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What is Level 2 Charing

Level 2 charging refers to a hardware standard used by most electric vehicles. An electric vehicle, or EV, plugged into a Level 2 charger can add about 25 miles of range per hour, which is about five times faster than a Level 1 charger, and it’s the most powerful EV charger you can install at a residential location. More than 3 in 4 public chargers are Level 2 chargers. 

What is a Level 2 charger?

Level 2 chargers are the fastest available at-home charging method for electric vehicles. They’re able to fully charge most batteries overnight. 

Most EVs are compatible with three different levels of charging. The biggest difference among them is speed. Level 2 charging represents a middle ground between Level 1 and Level 3 charging:

  • It attaches to your car with the same connector as Level 1 charging, but it charges about five times more quickly, due to the more powerful connection on the other end of the charger: 240 volts to Level 1’s 120.

  • A Level 2 connector is a universal standard: Nearly every new EV can connect to the same Level 2 charger. The outlier is Tesla, which uses a proprietary connector. You can use an adaptor to charge a Tesla with a standard Level 2 connector. 

  • Level 2 chargers can be installed at residential locations, but they’re also popular public chargers: Nearly 100,000 Level 2 charging ports are available across the country at public locations.

  • Public chargers appear in a variety of places, including parking decks, retailers, downtowns and workplaces.

Other EV charging levels

Level 1 charging is the slowest, adding about 5 miles of range per hour. But it is highly flexible: Nearly every new EV comes with a Level 1 charger, and you can plug it directly into a standard electrical outlet. Charging at home is usually cheaper than charging at a public charger, so it’s also a budget-friendly option.

Level 3 charging is fast. You can add hundreds of miles in less than an hour. It is usually the most expensive option, however, and charger locations are concentrated along interstate highways or other large thoroughfares. These high-powered chargers also can’t be installed at residential locations.