Electric Vehicle Charging

Types of Charging Stations

There are currently three levels of electric vehicle charging stations.  Level 1, Level 2, and DC fast charging stations.  Each are rated by the approximate miles of range added to a battery life considering the amount of time charging.  Level 1 charging adds approximately 5 miles of range per hour of charging.  Level 2 charging bumps that up to 25 miles per hour of charging.  DC Fast Charging can add as much as 100 to 200 plus miles of range per hour of charging.


Level 1 chargers are alternating current (AC) chargers that use a standard 120 Volt plug and can be plugged into a common outlet in your garage.  The adapters typically have the standard 3 prong NEMA connector.  The other end is an SAE J1772 standard connector that plugs into the charging port of your electric vehicle.  This charging type is adequate for most commuters not travelling more than 50 or 100 miles per day.  The EV can be simply plugged in overnight to charge 8 to 16 hours before it's next use adding 40 to 60 miles of range to the battery life.


Level 2 charging steps up to 240 Volt residential electrical service or 208 Volt service in some commercial sites.  These are the most common charging stations found in household with EVs as it allows the EV battery to fully charge overnight.  The J1772 connector is used again for Level 2 charging.  This charging capacity is also most common at commercial sites.


DC Fast Charging is becoming more common due to the increase in electric vans and trucks for commercial use.  It provides the fastest charging capability with the higher current and amperage.  There are three type of DC fast charging stations that depend on the type of charge port on an electric vehicle.  The SAE Combined Charging System (CCS), CHAdeMO, and the Tesla. 


Level 1 charging with a J1772 Connector

The CCS is the SAE J1772 connector with two extra bottom pins.  Most EV models available today can charge using the CCS connector. 


Level 2 charging with a J1772 Connector and a Tesla Connector

The CHAdeMO is also a common DC fast connector.  Many brands will have adapters than permit change-over to this charging level. 


Level 3 DC charging with a J1772 Connector, Tesla Connector and the CHAdeMO charge port

Tesla vehicles have unique connectors that work for all charging levels but often need adapters for different charging station ports.  The only exception is that Tesla vehicles have no CHAdeMO charge port and do not provide adapters for this type of connection. 


Additional charging options are rapidly rolling out into the US like SAE J3068 used in three-phase power AC Charging common in industrial or commercial locations.  Extreme Fast chargers like SAE DC Level 2 are being deployed for heavy duty vehicle applications.  We expect further research and development with charging capabilities and potentially different adapters as more EV models come to market.  Most are expected to follow standards so consumers have options when the need to charge away from home arises.

BROWSE THESE OTHER ELECTRIC VEHICLE TOPICS

What EVs Have the Best Range?

Learn More

Can Electric Vehicles Tow?

Get Answers

Are EVs Cheaper to Operate?

Learn More

Are Electric Vehicle the Future?

Get Answers