When selecting the appropriate electric vehicle (EV) charger for your home or private garage space, it is important to think carefully about which type would best suit your individual needs. It is important to note that studies have shown that over 80% of EV charging happens at home rather than in public by drivers, so it is critical to have a charging plan in place before bringing home your first electric vehicle.
Home Charging Options: Level 1 or Level 2
- Level 1 chargers can be plugged into any standard 120V outlet, with the other end being plugged directly into the car. Typically, these chargers can add anywhere from 100-150 miles of range in 16-20 hours (so almost one full day of charging). Typically, a level 1 charger is included with the standard purchase of a new electric vehicle or is a cheap upgrade to come included upon purchase from a dealership.
- Level 2 chargers are usually plugged into a 240V outlet, which charges up to seven times faster than a Level 1 option. Choosing this solution usually requires the help of an electrician, as oftentimes outlets or electrical work needs to be adjusted depending on your charging needs and availability of an outlet within 15-20 ft of your car when parked.
How do I know which charger type is right for me?
There are several factors which would contribute to this decision-making process, including but not limited to the following:
What type of electric vehicle you drive (a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle)
How much range your EV has
How far you commute in an average week
How often you travel by car more than your range
How often you can charge at home, or whether you are able to at all
Considering how many EV models you own
Key Differences between Level 1 and Level 2 Home Charging
Level 1 chargers are usually included with the purchase of a new or used EV, so they’re typically more readily available upon obtaining an electric vehicle. They do not require electrician installation and are the most user-friendly upon first use, unless of course you do not have any 120V outlets where you park (almost all home and commercial garages do). They only require knowing how to plug in the charger into a standard outlet, which is as easy as charging your smartphone, a small household appliance, or a tablet. However, they are slow and would be insufficient for everyday use for those relying solely on all-electric power for commuting.
Level 2 chargers are fast, reliable, and are easy to use once installed. They often require the assistance of an electrician, being that they usually need at least a 240V outlet (the same kind you use to power a refrigerator or washing machine at home). They are almost never included with the purchase of an EV, so it is up to the driver to select the charging solution that is right for them. For example, the TurnOnGreen EV700 Level 2 Home Charger is available now and would be purchased separately from the vehicle. However, they do cost more than Level 1 charging, and some people cannot install a 240V port in their space.
In Conclusion, Here Are Our Recommendations:
Picking the right kind of charger for your needs isn’t easy. But we are here to give you our final expert thoughts to help in your decision-making process. We do recommend that those driving an all-electric vehicle seek out a Level 2 charger, being that you’ll need the fast overnight sessions to always have reliable power. However, if you drive a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV), that decision rests with you through considering the factors listed above.
Many people find that a Level 1 charger is sufficient power for those who have gasoline as an alternative, or little range to begin with on electric in their plug-in hybrid car. Although it is somewhat rare, some all-electric vehicle owners simply don’t drive often (less than once or twice per week) and find a Level 1 charger works best for their budget and needs as well.
However, although a Level 2 charger is more expensive, we would recommend it to anyone (PHEV or all-electric) who drives more than 50 miles daily and wants to use exclusively electric power or wants to cut out the gas station in their plug-in hybrid altogether.