The higher the level, the faster the charge:Level 1 Charging: EVs can charge using a variety of different methods. If a vehicle is plugged into a traditional wall socket, which will provide 120 volts of electricity, it will get 2-5 miles per hour of charging. This will take the longest to fully charge of the available options, but it shouldn’t require any special charging station or electrical upgrades. However, it is always recommended to contact an electrician directly about EV charging at home.
Level 2 Charging: This will deliver 240 volts of electricity to a battery, which will give the vehicle 10-20 miles per hour of charge. Level 2 often requires the installation of new electrical conduit and a charging station. Those interested in installing a charging station should consult with an electrical contractor to determine the best location for the unit and minimize costs, or a local Clean Cities Coalition can be contacted for assistance. You can also find a process flowchart for residential EV charging installation in the Colorado Electric Vehicle and Infrastructure Readiness Plan on page 58.
DC Fast Charging: This is the fastest way to charge a vehicle. It can provide 60-80 miles of range to an EV in about 20 minutes. Level 3 uses a DC current of 480 volts, and these chargers are being deployed in travel corridors for public use. Currently there are differing standards for fast charging depending on the vehicle manufacturer. One of the standards may eventually capture the majority of the market. Until then, DC fast charger manufacturers are either competing or trying to incorporate all plug standards into one unit.
Home ChargingRoughly 75% of charging events occur at home (Source). A vehicle can be plugged in overnight and have a full range by morning. Charging with Level 1 or Level 2 are both possible, depending on the charging needs of a vehicle. Level 2 generally requires the installation of a charging unit.
Public ChargingAlthough most EV owners charge at home, public charging is vital to combating range anxiety and allowing EV owners to feel more comfortable. Public charging options are expanding rapidly, with charging stations going up at destinations such as grocery stores, movie theatres, and parking garages. DC fast charging provides the quickest charge – making it a good option in some cases for drivers on the go – and many DC fast chargers are planned in the near future for Colorado. Many of these locations are free to use, and this tool can be used to locate nearby charging stations.
Workplace ChargingA workplace is probably the most popular destination for a vehicle, which is why workplace charging is becoming quite popular. Employers offer EV charging as a benefit to their employees and a statement of their commitment to sustainability. Benefits to the employer include positive marketing and branding and LEED certification points. Companies like Google, Coca-Cola, and Dell have joined the Workplace Charging Challenge, a national effort to expand workplace charging. iii. Installation Costs
Residential useIf Level 1 charging is used at home, it is unlikely that there will be a need for an electrical upgrade. If one is required, the cost will likely be under $250. Level 2 charging provides for faster home use; the chargers range in price significantly, with most units priced between $1,000-3,000 (Source). The price is dependent on the charging station unit itself, the electrical upgrades required to handle 240 volts, and the labor for installation. Some auto manufacturers are including the price of a charging station in the total cost of the vehicle along with installation (Source).
Commercial useThe cost for EV charging in commercial settings can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. The average Level 2 charging unit installation ranges in price from $3,000-15,000; the range is heavily dependent on the location of the charging station itself.