Discover the difference between levels of electric car chargers in Australia
We often get asked what is the difference between the levels of ev or electric car charging. It's a great question, and one we get asked a lot! The difference is simply the charge rate (1.4kw to 350kw!) and sometimes the connection type (J1772, Mennekes, CCS2 or Chademo) used to charge all the different models of car sold in Australia and NZ.
The short answer is that, really, you don't need to know the difference between charging levels. If you're finding your manufacturer supplied cable useful and suitable to your charging requirements, then happy days. Some EV drivers often use a mix of home plus public charging, however this is really only useful if there's one near your home or workplace.
If you're after a faster or eco-smart and intelligent and connected ev charger for your new EV, or if there wasn't an ev charge cable supplied with your vehicle, then we have some great EV charging options for you.
Firstly though, let's run through some basics that will help you better understand those options, namely what is meant by level 1, 2 and 3 electric car charging for at home and on-the-road.
Level 1 EV charging at home in Australia and NZ
Depending on the manufacturer, be it Hyundai, Nissan or Tesla you may or may not find a portable electric car charger in the boot of your new EV. This is what's known as a portable level 1 electric car charger, electric vehicle supply equipment or EVSE. You may also hear it referred to as a 'granny charger', which we think is a little ageist and sexist, but simply denotes the fact it's the slowest way to charge.
Your level 1 or portable ev charger provided by your dealer enables you to charge your EV from an ordinary household power outlet or GPO. However, it's limited by the 10amp current supply - which is why it's the slowest way to charge, usually taking a few hours to a full day or two (!) to charge from 0 to 100% depending on the size of the battery in your ev.
This level 1 charger:
Uses a standard 120 or 240V 10 Amp outlet
May take up to 35 hours to fully charge a vehicle, depending on how depleted the battery is and whether it's a hybrid or fully electric vehicle (for more information check our EV Cars Guides pages)
Typically adds (up to) 7 miles (10 km) of range per hour charged
Little or no set-up costs - just plug into a nearby standard socket
Level 1 charger for the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Level 2 EV or Wall charging at home
Now you're talking...the best option for home charging! Consider upgrading to a level 2 wall charging station or wallbox if your vehicle has an electric drive range of around 50 kms or more, or you simply want a faster and more intelligent charger.
We find the main reasons our customers upgrade to a level 2 home wall charger are:
They don't have a suitable power point in their normal parking spot
Don't want the hassle of unravelling the portable charger every time they get home
Want the insurance of having more Ev range, more often
Don't want to get caught out in the event of an unexpected trip.
As we're fond of saying, a great electric vehicle driving experience starts with easy and convenient charging options; this includes finding the right location for your level 2 charging, so it's a simple plug and play!
Level 2 chargers:
Use a 240V circuit and 15 amps or more
Take 2 to 8 hours to fully charge a vehicle, depending on how depleted the battery is and whether it's a hybrid or fully electric vehicle
Typically adds between 19-50 km of range per hour charged
May require a new circuit to be installed by a qualified electrician (yes, we can arrange this for you, please get in touch)
Are available at some work and public sites
Level 2 charging using the eco-smart myenergi zappi - this unit connects to your solar system and uses your self-generated renewable power to charge your EV.
What are the best level 2 Wall chargers on sale in Australia?
Level 3 charging or DC Fast Charging
This level of charging doesn't really apply to home charging options, however it's definitely worth a mention, particularly if you're new to electric vehicle driving.
Level 3 chargers are often known as DC fast chargers and are typically an expensive unit to install, depending the amount of power they can supply. While there are only a handful in Australia and New Zealand currently, many charging networks are growing alongside the demand as new EVs and PHEVs hit the market.
One great thing to note about DC fast chargers is that they're typically Tritium Veefil units; Tritium is an awesome Australian company who manufacture these units in Queensland and we're proud to partner with them on various projects!
Level 3 chargers:
Can charge from 20 to 350kW
Take under an hour, sometimes as little as 15 minutes to charge a vehicle, depending on how depleted the battery is and whether it's a hybrid or fully electric vehicle
Typically adds upwards of 70km of range per hour charged
Are only accessible via a website, app or RFID card
Are available at public sites and can be found via PlugShare
New DC fast charging units are being installed regularly, ready for the influx of EVs and PHEVs