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Level 2 EV Chargers

Level 2 ev charging has increased in popularity over the last 5 years.  With the exception of Tesla, which developed its own supercharged infrastructure in commercial locations, most non Tesla electric vehicle owners had to figure out the best way to charge their cars.  We created this simple glossary on level 2 ev charging to simplify things.
What is level 2 charging?
Level 2 charging simply is the fastest available charging you can find at home.   All homes have power capable of supplying level 2 charging.  If you look at your circuit breaker at home you will see typically 30, 40 and 50 amps circuits.  These were traditionally used for electric dryers, washing machines, hot tubes and power tools.  Level 2 electric vehicle chargers use these circuits with typically upto 250 volt supply (The voltage rating provided is the highest voltage allowed for use with an electrical device such as an EV chargers).  Most level 2 EV chargers are 240 or 250 volt.  Houses nearly receives 240V for appliances like A/C, clothes dryers etc. Typically your electric vehicle will come with a level 1 charger, taking much longer to charge than a level 2 charger.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is level 2 EV charging?

Level 2 EV charging is the most popular of residential EV charging.  Level 2 EV charging includes anything generally from 20 amps to 48 amps and at a nominal 240 volts.  Level 2 EV charging generally means it is a lot quicker than level 1 EV charging.

Level 2 EV charging grew in popularity following the launch of the Tesla residential EV charger range. The most popular plug-in level 2 EV charger is the NEMA 14-50 type (NEMA 14-50 refers to the name of the receptacle).

It increased in popularity due to Tesla launching level 2 EV chargers, the increase in electric only EVs (bigger batteries) and the recognition of level 2 plug receptacles being already available in some homes.

It normally operates between 208 and 240 volts depending on local supply.  AEFA EV chargers will work at all voltage levels within this range.

Level 2 charging simply is the fastest available charging you can find at home.  A level 2 EV Charger will provide typical charge times of 6-8 hours for electric vehicles.  It also avoids the lines at commercial charging stations and with full overnight charges, reduces range anxiety.,  Typically, your electric vehicle will come with a level 1 charger, taking much longer to charge than a level 2 charger.

The following U.S. National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) plug types can provide the voltage and current capacity for level 2 electric vehicle charging – NEMA 6-20, NEMA 6-30, NEMA 14-30, NEMA L14-30, NEMA 6-50 and NEMA 14-50.  NEMA 10-50 and NEMA 10-30 J1722 EV chargers are capable of level 2 charging but neither plug has a grounding wire and often a neutral wire is used instead, which creates an electrical safety hazard during or after charging.

Frequently Asked Questions

The main reason is speed.  Avoid range anxiety with half charges or complete your charging overnight when electricity is cheaper thanks to quicker charger times.  This is especially good for pure battery electric vehicles, which have bigger battery packs than plug in hybrid vehicles.

Level 2 charging stages essentially take in a residential voltage supply of over 200 volts.    Level 2 charging will typically charge an electric vehicle at a range of 12-60 miles of driving range per hour (this depends on a few factors such as battery acceptance rate, ev charger supply power, the age of vehicle with effective battery capacity reducing over time and use of DC charging which can affect battery efficiency over time).    Level 1 charging aka trickle charging uses a 120V residential household outlet and only gives 4-6 miles of range per hour. 

Put simply, the difference is that level 2 charging is alternating current (AC) charging whereas direct current (DC) charging is non-residential charging.  All homes receive AC current therefore DC current is only found in commercial sites such as malls, supermarkets and commercial electric vehicle charging locations.    The lithium ion battery can receive both AC and DC current, the latter when the battery accepts the current directly rather than converting it.

The answer is speed.  A level 1 charger will provide typically 1.4 kWh of power to the car’s battery whereas a level 2 charger can provide up to 9.6 kWh (40 amp level 2 J1772 charger).  If the battery size of your electric vehicles is 20 kWh, then a level 1 charger could take around 14 hours to charge whereas a level 2 charger around 2.5 hours.  Level is 120 volt charging and typically uses a standard household outlet (NEMA 5-15)

Yes.  The price difference is typically about $150-$200 depending on the amperage and length of the charging cable.  A level 2 charger will typically charge your car faster (assuming the battery can accept more current aka on board charging capacity) and it will help future proof you as electric car batteries get larger, so you can “fill” these larger batteries more quickly.  A NEMA 6-50 or NEMA 14-50 are the ideal level 2 charging stations (Tesla typically uses a level 14-50 charger) since they are the fastest charging speeds

Over time we expect more electric vehicles to charge at higher rates (acceptances) and have bigger batteries.  This makes level 2 charging the right solution. 

The more amps the faster your charging speed.  A NEMA 14-50 or NEMA 6-50 level 2 charger (40 amp current)  provides a maximum 9.6 kilowatts per hour to the car battery.  A NEMA 14-30 level 2 charger (24 amp current) provides a maximum 5.8 kilowatts per hour to the car battery.  If an electric vehicle has a 50 kilowatt battery, then a 40 amp current would charge in approximately 4.5 hours whereas a 24 amp current would charge in approximately 8.5 hours (assuming the car battery on board charger has an acceptance rate of at leas 9.6 kWh per hour or more)

Ev chargers have fragmented into different power options.  This is to match the available power options (plugs in the home) and tap into your existing outlets.   Level 2 chargers typically have current ratings of 12, 16, 20, 24, 32, 40, 48,  64 or 80 amps.   12 to 40 amps (on a 50 amp circuit breaker) are the most common in a residential home. 


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