What is a Level 2 EV charger?
Most people know electric vehicles need EV chargers to power their cars. Many EVs come with chargers classified as "Level 1." Like the charger that comes with your cell phone, they are adequate albeit not the quickest. Level 2 EV chargers like the Emporia EV Charger can help you charge more quickly. But how different are Level 1 and Level 2 EV chargers?
Level 1 EV charging is the most basic and common form of vehicle charging. Level 1 grants 4 to 6 miles of range for every hour of charge. So, it is a good solution for home or work charging where the car can be parked for a large chunk of the day (longer dwell time).Level 1 EV Chargers use the normal wall outlet you use for most of your devices (120 volt) to transfer 1.4 to 1.9 kW of energy from a home to an electric car.
Level 2 EV chargers make up the bulk of public chargers across the US. Level 2 supplies 10 to 20 miles of range for every hour of charge. They are a good choice for drivers who need to “quick charge,” be it complex schedules, limited long drive times, or EVs with bigger batteries to fill. These chargers need a dedicated circuit like hot tubs, air conditioners, and clothes driers. They use a 208/240-volt AC electric circuit to transfer up to 19.2 kW to vehicle
Now you know what a Level 2 EV charger is. And you know how a Level 2 differs from a Level 1 charger. So, let’s discuss why you might need one in your home.
1. Convenient charging
A Level 2 charger supplies ample charging convenience because it's a high amperage charge like you get from a public charger that can be accessed in the comfort of home. Many EV drivers live in areas with little or no charging infrastructure. Charging at home is often easier than charging at public chargers and it’s likely one of the reasons most Americans choose to charge this way. There’s no need to find a public charger or wait for one in use. In fact, 80% of EV charging is done at home according to the US DOE. This is likely due to the convenience and low cost of home charging.
2. Faster charging
Here’s a good guideline from Energy Star: If your daily drive is longer than 40 miles, you should think about a Level 2 EV charger. Level 2 charges 3 to 10 times faster than Level 1, depending on a few technical factors (the charge itself, the circuit size, and the max charge rate of the car).
Level 1 is so slow comparatively that an overnight charge may not get a driver with a long commute to and from work. A Level 2 charger not only adds more range in less time, but increases a car’s up time. So, your car can be ready to go whenever you are. For many drivers, the speed alone is worth the investment into a Level 2 EV charger.
3. Energy efficient charging
A Level 2 charger is 10% more efficient than Level 1. Energy efficiency is important, especially in cutting home energy use, because lower consumption means less expensive electric bills. Better yet, it also means a lower carbon output for less pollution.
Additionally, Emporia recommends that drivers should also look for Energy Star Certified chargers. Most Level 1 chargers are not Energy Star certified and therefore use 40% more energy in standby. Emporia’s Level 2 EV Charger is indeed Energy Star Certified.
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4. Rebates, incentives, and tax credits
Level 2 EV chargers come with higher price tags. But they also qualify for ample rebates, incentives, and tax credits. These financial benefits can significantly reduce the burden on your wallet.
To start, the US government offers an alternative fuel tax credit. This supplies a 30% discount on the cost of the charger and its installation up to $1,000 (consult your tax professional for more information).
Also, many states, provinces, and local utilities offer their own rebates and incentives. These can greatly reduce both the cost of an EV charger and its installation. Check these websites in the United States or Canada to see if you qualify.
5. Energy automation
In the age of smart homes, internet enabled smart chargers offer many features that can help manage your energy use, help conserve energy, and increase savings. Smart chargers can improve the EV charging experience by allowing you to control charge sessions from your phone.
It’s common for both chargers and cars to offer scheduled charging. But many chargers now integrate with utility rate schedules to display the true cost of charging. Some chargers take this even further and automate charging based on time-of-use rate schedules. One such charger is the Emporia Smart Home EV Charger. It can be paired with an Emporia Vue energy monitor further expanding its features. Together, the Emporia charger and Vue energy monitor can reduce overall energy consumption by finding and managing wasted energy and supplying control over how energy is used throughout the day.
This Emporia system allows you to set a Peak Demand Goal in the app. Since the Vue knows how much energy your home is using, the Emporia app automatically adjusts your charge rate to meet this goal. Additionally, since the Vue energy monitor also knows if your home is producing solar energy, you can set your Emporia EV Charger to only charge when you’re generating excess solar energy. These powerful features can help you save on your monthly energy bill.
Ready for a Level 2 EV charger?
Emporia’s Level 2 EV Charger is a top-choice for many, whether it’s general EV charging or integrating with a Smart Home. Depending on your car’s charge rate and capacity, schedule, commute, infrastructure, charger speed, energy efficiency concern, or interest in home automation, you may benefit from a Level 2 EV charger.
Explore options from Emporia and other brands that will be best for your needs in our Best Level 2 EV Charger Blog.
Happy driving and charging!