Home » What are charging levels?

EV charging typically come’s under three main categories or levels:

Level 1

Makes use of a Schuko plug or a 3-pin plug in the UK that can be plugged into a standard wall outlet you would have in your home. Level 1 chargers don’t require the installation of any additional equipment. The car comes with a charging cable for this. The regular wall outlets do not deliver very fast charging times or kilometres of range per hour to your car, the reason for this is that the socket is limited in the number of volts and amps that can be supplied. This type of charging is generally done overnight where the car can be standing without use for 8+ hours or more in a hotel overnight stay for example, this type of charging is around 2.3 kW.

Level 2

This type is used for both residential and commercial charging stations. They use a 230-240V connection, and unlike Level 1 chargers, they cannot be plugged into a standard wall outlet. A level 2 charger would need to be installed in a location on the property where the can be parked close to it and have access. With this type of charging an electric car battery can be fully charged in as little as two hours, making them an ideal option if you need fast charging while shopping or having a meal in a restaurant for example. The level 2 Fast chargers include those providing power between 7 kW up to 22 kW, which typically fully charge an EV in 3-4 hours. The most common public charge point found un-tethered meaning the charger only has a Type 2 socket inlet, although tethered connectors are available both Type 1 and 2 connectors.

There are level 2 slow units that cover chargers rated between 3 kW to 6 kW and are best used as overnight charging, as a car will be taking between 8-12 hours for an EV. Typically referred to as 3 kW points, slow chargers can be rated at up to 6 kW.

Many electric car manufacturers, like Nissan, have their own Level 2 charger products. Other Level 2 EVSE manufacturers include Podpoint, Zaptec, Siemens and many more.

Level 3

DC Fast Chargers generally have 3 types there is a CHAdeMO, CCS and Tesla Supercharger stations and have the ability to charge your electric car in just 40+ minutes. Not all electric cars can be charged with the use of DC Fast Chargers, check the with manufacturer before use. A level 3 charger is the fastest way to charge an EV, and are predominantly DC type of charging. This can be split down again into two categories an ultra-rapid and rapid. Ultra-rapid points can charge at between 100 kW and up to 350 kW they are purely DC. Rapid points make up the majority of the rapid charging infrastructure and charge at 50 kW DC often with 43 kW AC rapid charging available at the same station.