Charging into the Future: A Quick Guide to EV Charging Levels

Electric vehicle (EV) use is steadily climbing among consumers and businesses. Most owners share one concern: keeping their vehicles charged and ready to go when needed. There are three levels to EV charging — some you have probably heard about and some that may be new to you. This guide will give you a quick reference to the three levels of EV charging options.

EV Charging Levels

Level 1 Charging - 120V

Level 1 EV charging uses a standard 120-volt outlet that you already have in your household, making it the most accessible choice for EV charging. The catch? It provides a much slower charge rate than a level 2 charger or a dc charger, around 2-5 miles of range per hour, and works best for EV models with smaller battery packs. Although it is the most accessible, Level 1 EV charging is not practical for daily EV users or a vehicle with a large battery pack due to the time it would take to charge fully. This form of charging should only be used for small trips or when you're not in a hurry.

Level 2 Charging - 240V

Level 2 EV charging stations are often installed in parking lots, private residences or garages. Level 2 EV charging uses a 240-volt outlet typically found in newer homes and charges significantly faster than Level 1 chargers. Depending on the battery pack's size, Level 2 charging can add 10-60 miles of range per hour, and is a good choice for those who need to charge their EVs often. It typically takes 4-6 hours to fully charge an EV with a level 2 charger, depending on the model.

DC (Fast Charging) - 480V

DC (Direct Current) fast-charging stations, which some may refer to as level 3, are often found at public EV charging networks and provide the fastest way to charge an EV. A DC charger uses a 480-volt outlet to add 60-160 miles of range in just 10-60 minutes, depending on the battery pack's size and current state of charge. Because of the cost and high-voltage supply required for DC chargers, these are not typically not found in residences.

Different EV Charging Options for Different Needs

Wrapping it up, EV charging stations can offer one of three levels of charging based on the amount and type of power supplied. Level 1 charges at a rate of about 4 miles per hour and works with outlets found in most homes, while Level 2 offers up to 22 miles per hour when using 240-volt outlets like those used for clothes dryers. Finally, fast chargers known as are able to offer up to 80 miles an hour for compatible electric vehicles. 

We hope this post helped shed some light on the various levels of EV charging stations. As electric vehicle usage continues to rise, understanding and thinking about what level of charging station you need is an important decision for anyone that owns an EV whether it be for personal use or business use.


Maysteel manufactures custom enclosures for EV charging hardware, battery racks and energy storage enclosures. Contact our team to learn how we can work with you.

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