Over the next decade, the sale of Electric Vehicles is expected grow exponentially, especially in light the Canadian Government's mandate that all new cars and light-duty trucks sold in Canada must be zero-emission vehicles by 2035.
As a result, many businesses owners and multi-unit residential property managers & owners are looking into EV Chargers for their properties.
One of the most common questions we get is what is the difference between level 1, 2, and 3 EV charging?
Let's dive into more details, shall we?
Level 1, also known as trickle charging, is 120V charging using a standard electrical outlet. It is most useful for vehicles that will be parked for long periods of time in a residential setting.
Most automakers almost always include a level 1 charger with the sale of an EV, which can easily be plugged into a standard outlet in your home garage.
Range per hour (RPH): Approx. 5-8 km per hour (3-5 miles) of charge
Charging time: 16 hours (ideally overnight) to fill up an 130 km (80-mile) battery
Cost to charge: Level 1 chargers draw electricity the same way the rest of your appliances do. The cost of charging depends on the type of electric vehicle and the driver habits, but as an example, driving a small EV 13,000 km in a year would cost around $300 - $350/year in electricity, which equals less than $1.00/day.
You can use the BCHydro EV Cost Calculator to see how much it would cost you to charge an electric vehicle based on your annual driving.
Level 2 is the most common and the most useful type of charging station, as they can work up to 6x faster than Level 1 Chargers!
In fact, most public charging stations are level 2. They are 240V volts and can have a rating between 12 - 80 amps.
Range per hour (RPH): Approx. 32 - 96 km per hour (20-60 miles), depending on amps. Some resources quote slightly less at 12-30 miles of RPH.
Charging time: 3.5 hours to fill up an 130 km (80-mile) battery
Location: Residential & Commercial use
Cost to charge: according to Plug 'N Drive, the average cost is approx. $1.00/hour or $2.50 or more charge, but this will vary depending on where you are.
Level 2 charging stations are ideal for times when you'll be parked for at least an hour, such as at work, while you're shopping, at the movies, or eating out at a restaurant.
To charge with a level 2 charger at home, you will likely need to have an Electrician come an install a new dedicated 240V outlet and then purchase a separate charger.
The same goes for installing Level 2 Chargers in businesses or multi-unit residential settings; you'll want to ensure you have an Electrician come and look at the current electrical panel to ensure your property is well-equipped to handle the additional demand load of EV Chargers.
You may also want to consider establishing an EV Ready Plan; through BC Hydro's rebate program, we can assist you with getting a rebate for putting a plan together.
This is a great way to ensure your property is equipped to handle the additional demand load that EV Chargers eventually take on, while also receiving some money back in the process.
Level 3: DC Fast Charging
DC Fast charging provides the fastest charge currently available, utilizing over 480V! They consist of charging networks, similar to gas stations.
Range per 20 minutes: 96 - 160 km (60-100 miles)
Charging time: Can typically recharge a car to 80% in around 30 minutes.
Location: Commercial only
Cost to charge: according to Plug 'N Drive, most DC Chargers are pay-per-use and commonly bill by the minute for an average cost of $15/hour, but this will vary depending on where you are.
Charging at a DCFC station is only effective if your battery state-of-charge (SOC) is below 80 percent. After that point, charging will slow down significantly.
With regards to getting EV chargers installed for your business or multi-unit property, you can reach out to us any time for a consultation on rebates & what the right EV Charger would be for your property.
We work with a number of manufacturers, including ChargePoint, Flo EV Chargers, BreezEV, and Enel X, all of which provide an array of Level Charger options and will be happy to make a recommendation that would best suit your requirements.