Have you ever used a household outlet to keep your gasoline car battery from dying when it’s freezing cold outside?
Yes? Did you know you can also charge your EV battery with the same outlet? In the world of electric vehicles, this type of charging is called level 1 charging. The charging station for this type of charging is usually supplied with the car. Therefore, all-electric vehicle owners have access to level 1 charging.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: “All I need to charge my EV at home is a household outlet? Easy peasy!”
Just a moment! There’s more to know about electric car charging speed and how to use level 1 charging.
Although using a level 1 charging station is the most straightforward way to start charging your EV at home, it is generally only used for emergencies and roadside troubleshooting. Most of the time, it stays in the trunk of the vehicle. Here’s why:
Level 1 charging stations are 120-volt plugs:
- It can take over 24 hours to deliver an optimal battery charge of 80% at a speed of about 9 km per hour
- They can only charge one electric car at a time (the plug cannot be used by other appliances either).
A standard household outlet is what a Level 1 charging station plugs into.
You now understand that if you want to take advantage of a faster charging speed at home, you will need to equip yourself with a more efficient charging station.
The fastest way to charge your electric car at home is with a level 2 charging station. It can be installed on the side of your house, in a garage or your private parking lot. Also, it needs to be wired directly into your domestic electricity supply and may require a certified electrician to do so.
Level 2 charging stations have a 240-volt plug:
- It can deliver an optimal battery charge of 80% in 4 to 5 hours at a charging speed of about 22.5 km per hour for a plug-in hybrid and up to 45 km per hour for an all-electric vehicle
- It is plugged into a special outlet or connected directly to the electrical panel.
A level 2 charging station is therefore a key element in truly enjoying all the advantages of charging at home: its practicality, ease of use, reliability and savings!
What about level 3 charging stations?
While faster charging stations exist, they cost thousands of dollars and have energy needs that surpass what is available in a home. As a result, they are currently only used for public charging. If you’d like to learn more, check out our comprehensive guide to charging an electric car.
Equip your home with a Level 2 charging station
If you plan on charging your EV at home, the next key step is to equip your home with a level 2 charging station. These vary more and more in response to the increase of electric vehicle models available today. You’ll consequently have to choose a charging station that best suits your needs and your lifestyle.
Some models are mounted to a wall, others are available as plug-in versions and can be moved. There are “smart” level 2 charging stations that allow you to view your charging history or even schedule charging sessions at specific times of the day. Some charging stations are better suited for cold weather than others.
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