What is Level 1 vs. Level 2 EV charging?

EV Charging

What is Level 1 vs. Level 2 EV charging?

August 30, 2022

Eric Owski


There are three types of EV charging speeds that every electric vehicle owner should understand: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3/DC Fast Charging.

Level 1 Charging:

Level 1 chargers are the slowest of the three charging options. Generally, they plug into standard 3-pin home outlets and add about 3-5 miles of range per hour. For any EV owner doing more than short local trips, Level 1 charging can be frustratingly slow. Even when you plug in for the duration of an eight hour workday you may only get 24 to 40 miles of range while charging. That said, this can often be the perfect top-up for plug-in hybrid vehicles which often have less than 100 miles of battery-only range.

Level 2 Charging:

Most residential chargers are Level 2 chargers. These chargers can be both tethered and untethered with maximum power dictated by the respective home circuit. Some public and workspace chargers are also Level 2, but go up to 22kW as opposed to the residential Level 2 chargers that fall within the 7.4 kW - 11 kW range. These chargers are most often available for fairly low cost in public areas which makes them quite useful while at work, public areas, or even at home. According to Car and Driver and Consumer Reports, the best Level 2 chargers available are the JuiceBox 40 and the Grizzl-E. (Treehouse is an authorized reseller of both products.) Furthermore, Level 2 charging times also vary depending on your vehicle. On average, the estimated PHEV (plug-in hybrid) charging time from empty is between 1-2 hours when using a Level 2 charger. However, the BEV (battery electric vehicle) charging time from empty is between 4-10 hours. Most Level 2 chargers have capabilities between 32 and 48 amps. More amperage means faster charging, but only if your electric panel can support it! Treehouse Expert can help you select the best charger for your vehicle and home.

Level 3/DC Fast Charging:

These are the fastest charging options to exist. They require a direct connection to the grid because residential power supplies are insufficient. These types of chargers are found at charging hubs, motorway services, and sometimes in car parks. Subscriptions to public charging networks are relatively inexpensive which is helpful because they can add up to 200 miles of range for every 30 minutes charged. This means it is quite possible that cars charge up to 80% within 18 minutes. Furthermore, they use DC (direct current) instead of AC (alternating current) which is a key differentiator. Additionally, the cable and more substantial plug dumps electrons more directly into your electric vehicle’s battery which charges the vehicle about 15 times faster than any Level 3 charger.

Details Level 1 Charging Level 2 Charging Level 3 Charging
Speed Slowest Faster Fastest
Miles of Range per Hour of Charge 3-5 miles 20-30 miles 250 miles
Time to Fully Charge 2-4 days 7-10 hours 1-2 hours
Use Most EVs come with Level 1 portable chargers These charging stations can be installed at home and also found in public Only available in public places (office buildings, community centers, grocery stores, etc.)

Ready to try Treehouse for yourself?

Get a free estimate

Related articles

EV Charging

How long will it take to charge my EV?

August 30, 2022

Level 2 charging adds 20-30 miles of range per hour of charge and will fully charge your vehicle in 7-10 hours.

Nick Sherry
Copyright 2024 Treehouse
License CSLB #1093949