charging speeds. Is having a Level 2 EV Charger worth it, and does it solve the issue of range anxiety?
There are fast EV charging options for home and business settings which truly complete the EV ownership puzzle. Let’s dive in!
What is a Level 2 EV Charger?
There are three charging levels for electric vehicles, but the first two are the applicable options for those looking to charge at home.
- Level 1: Level 1 charging equipment (also referred to as Mobile Connectors or Mobile Chargers) is commonly included when purchasing an EV, but not always. By plugging into standard 120V household outlets, these offer a base level of charge ranging from 2-5 miles for every hour of charge–hence the nickname “trickle charging.” In some cases, Level 1 charging can be a workable option if your vehicle can remain parked for an extended period of time or if you do very little driving. Beyond this, Level 1 Charging is not generally thought to be a feasible or convenient way to charge your electric car for the long term.
- Level 2: Most charging stations seen in public and in the home are level 2 EV chargers. These charge at a rate of 9 to 44+ miles for every hour of charge. Level 2 chargers run on a dedicated 208/240V circuit similar to hot tubs, clothes dryers, and air conditioning units. This allows the charger to transfer up to 19.2 kW to the EV, around ten times that of level 1 chargers. The variation in charging speeds is dependent upon the amperage of wire used for the charging station as well as the charging acceptance rate of your vehicle.
- Level 3: Also called DC fast chargers, level 3 chargers offer an impressive output of 50-450kW, which can charge some EVs as quickly as 15 minutes. Installation can be costly and usually requires significant electrical infrastructure upgrades. For this reason and a number of other factors, Level 3 charging stations are more likely to be seen along major highways and in commercial settings such as Wawa gas stations, grocery stores, and other high-traffic destinations.
The Benefits of a Level 2 Charger
The leading benefit of having a charger at home is the ability to wake up to a full charge. A Level 2 EV charger offers the best of all worlds in terms of charging speeds and convenience, keeping you from ever needing to hit a DC Fast Charger or Supercharger.
The increased charging ability (compared to Level 1) means drivers can plug in their EV overnight and have a full battery in the morning, which is not unlike having a gas station in your home.
In contrast, level 1 chargers can take up to a week to fully charge some electric vehicles. Additionally, despite level 1 transferring less watts, level 2 charging is actually more energy efficient.
Finally, most Level 2 Charging stations, through an app or controls in your vehicle, provide the user the option to schedule charging during off-peak hours. Many electrical companies will reward this by charging you lower usage rates or by sending you a monthly bill credit if you select this option. Further, there are local, federal and state funding and incentives that can help offset the upfront cost of the EV charging installation.
Considering Installing a Level 2 Charging Station?
If you are considering installing a level 2 charging station at your home or business, Gulfstar Electric is here to help. Based in Tampa, we are Florida’s first specialty electrical company offering concierge-level EV charger installations.
Our only goal is that you receive the product and service that matches your needs and wants. Our level of training and expertise ensures a turn-key installation specific to your vehicle and electrical system.
If you have any questions about our available options or installation, call us at (727) 755-1805 or fill out the contact form on our website. We look forward to helping you fully embrace the EV lifestyle!