How Much Power Do Level 2 Chargers Draw?

Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) chargers, which are commonly used for residential or commercial charging, typically draw about 7,200 watts when charging at home on a 240-volt system.

This power draw is similar to that of many household appliances. For instance, it’s less than a typical electric furnace but more than a water heater​​.

Level 2 EV chargers for residential and commercial use typically offer 32, 40, or 48 amps on a 208-240V circuit.

Charging speed depends on both the outlet’s and the charger’s amperage. It’s crucial to choose a charger compatible with your EV’s battery capacity and your home or station’s electrical system.

SpecificationLevel 1 Charger DetailsLevel 2 Charger Details
Power DrawTypically lower than Level 2Approximately 7,200 watts (on a 240-volt system)
Typical AmperageUp to 15 amps (standard household outlet)32, 40, or 48 amps (can deliver up to 80 amps)
Voltage110-120 volts208-240 volts
Charging Speed40 to 50 hours to full charge (very slow)12 to 80 miles of range per hour
Charger TypesStandard household outletsNon-networked (residences) and Networked (commercial)
Amperage of OutletsTypically 15-20 amps for household outletsTypically either 40-amp or 50-amp
Cable Gauge OptionsStandard household wiring10 AWG, 8 AWG, or 6 AWG, among others
EfficiencySlow, suitable for overnight or minimal daily useFaster than Level 1, cost-efficient during off-peak hours
SuitabilityBest for PHEVs or low daily mileage EVsIdeal for home charging, ensures overnight full charge

Charging Power and Capabilities

When considering the power draw and speed from Level 2 chargers for electric vehicles, it’s essential to understand not just the power output in kilowatts but also how it translates to kilowatt-hours for actual energy usage and respective impacts on charge time and battery management.

Level 2 Charging Overview

Level 2 charging stations, a step above the basic Level 1 charger, operate typically at 240 volts. They significantly reduce the charge time needed for your vehicle compared to standard household outlets.

Most will draw around 7,200 watts (7.2 kW) of power, which is a standard for many home and public charging stations. However, commercial installations may offer more, allowing even faster charging.

Understanding Kilowatts and Kilowatt-Hours

The term ‘kilowatt’ (kW) refers to the unit of power that describes the rate of energy transfer. In other words, it’s how much energy your EV’s battery is receiving at any moment during charging.

Kilowatt-hours (kWh), on the other hand, measure the total amount of energy transferred over time. For instance, a charger with a 32-amp rating operating on a 240-volt circuit provides around 7.7 kW of power.

If your battery has a capacity of 75 kWh, a full charge from empty would theoretically take less than 10 hours.

Amp RatingPower Output (kW)Charge Time (h) for 75 kWh Battery
32 amps7.7 kW<10
40 amps9.6 kW<8
48 amps11.5 kW<7

Charge Time and Battery Management

Charge time for your vehicle will depend largely on the battery capacity and the charging rate of the charging station.

A Tesla, for example, might have an 85 kWh battery, and using a standard Level 2 charging station, achieving full charge could range between 9 to 12 hours.

It’s important to note that a sophisticated Battery Management System (BMS) is integral to the process. This system not only ensures the lithium-ion batteries are charged safely but also helps to maintain their long-term health.

Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) like Level 2 chargers, typically features built-in BMS to offer both convenience and charging capabilities that protect your vehicle’s battery while charging it efficiently and quickly.

Installation and Equipment

When you decide to install a level 2 home EV charger, you face several choices regarding the type of charger and the specifics of the installation.

Choosing the Right Charger

Your first step is to select a Level 2 home charger that suits your vehicle.

Most electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are equipped with an SAE J1772 connector, which has become a standard for charging connectors in North America.

Ensure that the charging equipment you purchase is compatible with the J1772 adapter, which will allow your vehicle to connect to the majority of EVSE.

Professional Installation Requirements

Consulting a certified electrician for installation is highly recommended to maintain safety and comply with local electrical codes.

The electrician will account for the necessary amperage and make sure the wiring and breakers are up to standard.

They will also confirm if your electric car charger stands comply with specific provisions like Article 625 of the National Electrical Code, ensuring that chargers are properly installed at the required height, which is at least 24 inches high in outdoor stations and 18 inches high indoors.

Cost Considerations

The price of the charging station and the installation process are primary expenses, while available incentives and rebates can significantly reduce the overall cost.

Charger Price and Installation Costs

These chargers typically range in price from about $500 to $2,000, and installation costs can add an additional $1,000 to $3,000 to your total investment.

Installation prices vary based on several factors, including electrical upgrades and whether or not trenching is necessary to run conduit.

Your home might require an electrical service upgrade to handle the 40-100 amp, 240-volt demands.

Available Incentives and Rebates

Various incentives and rebates are available to encourage the adoption of EVs and mitigate the upfront costs of charging infrastructure.

You may find opportunities for savings through federal, state, and local programs, as well as from utility providers and certain EV manufacturers.

Some entities offer rebates and incentives that cover a portion of your installation and charger costs, which can help to make the transition.

Compatibility and Connectivity

When considering the use of Level 2 chargers, it’s essential to understand the particular aspects regarding how a charger will connect with your vehicle and the accessibility of charging networks.

Charger and Vehicle Compatibility

The connector is a crucial component in the charging process, ensuring the link between the electric vehicle (EV) and the charging station.

Level 2 chargers commonly use the SAE J1772 connector in North America, which is compatible with most EVs. However, Tesla vehicles require a J1772 adapter to connect with these standard Level 2 chargers. It’s important to check the charging port on your vehicle to verify compatibility.

Other connector types, like CHAdeMO and Combined Charging System (CCS), are typically associated with DC fast charging, but it’s valuable to know that vehicles and chargers could have different connector needs.

Charging Networks and Accessibility

Public charging stations across North America offer various charging options and—in the case of Tesla—specific Superchargers.

Many are accessible via an app that provides real-time station availability and compatibility information. Stations offer a range of connectors, but most include the standard J1772, CHADeMO, and CCS connectors to cover a broad range of EV models.

Benefits and Drawbacks

CategoryLevel 2 Charging AdvantagesLevel 2 Charging Limitations
Charging SpeedAdds about 10 to 60 miles of range per hour (much faster than Level 1 chargers).Slower than DC fast chargers (Level 3).
ConvenienceOffers home charging capability.Requires installation, which incurs an initial cost.
CompatibilityCompatible with most EVs, including popular models.
AvailabilityWidely available for both home and public use.
Economic AspectLong-term savings may offset the initial installation cost.Higher upfront cost compared to Level 1 chargers.


  1. My neighbor has covered the roof of his house in solar panels and is going “off the grid”. He insists the solar power will be sufficient to charge any EV of his choice. I am skeptical. His home is a ranch style, about 1800 sf. We live in western NC.

    1. If your neighbor is installing a Level 2 charger, it’s important to ensure that the electrical system in the home can handle the additional load. This might require an upgrade or adjustment, especially if the home is entirely off the grid.

      While it’s technically possible to charge an EV using solar power, the feasibility in your neighbor’s case will depend on the balance between the solar power generation capacity and the total energy demands of the household, including the EV charging. It’s a balancing act between generation, storage (if he has battery storage for solar power), and consumption.

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