There are three main types of charging equipment or EV supply equipment (EVSE) that exist, and PEVs (plug-in electric vehicles) can be charged in a variety of places. However, not all EVSE are suitable for every location or activity. This is because, depending on several factors, including your EV model and what kind of EVSE you are using, the rate at which your battery charges can vary substantially. Therefore, with a wide range of possible charging times, different EVSEs are classified by how quickly they can charge a battery. The different classifications, which are in order from slowest to fastest charging rate, include Level 1, Level 2, and Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC), detailed below.
- Level 1: Supplies electricity through the standard 120 Volt (V) alternating current (AC) outlet that you would find in your home. Level 1 charger can provide between 2 to 5 miles of driving range per hour of charging. Roughly 8 hours of charging with a Level 1 EVSE can supply 40 miles of electric range for a mid-size PEV.
- Level 2: Supplies electricity through a 240V AC outlet in residential spaces or 208V AC in commercial spaces. Level 2 charger can provide roughly 10 to 20 miles of driving range per hour of charging.
- DCFC: Unlike Level 1 and 2 chargers, DCFCs use a direct current. It can provide anywhere from 60 to 80 miles of driving range for every 20 minutes of charging.
For more information on the differences between the different types of EV chargers and their required connectors, check out the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center.