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What is the difference between level 1 and level 2 EV Chargers?

EV charging levels are a common question in residential and commercial EV charging.    As the industry developed, EV charging levels linked to the ampage and voltage of the charger became common terminology.

Here are some common questions and terminologies to assist

Can level 1 and level 2 EV chargers be NACS and J1772?

Yes. There are level 2 J1772 EV chargers and level 2 NACS EV Chargers (mostly for Teslas).  There are also level 1 J1772 EV chargers and level 1 NACS EV Chargers

Are level 1 or level 2 EV chargers more popular?

Increasingly level 2 EV chargers are the most popular.  From about 2015, level 1 EV chargers were the most popular since most entry-level EVs were plug-in hybrids with small batteries, so a slower level 1 EV charger was fine.  In the last few years, we have seen significant growth in all-electric vehicles from Ford, Chevrolet, Kia, Hyundai, BMW, and Volvo.  With this growth, level 2 EV chargers have also increased in popularity.

What is the voltage difference between level 1 and level 2 EV chargers?

Level 1 EV Chargers will run at 110-120 volts.   Level 2 EV Chargers will run at 208 volts to 240 volts.  There is some local variation in the voltage supply

What is a level 1 EV Charger best suited or used for?

Level 1, 110-volt EV chargers are used as a travel, backup EV charge placed in the trunk since it will plug in virtually anywhere given it connects to a common 3-pin, residential outlet.   A level 1 EV charger is also well suited to smaller, compact plug-in hybrids such as Toyota Prius, Kia Niro, or Ford Fusion plug-in hybrid vehicles.  TT-30 EV chargers (level 1) are used at camp and recreational ground where this outlet is common

What is a level 2 EV charger best suited or used for?

Level 2, 240-volt EV chargers are used generally as fixed residential EV chargers.   The most common location is in a garage, outside of a garage or other outside building such as a tool or work shed where 240 volt supply is common.    Level 2 EV chargers are best suited for large plug-in hybrids such as a Kia Sorento, pure electric vehicles, and SUVs.

What are the common plug outlet types for a  level 2 EV charger?

The most common are as follows:-

NEMA 14-50

NEMA 6-50

NEMA 14-30

NEMA 6-30

We do not recommend the use of 10-30 or 10-50 level 2 EV charger plug types due to the lack of grounding on these EV chargers.

Is a hardwired EV charger a level 2 EV charger?

Yes, a hardwired EV charger, which is wired directly into the main panel (rather than wired to a plug outlet and plugged in), is a level 2 EV charger.

What charging speeds can be achieved with level 2 EV chargers?

Plug TypeAmpsMiles per hour of EV charging
NEMA 14-50 EV Charger40 amps34
NEMA 6-50 EV Charger40 amps24
NEMA 14-30 EV Charger24 amps18
NEMA 6-20 EV Charger16 amps12

Level 2 EV chargers will continue to grow in popularity as more EV makers switch to larger batteries in order to provide extended ranges for consumers.

difference between level 1 and level 2 EV chargers
What is the difference between level 1 and level 2 EV Chargers?

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