EV Charging Levels
by Pat Goss
So, you need a new vehicle, and you’re thinking about something with electric propulsion. That might be an EV, an electric vehicle, or a plug-in hybrid. Either way, you go about it, you need to recharge the battery in that vehicle.
Now, most of them come with a Level One charger such as we see here. Now, this Level One charger plugs into the regular household outlet and it’ll charge the battery slowly, consider it kind of a weekend charger. Now, what that does is that for every hour that you charge the battery, you’re going to get 4 to 5, maybe 6 miles of travel out of your battery.
So, you’re probably going to want something better than that, so the next step up is a Level Two. Now, this is a little bit different because you may have to have an electrician come in and do some wiring, because it requires a 220-volt input. Now, the advantage to this is that it charges the battery more rapidly.. in other words, for every hour that it charges your battery, you’re going to get 10 or 12 miles of travel out of the battery.
Now then, Level Three: Now these are mostly commercial and you’re going to find them in the big box store parking lots and along the interstates and so on. They have the ability to give you about an 80% charge in under an hour. So, you see some super-chargers and all of these different things that people talk about.
Well the thing to remember is that no matter what the charger has the ability to put out, the only thing that will go into your battery is what the architecture and battery of your car will accept. In other words, if you have the capacity to accept 50 kilowatt-hours into your battery, into the system of your car, and your plugged into a 150 kilowatt-hour system, then all you’re going to get is the 50, not the 150.
So, if you do your research and understand the chargers and what your car can accept, and you match the two together, you’ll have a much better experience with your electric vehicle.