- What is a Level 2 Charger?
- Are Level 2 Chargers the Best Charging Option for Your EV?
- Do All EVs Use the Same Connector?
- Are All Level 2 Chargers the Same?
- How Fast Are Level 2 Chargers?
- Best Level 2 EV Charger: Our Top
Electric vehicles (EVs) are a great investment for mobility, they consume less power, use energy more efficiently, and release fewer or no CO2 or greenhouse emissions. Whether you are looking to charge an EV with renewable energy or regular power from the grid, it is important to have the right Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), better known as an EV charger.
A Level 2 car charger is highly efficient since it can juice up the battery of an EV in less time than regular chargers, allowing EVs to be road-ready in just a few hours. In this article, we answer some of the top questions regarding Level 2 electric car chargers and explain why they might be the best option for you.
EV chargers are categorized by levels: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 or DC Fast Chargers (DCFC). A Level 2 charger is a high-power rate option that can charge your vehicle in less time than a Level 1 charger, while still being suitable for residential and commercial applications. DCFCs, on the contrary, are mainly reserved for large commercial and industrial applications.
Level 2 chargers operate at a split voltage of 240V (two-phase connection in America or single-phase connection in Europe) and feature a high power rating. A regular 240V level 2 charger, usually has a 7kW power rating, but this varies a lot between different models and manufacturers.
If you are looking to charge your vehicle in as little time as possible, a DCFC would be the best choice, since they can feature high-power rates of up to 50kW. However, DCFCs incur a very high capital cost and require a large electrical infrastructure upgrade from the utility increasing costs and causing project delays. This makes them unviable in many cases.
On the other hand, installing the best level 2 EV charger can deliver many advantages. In most cases, a 240V EV charger used for residential and commercial applications will only require a dedicated circuit branch to supply the right voltage and power rate. Only when multiple level 2 EVSE chargers are needed is when a main panel upgrade may be required depending on your electrical infrastructure. Aside from that, a 240V electric car charger can be as easy to install as a level 1 charger, while granting a faster charge speed for your EV. A level 2 electric vehicle charger provides the best balance between cost and performance in the industry.
DCFCs tend to feature different plugs depending on the EV manufacturer, but this is not regularly the case for Level 1 and Level 2 electric vehicle chargers. These types of chargers usually feature a standard plug or connector, receiving the name of type 1 connector.
A type 1 connector used for most 120V and 240V car chargers is an international standard plug known as the SAE J1772 connector or simply as a J connector. This plug was made a standard under the legislation of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standards, number IEC 62196-1.
While it is true that practically all level 2 EVSE chargers feature a J connector under the IEC 62196-1 legislation, 240 volt car chargers vary between models and manufacturers. The main difference between Level 2 240 volt chargers is the different power ratings as explained in the following section, but that is not all. Models can differ in features, power management availability, mounting options, warranties, integrated electrical protections, reliability, and more.
The level 2 240 volt charging stations are extremely fast compared to regular Level 1 chargers. The most common 240V charging station features a power rate of 7.5kW, but Level 2 chargers can feature power ratings going from 3kW up to 20kW.
Charging speed in kilowatt-hour per mile varies between EV models. For instance, charging a 2021 Tesla Model 3 Standard that features a 24kWh/100miles power usage and 62.3kWh battery with a 3kW 240 volt EV charger, will charge 12.5 miles in one hour for a total charging time of 20 hours. The best level 2 charger featuring a 20kW power rate, charges 83 miles in a single hour for a total charging time of 3 hours.
Cyber Switching CSE1 is the best level 2 EV charger for multiple commercial applications including EV fleets, schools, government offices, auto dealerships, hospitals, hotels, apartments, workplaces, airports, and more. One of the best things about the CSE1 level 2 EVSE charger is that it provides a complete degree of electrical protection with all required protection devices and more including RCD, SPD, OTP, UVP, and GFCI.
Moreover, power management features are not common in simple level 2 EV chargers, however, the CSE1 provides a whole remote monitoring system that allows you to verify charging level status plus historical consumption from the EV charger. Additionally, you will gain access to remarkable features like RFID authentication and load management to set up the best time to charge your EVs to avoid unnecessarily high costs during on-peak rate schedules.
Finally, Cyber Switching also developed a solution for cases in which multiple CSE1 are required (for instance in commercial applications) and where the electrical infrastructure is not capable of handling the loads. In combination with the CSE1, the EVMC provides you with a complete solution to maximize the use of your electrical infrastructure, save money, and cover your EV charging needs at the best price.