What’s the difference between level 1, level 2, and level 3 charging?

Level 1 EV charging – plug your vehicle into a standard 120-V outlet, similar to plugging in a lamp or a toaster. EV drivers typically plug in at home in a garage or driveway. It takes a long time to charge a vehicle’s battery when utilizing 120-V Level 1 charging, usually 12 hours or more.

Level 2 EV charging – plug into a 240-V outlet, like your electric dryer or stove may use. Some EV owners may install a 240-V outlet in their garage for faster charging. Some businesses may have a Level 2 charging station open to the public. With the voltage and amperage of the Level 2 charger, the EV battery may take 4 to 8 hours to charge. Many publicly available Level 2 chargers are being installed throughout the United States, and there is a movement to install Level 2 chargers at home.

Level 3 charging (also called Direct Current Fast Charging) - Level 3 chargers use three-phase 277/480-V service, which requires a larger transformer and access to three-phase distribution lines. While installing a Level 3 charger is costly, it is the way of the future for faster public charging; a vehicle takes just 30 to 60 minutes to attain a healthy charge.