By the year 2022, about 79.8% of all installed EV charges in the US were level 2 EV charger types. That’s according to this data by USAFacts. So, what makes these types of chargers so popular and how can you use one? Read on to learn more. Apart from defining level 2 EV chargers, we’ll also be looking at their installation steps and cost.
What is a Level 2 EV Charger?
A level 2 EV charger—or level 2 EV charging station if hardwired to the supply—is used to mean a charger that uses a 208-240V source. This type of device delivers a charging speed of 3-5 hours or up to 30 miles for every hour.
A level 2 EV charger can be NEMA-rated unit that you install in outdoor places, or a plug-in type that you can only use in sheltered or indoor environments. Technically, it plugs into the type of power supply that your electric drier or oven and similar appliances would use.
Level 2 EV chargers can also be chargers that EV owners can use in their homes, or commercial chargers that EV charger companies install in a public places. These then differ both in terms of charging speeds, size, and other features such as portability.
Home Level 2 EV Charger
A home level 2 EV charger is the personal type that you use in the convenience of your home. This can be said to be a level one upgrade, especially when installed on a dedicated circuit to draw enough power for the higher charging speed.
With a level 2 charger, you can get your battery to full capacity in less than 5 hours, which eliminates the need for overnight charging. What’s more, these devices often allow you to set a charging schedule. With scheduling you can take advantage of lower night tariffs to reduce the cost of running your EV.
Depending on your location, you may also want to consider taking advantage of rebates. However, in order to qualify for entry into the level 2 EV charger rebate program, certain requirements must be met. Read more about this program here.
Level 2 EV Charger for Business
Apart from homes, level 2 EV charging stations are common in public or business places. Businesses invest in these to allow EV owners charge their cars when on the move, with the stations offering different levels of charging speeds.
A level 2 EV charger for business will usually be a more sophisticated unit than a home charger, offering a number of control features for both its owner and customers. Apart from being used in public places, these are the types of chargers that companies will usually install for their EV fleets.
Portable Level 2 EV Charger
A portable level 2 EV charger is the most convenient way to charge your electric vehicle. Instead of being wired to your home’s electrical panel, it comes designed as a plug-in unit. This option provides for a versatile charger that you can use both in your home and when away: you only need to find the appropriate outlet.
There are also commercial level 2 portable EV chargers. These are mostly emergency charging stations, or charging units to use where conventional charging stations cannot be accessed.
Level 2 EV charger Specs
Various level 2 EV charger specs define its charging time, power out, and other values. When looking to buy one, these form the guidelines to follow. This is because the charger must meet your installation or charging needs. To give you an idea of what this means, check out this table: it show the various specifications of a level two EV charger.
Level 2 EV Charger Specs
15 to 80 amps
7kW to 19kW
208V to 240v
2 to 4 hours
between 25 and 30 miles per hour
NEMA 14 50 and NEMA 6 50
Note that level 2 EV charger specs such as amperage or power output determine how fast the device is, and must be considered when selecting the type of device to use.
Other specifications such as NEMA rating indicate how well the installed charger is able to stand up to weather conditions. These are necessary if you intend to place the unit outdoors.
How to Install a Level 2 Charger
Installing a level 2 EV charger in your home can save you from having to rely on the commercial charging stations out there. Here is how to go about it.
Step 1: Determine if your service line is EV charger compatible. If not, you may want to consider upgrading to one. A qualified technician can help do that.
Step 2: Find a convenient place to install your level 2 EV charging station or outlet. Many people have it placed in the garage since this is the EV will usually charge from.
Step 3: Have an electrician install a 240-volt circuit from the service panel, also called breaker box, to where you will have your EV charger placed.
- The electrician will determine the most appropriate breaker to protect this circuit.
- Your electrician will also ensure that all local codes for electrical installations are followed.
- If installing a charging station, they will use a NEMA-rated enclosure and plug.
- Level 2 EV charger installation cost will usually range from $500 to slightly over $1000.
How Much is a Level 2 EV Charger?
A level 2 EV charger may be a simple unit with a simple display, or it can be a complex device that can charge large EV batteries. This is the type that you plug into an outlet that’s supplied by a 240V circuit in your home, or a complete charging station installed in a public place or business. The cost for these is different.
Level 2 EV Charger Cost
A level 2 plug-in EV charger may cost from as low as $200 to as high as $1000 or even higher. It depends on its power rating or speed, and the number of features that the entire unit comes with. As an example, chargers that offer wirelessly controlled functions cost more than those without.
Level 2 EV Charging Station Cost
This is often a level 2 EV charger for business purposes, although you can install one in your home. Compared to a home charger, a commercial level 2 charging station is a complex unit with many different features. This can cost several thousand dollars buy and install.
A level 2 EV charger is the midway between a level one and DC fast charger. It’s also available as both a home charging device or commercial EV charging station. This versatility makes these chargers the most used types today, either as portable units or hardwired to their power sources. With each level 2 charging device offering a specified power output, users can also choose what best fits their requirements.