Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular as the world moves towards a more sustainable future.
For those who are already driving an EV or are in the process of buying one, it is important to understand the different charging options available.
In this article, we will explore the three different levels of EV charging and explain their technical specifications, limitations, and benefits.
Levels of EV Charging
There are three levels of EV charging: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Each level is defined by the charging speed and the type of power source used.
Level 1 Charging
Level 1 charging is the slowest form of AC charging. This type of charging uses a single-phase 230VAC connection and can have a power rate of 1.8kW to 2.4kW. This means that the charging speed can be slower, but it can be done through regular home wiring as long as no other high-demand appliances are connected to the circuit.
Level 2 Charging
Level 2 charging requires a single-phase 230V connection for homes or a three-phase 400VAC connection for residential and commercial applications. The charging capacity of Level 2 chargers varies from 3.6kW to 9.6kW and can go as high as 22kW for high-capacity residential and commercial applications. Level 2 charging requires dedicated electrical wiring to operate. Most home EV chargers such as the Tesla Gen 3, Zappi, Wallbox, and Ocular chargers are Level 2 models.
Level 3 charging, also known as DC Fast Charging (DCFC), is the fastest form of charging and uses a high current DC power source. The charging station converts three-phase AC power to DC directly at the charging station, with a power rate of 25kW to 350kW. This level of charging is only available at public charging stations and is not feasible for residential homes as it requires a complex electrical infrastructure and can cost between $50,000 to $100,000 to install.
In addition to the different levels of charging, EVs can also be charged with AC or DC power. Level 1 and Level 2 charging use AC power, while Level 3 charging exclusively uses DC power. DC charging is faster than AC charging as it does not use the onboard charger that limits the maximum current. The AC to DC conversion occurs at the charging station for DC charging, allowing for a higher current to be delivered to the EV and rapidly charging the battery.
Limitations of Charging
The charging speed of an EV is not only limited by the AC and DC power rate of the charger, but also by the charging capacity of each particular EV. This means that using a high-capacity AC charger may not provide the fastest charging time if the maximum charging capacity is limited by the EV manufacturer.
Final Word: EV Charging Levels
The Australian EV industry offers charging options for every type of EV driver, from home chargers to DC Fast Charging stations. After understanding the basics of EV charging, you can choose the best EV charger for you or decide on your next EV based on its charging parameters. With the right charging solution, you can ensure that your EV is always ready to go and support a sustainable future.
revcharge is an end-to-end EV charging service provider.
We take the stress and guesswork out of not only finding an EV charger that meets your needs, but that too of organising a trained technician to install and activate your system.