EV Charging Levels: L1, L2, L3 Explained

EV Charging Levels: L1, L2, L3 Explained

Green energy is the future, and EVs take a step ahead when it comes to creating a sustainable system and clean energy alternatives in day-to-day life. EVs run on energy, or electricity, to be precise. Thus, they need constant charging, just like any other vehicle. EV charger is equipment that is used for this purpose.

There are different types of EV chargers in the market, and there are also different charging levels for EVs. Let’s now discuss the different types of Ev chargers and make it easier for you to determine which charger would suit you best.

What are the Different Types of Electric Vehicles Chargers?

The different types of EV chargers are broadly divided into three categories, rapid, fast, and slow chargers.

The first type of EV charger is Rapid Chargers. These are the fastest chargers, and they supply either direct current(DC) or alternating current(AC), depending on the model and other technicalities of a  vehicle. But, they choose it according to the time that would be consumed in charging. They charge the vehicles as fast as possible.

They charge the EVs at a normal speed initially, and then once the EV is charged to 80%(It may vary depending on the vehicle), the charging speed decreases, which is good for the battery’s health.

Generally, with a supply of 50kW, it takes up to an hour for the EV to be fully charged, while some vehicles even claim to be charged up to 80% within 20 minutes. They are generally available in the main areas of a country. The only drawback, however, is that rapid chargers only work with certain vehicles that are equipped with fast-charging capabilities.

The second type of charger is a fast charger, also known as a Type-2 charger. They are mostly present in places like supermarkets, car parks, leisure parks, or any place where the cars can be conveniently parked for an hour or so. Depending on the type of vehicle and compatibility of ports, they can provide full charge within 1-2 hours at their best.

The main advantage of fast chargers is that it is compatible with any EV that can take up to 7kW of power intake by using the right type of cable.

The third and last type of charger is the slow charger. These chargers are most commonly available in the market, and the power output is generally between 3kW to 6kW. It usually takes 8-12 hours for the EVs to be fully charged. So, generally, people prefer to put their Evs on charge overnight.

But, one of the advantages that overpowers other factors is that it is available in the comfort of home.

EV Charging Levels Explained

There are two types of charging stations, one that supplies AC and the other that supplies DC. Battery always stores the energy as DC, and so even if AC is being received, a conversion takes place before it gets stored in the battery. So, Dc directly goes to the battery, while AC goes to the onboarding charging slot/converter as shown in the diagram above and is then converted into DC for storage.

There are three levels of charging, L1, L2, and L3. L1 and L2 will supply AC and then, with the help of an onboarding converter, convert that AC into DC. At the same time, L3 will directly supply DC to the EVs. To avoid any confusion, here’s a fact!

AC is the type of current that is received at any station, but while in L1 and L2 charging, the AC is directly supplied, in L3, a converter present at the station itself converts the AC to DC and directly charges the EV with DC as required. L3 is the level that involves fast charging, as it reduces the time-consuming conversion of AC to DC.

How to Charge Your Electric Vehicle According to Level

The three levels of charging are also known as the home level, business level, and fast level of charging. It is because L1 refers to the slow chargers that are used at home. L2 corresponds to the chargers used at stations available in public places, and L3 corresponds to the charging received at the stations equipped with rapid chargers. Since they directly supply DC, they are the rapid chargers. The other options running on AC are comparatively slower.

Rapid chargers charge the EVs fast, then drops the rate constantly till the battery reaches 80% and then becomes slow for the remaining 20%; the AC chargers, however, have a steady rate, which is less than DC chargers till 80% and then slows down at a linear rate for the remaining 20%. 

How to Choose the Right EV Charger for Your Needs

Now that you are familiar with the basics of charging and the levels of charging, it is easier for you to make a choice. The first and foremost thing is the time taken during the charging. Ideally, a person would prefer a rapid charger with an L3 level of charging because it is fast, but with time follows the convenience and even bigger challenge, compatibility.

How-to-Choose-the-Right-EV-Charger-for-Your-Needs

First, you have to check if your EV is compatible with the rapid chargers; if it is, then you can directly go for it. But, another major challenge here is that these rapid chargers are mostly available in the main parts of the country like highways, etc. Is it always convenient in that case? The answer is no!

It is not always convenient, it definitely is good if you live nearby any such station or you are passing by one. Generally, once in a while, people go out. And if, luckily, the mall you have been to has an EV charging station, you can opt for fast charging. But, if not, then what option do you possibly have?

In that case, slow chargers are the ones that worked best for you! You can buy one easily from a local market and then use them at the convenience of your home. Moreover, the level of charging also depends on the location and availability. Hence, the right charging method and level is the one that caters the best to your demand. Additionally, you can also use the application provided by TelioEV to check the live status and availability of the EV charging stations nearby.

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