Electric Vehicle Chargers
Installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.
Level 1 Charging Stations
These charging stations use a normal 120-volt connection, which uses any standard household outlet; there are no extra costs here. The downside is that charging times can be slow. Many electric vehicle owners will likely find that they typically don’t deplete more of the battery than can be replenished overnight using a basic 120V connection.
Level 2 Charging Stations
These EV chargers use a higher-output 240-volt power source, like the one that you plug your oven or clothes dryer into. Charging times are much faster than with a Level 1 EV charging station. A Mercedes B Class 250e, for example, can take 20 hours to fully charge (87 miles of range) with a standard 120-volt charging station. A 240-volt Level 2 charger can fully charge a 250e in three hours.
Most EV owners find they want a faster charge and upgrade to a Level 2 charging station soon after buying their electric car. A high-speed charging station at home is much more convenient and also can add value to your home’s resale value.
Having a Level 2 EVSE at home is ideal because most EV owners find they do the majority of their charging at home. For example, Level 1 home charging simply won’t work for anyone who drives long distances regularly and doesn’t have the time or opportunity to recharge their car during the day. Upgrading to a Level 2 charging station for that owner becomes a necessity, especially if the car is fully electric and there aren’t any public charging stations at the workplace or nearby.
One advantage of the longer range cars is that they should seldom use all their charge in a single day’s commute. With ranges that top 200 miles and average daily commutes of less than 40 miles, it should only be a matter of topping off the battery at night, which can typically be done in a couple hours.
Level 3 Charging Stations
These fast-charging devices use very high voltage and can add 90 miles of range to an EV in just 30 minutes in some cases. These chargers, however, are extremely expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars, and routinely using a Level 3 charger can ultimately hurt your car’s battery, so we wouldn’t consider one for home installation; they are also cost prohibitive for most EV owners.