You’d think that once you make the switch to an electric vehicle, the need to make big decisions would stop there. Not so! Now you need to decide which type of EV charger to get for your home… and they aren’t all the same! Check out the different levels/modes of electric car chargers so you can decide which one is best for you.
Level 1 (Mode 2)
The Level 1 EV chargers use a single-phase existing PowerPoint on a 10−15-amp system. These are usually used with the specialized cable that came with the vehicle. Level 1 electric car chargers are often chosen for domestic use in single-family dwellings.
These systems allow for about 10−20km of driving per hour of charging, making them great for small-time daily drives (errands, short commutes, etc.). However, they aren’t going to give a car a full charge for a long trip, even with an overnight charge.
Level 2 (Mode 3)
These three-phase systems are specific electric car chargers that use dedicated AC power. They have capabilities of up to 32 Amps, or 22kW.
You’ll see these EV chargers outside apartment complexes, shopping centres, business complexes, hotels, etc. Anywhere where people have their cars parked for an extended period or where plenty of drivers with electric vehicles need charging, you’ll see these. Many EV owners also choose to have them installed in their homes.
Each hour of charging with one of these systems gives a range of 40−100km of distance. You can use one to top off daily driving use or to get a full charge overnight.
Level 3 (Mode 4)
These systems use 40−500 amps (25kW−350kW of energy) through a three-phase DC system.
These chargers are typical at commercial entities and on the side of the road to allow for lightning-fast recharging. The lower-end models can give an EV up to 150km of driving ability for each hour of charge time; high-end chargers can even fully charge a vehicle in 10−15 minutes.
Choosing the Right Model for You
If you are a residential EV owner, the basic Level 1 electric car charger might be fine for you. However, if you are a commercial or government property owner, or you simply want to have a faster-charging product, you have options.