The last 10 years have seen a massive influx in the number of EVs on the road, especially with the increased popularity of EV giants Tesla.
However, whilst adapting to driving EVs is fairly simple, one of the more difficult areas is knowing how to charge your electric vehicle and also knowing what kind of charger to use for your car.
Level 1 chargers were the first ones to come out and are often the ones you’ll find out in public charging stations. However, there are also level 2 chargers that will charge your EV faster than a Level 1, but how fast do Level 2 EV chargers work?
We’ll be answering this question and going more in-depth to help you learn what you need to know about Level 2 chargers.
What Is The Difference Between Level 1 and Level 2 Chargers?
The biggest difference between Level 1 and Level 2 chargers is the time it takes to fully charge the vehicle. A Level 1 charger will on average give 4 miles per 1 hour of charging, whereas a Level 2 charger can get around 32 miles per one of 1 hour of charging.
Therefore, if an EV has a 100 miles range it could take over 24 hours for the vehicle to be fully charged with a Level 1 charger, whereas it will only take around 4 hours for the EV to get fully charged with a Level 2 charger.
A Level 1 charger will have a cord that comes with the vehicle that can be plugged into a standard 120 volt 20 amp circuit wall outlet at your home.
Whereas a Level 2 charger is a hardwired charging unit installed at your home to deliver the current to your EV. These Level 2 chargers need a 208-240 volt 40 amp circuit to be able to charge the vehicle.
What Factors Affect Charging Speed?
There isn’t just one definitive number for how fast a Level 2 EV charger works, as it’ll depend on a handful of factors.
The Size Of Your EVs Battery
Not every EV has the same battery capacity and new models have much larger capacities so they can get more mileage. The bigger the EVs battery capacity, the longer it will take to charge as it has more capacity to fill.
Your Current Battery
If your battery is sitting at around 50% then it’ll take less time to fully charge than it would if the battery were to be empty.
The Maximum Charging Rate Of Your Vehicle
EVs have varying power acceptance rates and you’ll only be able to charge your EVs battery at the maximum charge rate that it can accept. An EV with a maximum charge of 10kWh won’t charge faster using a 20kWh charger.
The Maximum Charging Rate Of The Charger
If your EV charger offers less power than your EVs maximum charging rate then it will still only charge at the charging rate of the charger and not that of the EV.
Temperature & Weather
Cold temperatures and weather can decrease the rate of charging compared to warmer weather, therefore making your charger less efficient.
How Fast Do Level 2 EV Chargers Work?
A Level 2 charger’s output can range from 3kW to 19kW which means it could potentially put in 18-28 miles of range per hour of charging.
It would take around 5.5 hours of charging to fully charge an EV with a 60kW battery with an 11kW Level 2 charger.
A 40kWh battery Nissan Leaf takes around 8 hours to fully charge when using a 240v charge, whereas a 60kWh battery Nissan Leaf will take up to 12 hours to be fully charged.
However, most average EVs can be fully charged in 3-8 but this will depend on the battery capacity of the vehicle.
Installing A Level 2 Charger At Home
Many EV owners will decide to install Level 2 chargers in their home as they can then charge their vehicle overnight on their driveway and may prevent them from having to use and wait around at public charging stations.
Whilst Level 2 chargers are more expensive to buy and install than Level 1 chargers, they do reduce the charging time by more than half allowing you to spend more time on the road and less time waiting for it to be charged.
Installing a Level 2 charger at your home is also recommended because a Level 2 charging station will only serve on average 3-5 drivers a day, this is based on the idea that the drivers are fully charging an EV with a 100-mile battery.
Whilst this may seem like a low number, it’s a significant difference from the 1 driver that a Level 1 charging station will be able to serve per day as it takes around 25 hours to fully charge a 100-mile battery EV.
Therefore, a home Level 2 charger provides more convenience and prevents you from having to wait in queues or drive around until you can find a free Level 2 charging station available.
Are Level 2 Chargers Worth It?
Yes, Level 2 chargers are definitely worth it as they provide the ideal middle ground of charged speed and costs.
Level 1 charging is a lot slower to charge but fast chargers are a lot more expensive as it produces more power in a quicker amount of time and will therefore charge your EV quicker.
So Level 2 charger will give you a good number of miles of range per hour of charging but at a more reasonable price.