More people are switching to electric cars for various reasons: they’re cheaper to operate, better for the environment, and more fun to drive.
But one of the main concerns people have about electric cars is what happens if you run out of charge?
That’s where electric car chargers come in. If you drive an electric car, sooner or later, you will need to charge it.
There are various electric car chargers, each with advantages and disadvantages. But will any electric car charger work the same? Let’s find out.
Are All Electric Car Chargers The Same?
The answer is no. There are three types of electric car chargers; Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Charging (Level 3 Charging). Some chargers are designed for home use, others for public charging stations.
Slow chargers(level 1) are the type you would find at your home or a public charging station. They usually take 6-8 hours to charge an electric car fully. Fast chargers(level 2) can charge an electric car in 30-80 minutes, perfect for road trips or long commutes.
Superfast chargers can charge an electric car in 20 minutes, perfect for longer trips. They are also the most expensive, costing $50,000 or more.
Different Electric Car Chargers
Electric cars are becoming more and more popular, and with that comes the need for more charging stations.
There are three types of charging cords for electric cars: standard 120-volt charging, 240-volt charging, level 3, and Tesla-specific supercharging.
A quick comparison;
|Level 1(Standard 120V AC)
||Level 2 (240V AC)
Level 1 (Standard 120V AC) Charging
One way is to use a standard 120-volt AC outlet in your home. This is called Level 1 charging, and it’s the simplest way to charge your car. You just need an adapter that plugs into the outlet and the car’s charging port.
Most electric cars come with a charging cord that plugs into a 120-volt wall outlet, which is how you would typically charge your car overnight.
This charger delivers up to 120-volts AC (alternating current) and usually takes 8-10 hours to charge a car’s battery.
It’s best suited for plug-in hybrids or city cars with a small battery, as it’s slow and not feasible for long trips.
Most homes have a standard 120-volt outlet, so this is a convenient option if you don’t have access to a 240-volt outlet or don’t want to pay for a higher-powered charger.
Level 2 Charging (240V AC)
240-volt charging is much faster than standard 120-volt charging. It can add about 30 miles more of range per hour than the level 1 charger. This charger uses a 240-volt AC outlet and can charge an electric car in 4-8 hours.
All EVs marketed in North America use the standard Level 2 charging port. Any electric car in North America may be charged at any conventional Level 2 charging station. These stations charge at a much quicker rate than Level 1 stations.
However, if you want to install one of these units at home, you’ll need an expert to install the wiring.
If you own a fully electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, or Chevy Bolt, you’ll need to set up an overnight charging station at home. Tesla has its Level 2 at-home chargers.
DC Fast Charging (Level 3 Charging)
DC Fast Charging (Level 3 Charging) is the fastest type of charging and can charge an electric car battery up to 80% in just 30 minutes.
This type of charger is best for people who need to charge their car quickly, such as on a road trip.
There are three types of DC Fast Charging stations: Tesla Superchargers, CCS Chargers, and CHAdeMO Chargers.
CHAdeMO chargers are the most common type of fast charger. There are over 18,000 CHAdeMO chargers worldwide, and they are compatible with most electric vehicles. Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul, Citroen C-Zero, Honda Fit are the popular standard types.
CCS Chargers are the most common type of DC Fast Charging station. They support fast charging and can charge most electric vehicles up to 50 kW.
Volkswagen, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo are some of the most well-known brands in the world.
3. Tesla Supercharger
Tesla Superchargers are the fastest type of DC Fast Charging station. They can charge a Tesla vehicle up to 150 kW and charge a vehicle from empty to full in about 75 minutes.
These chargers are proprietary to Tesla and are the only type of charger that will work with Tesla vehicles.
They are strategically placed along well-traveled routes in North America, Europe, and Asia and allow Tesla owners to recharge their electric cars for free.
Superchargers provide half a charge in as little as 20 minutes, which means that a road trip can quickly be taken with multiple stops.
Superchargers are also being installed in parking garages so that drivers can charge their cars while they shop or eat.
Connectors For Public Charging
The J1772 plug
The J1772 plug is one of the most common plugs for electric vehicle charging. It’s a three-pronged plug that looks like an oversized phone charger.
The J1772 plug has two different levels of charge. Level 1 is for standard 120-volt outlets and provides about 3-4 miles of range per hour of charging. Level 2 is for 240-volt outlets and provides about 10-12 miles of range per hour of charging.
This plug is used worldwide and is a sign of the growing electric vehicle market. Every EV in the US uses the same J-1772 plug (also known as the J-Plug) to charge at Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations.
Teslas also come with an adapter for the J-1772 standard, allowing them to be charged at regular EV charging stations.
The J1772 plug has some advantages over other charging methods. It’s relatively fast, capable of charging most cars in just a few hours.
It’s also safe, using several safety features to prevent accidents. And finally, it’s easy to use.
DC Fast Charging
The SAE Combo (also known as CCS for “Combo Charging System”) and CHAdeMO connections are most often utilized by electric car manufacturers for fast charging.
These two connections are not compatible. Therefore a car equipped with a CHAdeMO port will not be able to charge with an SAE Combo plug. And vice versa is true.
Can I Charge A Non-Tesla Vehicle At A Supercharger?
There has been a lot of debate about whether or not you can charge a non-Tesla vehicle at a Tesla Supercharger.
Tesla’s Supercharger network is one of the company’s most valuable assets. The chargers allow Tesla owners to travel long distances and recharge their vehicles quickly. Superchargers are designed to charge Tesla vehicles exclusively.
Some people have attempted to charge non-Tesla vehicles at Superchargers despite this, and in most cases, they have been successful.
What Size Electric Car Charger Do You Need?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the size of the electric car charger you need depends on various factors.
These may include the make and model of your electric car, the amperage of your home’s electrical system, and how often you plan to charge your car.
That said, most homeowners will only need a standard 120-volt wall outlet to charge their electric car.
If you have a 240-volt outlet installed in your garage, you can purchase a 240-volt charger for your electric car. This will allow you to charge your car twice faster than a standard one.
There are two types of plugs available: a 14-50 plug and a 6-50 plug. For a 40- amp home charging arrangement, the 14-50 plug is required.
The 6-50 plug, on the other hand, is better suited to a home that has been adapted to accommodate a 240-volt charging station.
Electric cars are becoming more popular, as people are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact. As a result, there are many different types of electric car chargers on the market, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
So, how do you know which one is right for you? This article outlines the different types of chargers and gives you some recommendations for brands and prices. The Level 1 and level 2 charging systems mostly use the J1772 connectors, while level 3 has different connectors.
In addition, Tesla has its unique connectors suited for Tesla EV only. We hope this information has been helpful!