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How to choose the right Level 2 Charger for your electric car

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As more people are switching to electric vehicles (EVs), the demand for Level 2 charging stations has also increased. Level 2 chargers offer faster charging times compared to Level 1 chargers, making them more convenient for EV owners. However, not all Level 2 chargers are created equal, and choosing the right one for your electric car can be overwhelming. In this article, we will discuss how to choose the right Level 2 charger for your EV.

1. Consider the Amperage

When choosing a Level 2 charger, one of the most important factors to consider is the amperage. Amperage, also known as current, is the rate at which electricity flows through the charger to your EV. The higher the amperage, the faster your car will charge. Most Level 2 chargers have amperages ranging from 16A to 80A, but the most common amperage is 32A.

It is important to check the amperage of your EV’s onboard charger before choosing a Level 2 charger. For example, if your EV’s onboard charger can only handle 30A, there is no point in getting a Level 2 charger with 40A or higher amperage, as your car will not be able to take advantage of the higher amperage.

2. Consider the Connector Type

Another important factor to consider when choosing a Level 2 charger is the connector type. There are two common types of connectors for Level 2 chargers: the J1772 connector and the Tesla connector. The J1772 connector is a standard connector that is compatible with most non-Tesla EVs, while the Tesla connector is only compatible with Tesla vehicles.

It is important to choose a charger with the correct connector type for your EV. If you have a Tesla vehicle, you will need a Level 2 charger with a Tesla connector, while if you have a non-Tesla EV, you will need a charger with a J1772 connector. Some Level 2 chargers come with both connector types, so you can use them for both Tesla and non-Tesla EVs.

3. Consider the Charging Power

The charging power of a Level 2 charger is measured in kilowatts (kW) and is a combination of the amperage and voltage. The higher the charging power, the faster your car will charge. However, just like with amperage, it is important to check your EV’s maximum charging power before choosing a Level 2 charger. For example, if your EV’s maximum charging power is 7kW, there is no point in getting a 10kW Level 2 charger, as your car will not be able to take advantage of the higher charging power.

4. Consider the Brand and Model

There are many brands and models of Level 2 chargers on the market, and it is important to choose one from a reputable brand that is known for its quality and reliability. Some of the most popular brands of Level 2 chargers include ChargePoint, ClipperCreek, and Siemens. It is also important to choose a charger that is compatible with your EV’s onboard charger and that has a warranty in case anything goes wrong.

5. Consider the Location

When choosing a Level 2 charger, it is important to consider the location where it will be installed. Will it be installed in your garage or outside? Will it be exposed to the elements or protected from them? Will it be installed on a wall or on a pole? These factors can affect the installation process and the cost of installation.

6. Consider the Cost

The cost of a Level 2 charger can vary greatly depending on the brand, model, and features. Some chargers can be very expensive, while others are more affordable. It is important to set a budget for your Level 2 charger and find a charger that fits within your budget. However, it is important not to compromise on quality or reliability for the sake of a lower price.

7. Consider Additional Features

Finally, when choosing a Level 2 charger, it is worth considering any additional features that may be useful for your specific needs. Some chargers come with built-in WiFi, allowing you to monitor the charging process from your smartphone or computer. Others have a delay start function, allowing you to schedule charging for off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower. Some Level 2 chargers also have the ability to limit the charging power, which can be useful if you have a limited electrical supply or want to avoid overloading your electrical panel.

When making your final decision, it is important to remember that a Level 2 charger is an investment that can significantly improve the convenience of charging your EV. It can also increase the resale value of your car, as many potential buyers will be looking for a home charging solution. Therefore, it is worth spending some time and effort to choose the right Level 2 charger for your needs.

In addition to choosing the right charger, it is also important to ensure that your electrical panel and wiring are compatible with the charger. It is recommended to have a licensed electrician install the charger to ensure that it is done safely and correctly.

In conclusion, choosing the right Level 2 charger for your electric car can seem overwhelming, but it is worth taking the time to research and compare different options. By considering factors such as amperage, connector type, charging power, brand, model, location, cost, and additional features, you can find a charger that meets your needs and provides reliable, convenient charging for your EV. Investing in a Level 2 charger can significantly improve the convenience and value of owning an electric car, making it a worthwhile investment for any EV owner.

 

FAQ

It depends on the connector type of the charger and the car. Most Level 2 chargers use a standard J1772 connector, which is compatible with most electric cars. However, some cars, such as Teslas, require an adapter to use a J1772 connector. It is important to check the connector type of both the charger and the car to ensure compatibility.
The charging time depends on the battery size of the car, the charging power of the charger, and the charging level of the battery. Generally, a Level 2 charger can charge an electric car in 4-8 hours, depending on these factors.
It is not recommended to install a Level 2 charger yourself unless you are a licensed electrician. Improper installation can be dangerous and can cause damage to your electrical system or the charger itself. It is recommended to hire a licensed electrician to install the charger to ensure safety and proper installation.
While a Level 2 charger can have a higher upfront cost than a Level 1 charger, it can actually be more cost-effective to charge with a Level 2 charger in the long run. This is because a Level 2 charger is more efficient and can charge an electric car faster, reducing the amount of time spent charging and potentially reducing the overall cost of electricity.
Some public charging stations use Level 2 chargers, and these can be used to charge your electric car. However, it is important to note that public charging stations may have different connector types or charging speeds, so it is important to check compatibility and charging speed before using a public charging station.

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Nick Zamanov
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Nick Zamanov is a head of sales and business development at Cyber Switching. He is an expert in EV infrastructure space and he is an EV enthusiast since 2012, Since then Nick strongly believed that electric vehicles would eventually replace Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars.

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