Knowing the types of EV chargers

As electric vehicles (EVs) become more mainstream more people are familiarizing themselves with the different EV charging options available. There are three types of EV chargers with varying speeds at which they can charge a vehicle:

Level 1 chargers

Level 1 chargers provide charging through a standard household plug and have the slowest charge time of the three charger options. Level 1 chargers can provide 2-5 miles of range per hour charged.

Level 2 chargers

Level 2 chargers provide charging through specialized 240-volt charging equipment and can provide 10-60 miles of range per hour charged. These types of chargers must be installed by a qualified electrician and may require an electrical service upgrade to install.

Level 3 chargers

Level 3 chargers provide the fastest charging option. These chargers are not available for residential installation. Level 3 chargers provide 60-80 miles of range in 20 minutes. These charge stations are typically installed in public places or at businesses. With Level 3 chargers available to the public, there are some considerations to think about when installing a charging station:

  • Time limits – Establish time limits on chargers to ensure efficient use of chargers. Remind users of time limits.
  • Managing multiple users -- prohibit users from disconnecting other user’s EVs. Establish a protocol for users who pass their allotted time on a charger.
  • Improper use – remind users of the importance of charging safely. Ensure users store charging cord properly by providing signage for proper storage.
  • Charging considerations – the station owner can decide on charging options. Charging can help recover equipment and usage cost. Charging options include: charging per kilowatt-hour used, time parked or a flat fee.

Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)