What Type of Charging Station Do I Need for My Electric Car?

If you're looking to charge your electric vehicle quickly and effectively, learn about the different types of charging stations available and which one is right for you.

What Type of Charging Station Do I Need for My Electric Car?

If you're looking to charge your electric vehicle as quickly as possible, you should opt for a Level 3 charger. These charging stations provide great autonomy in a short amount of time, but are only effective if the state of charge (SOC) of the battery is less than 80%. Every new electric vehicle comes with a Level 1 charging station, which can be connected to a standard 110-volt household wall outlet with a grounded connection and generally does not require any updates to the service panel. A Level 1 charging station will deliver approximately 5 miles per hour of charging.

The fastest way to charge is with a 240-volt outlet, like the one that would power an electric clothes dryer. This level of charge can be found at public charging stations, wall units, or 240-volt outlets in the home. With it, a Level 2 charge can take between 4 and 7 hours. Level 2 could be the right choice if you're driving a battery-powered electric vehicle, such as a Tesla Model 3, as these cars have larger batteries that require longer charging times.

Nowadays, new electric cars come with portable charging equipment that allows you to connect them to any 120-volt outlet. As you can guess, there are a lot more public charging stations for electric vehicles with CCS1 connectors than there are Tesla stations. Most homes have 240V service available and, since Level 2 equipment can charge a typical electric vehicle battery overnight, electric vehicle owners often install it to charge it at home. Not surprisingly, there is an increasing demand for electrical charging from consumers, especially in level 3 fast charging.

An electric vehicle owner can purchase an adapter from Tesla to J1772 and connect a destination charger to the charging port of their car. Level 2 AC equipment (often referred to simply as Level) provides an electrical service of 240 V (typical in residential applications) or 208 V (typical in commercial applications). Drivers with longer trips or who want faster charging or longer electric driving range should also consider choosing a Level 2 charging station. While a third-party adapter works for Tesla Destination Level 2 chargers, non-Tesla electric vehicles cannot yet use Tesla's fast chargers.

For example, some electric vehicle models may find that the frequent use of fast DC charging can adversely affect battery performance and durability, and recommend minimizing its use. The electric vehicle manufacturer provides you with a mobile charging cable that can be connected to a normal household outlet or to a more powerful 240-volt outlet (as shown above) that you would use to power an electric clothes dryer. If charging at home isn't an option or if you need to “recharge” during the day to do some additional tasks, recharging at the workplace is another practical place to charge your car. To calculate how long it will take to charge the full battery capacity, consult the manufacturer's documents to determine the battery capacity of your electric vehicle.

A popular electric vehicle lifestyle strategy is to install a more powerful 240-volt wall unit at home for convenient Level 2 fast charging. Many employers are installing charging for their employees, so check with your company to see if this is an option for you. Consumers and fleets that are thinking of using electric vehicles (EVs), including fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), need access to charging stations.