The 3 Levels Of EV Charging Explained

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Out of the three EV charging levels, Level 1 is the most affordable way to charge your electric vehicle. This is a good option if you don’t need to drive a lot, as it requires no installation for it to work. Almost all EVs come with a charging cord that features a J1772 connector on one end (that plugs into the vehicle) and a standard three-prong connector on the other end that plugs into an ordinary household wall outlet. 

If you are in the United States, 120-volt outlets are common and can be found in most homes and garages. Level 1 chargers deliver around 15 amps maximum from a 120-volt socket. This is the most readily available option for most EV owners and makes it possible to charge a vehicle overnight in one’s own garage. The downside to charging your EV’s battery with a Level 1 charger, however, is that it is extremely slow. 

For every hour spent plugged in and charging, you only get 2 to 5 miles of driving range. For that reason, you’ll likely want to only utilize Level 1 charging if you own a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), which, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, can go only around to 20 to 40 miles on average using only battery power. After that, the PHEV will switch over to using whichever fuel type it was designed for, likely gasoline.

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