Powered by batteries, there are many different kinds of EVs and there are different ways to charge them as well. There are slower chargers and faster chargers, chargers that come with the EV, chargers for home use, and chargers for business, chargers which require the car to convert alternating current (AC) into direct Current (DC) inside the battery, and some chargers which use DC electricity from the start. Confused? Don’t be. Below is the short list of basic chargers.
Level One Charging
Despite the popularity of public charging stations, over 80% of EV charging still takes place at home. Cords and equipment for Level One chargers come with the purchase of an EV.
EVSE use about the same amount of electricity as any large appliance, such as a refrigerator or clothes dryer, and so most do not require complicated re-wiring. Level 1 chargers are intended for home use and overnight charging, taking as long as a day to charge an EV fully. Drivers can simply plug in to a regular outlet and charge. Level One chargers only require 120v, and charge a car slowly, generally adding 4-5 miles of charge per hour.
Level Two Charging
Level Two chargers are much faster, more expensive to install, and charge a car at rate of about 25 miles per hour. They’re the choice of most businesses, parking lots, and public garages, although there are home option available like the new Blink HQ 150 which are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install.
Level Two chargers are a great choice for businesses looking to include EVSE as an amenity or paid service, but plenty of people install them in their home garages as well.
The newest addition to the Blink family—the IQ 200 –is a Level Two Charger. Blink IQ 200 Level Two chargers feature a revolutionary 80-amp charging capacity on a 100-amp circuit, allowing drivers to go further and faster than ever before, and allowing your business to save thousands on EV chargers. Our IQ 200 chargers are advanced enough to charge any EV, and future updates can be downloaded without purchasing new equipment.
Level One and Level Two chargers work much the same way. The station charges the EV with AC, or alternating current, then it is converted inside the car to DC, or direct current, to charge the DC battery.
DC Fast Chargers
DC Fast chargers are sometimes called Level 3 chargers and are also popular with businesses, especially truck stops or travel plazas, where customers who want to get back on the road fast are often found.
They do not charge an EV first with AC power, only to be converted to DC inside the car. The reason they are so fast is because they charge the battery directly with DC power.
They usually charge a car over 80% in around a half an hour. They also cost about twice as much as a Level Two charger to use. They can found as an amenity at some 5-star hotels and restaurants.
Not all cars can use DC Fast chargers, while all EVs can use Level Two chargers; they also use a different plug. Fast Chargers cost more to use than the regular energy rate, in fact, usually double, and shorten battery life when used regularly.
Tesla Superchargers are usually as fast or faster than DCFC, but only work for Tesla vehicles. Adapters can allow Tesla owners to use other kinds of chargers.
How They Work
Level 1 and Level 2 chargers work much the same way. The station charges the EV with AC, or alternating current, then it is converted inside the car to DC, or direct current, to charge the DC battery. DC Fast chargers of course get their name because they charge with DC directly, so the energy does not need to be converted inside the car.
Charging sessions with DC Fast chargers usually have a time limit. That’s because they stop charging at the faster rate when the car hits around 80%. If you charge up to 100%, the charge will be as slow as Level 2 charging but cost the same as a Fast charger. Not only is it a waste of time and money to fully charge using a Fast charger, charging to 100% on a regular basis with any charger hurts battery life. Someone who uses a charger to charge from 80% to 100% is harming their own battery, and is unlikely to be popular with those waiting their turn to charge. As a result, DC Fast chargers have a common-sense time limit per use.
Does one seem right to you? Most EV owners use different types of chargers on different occasions, such as whether they can use regular overnight charging or are driving across the country and want to get back on the road fast. Different chargers serve different needs. Blink Charging can help you find the right charger for you.
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