Level 1 vs. Level 2 EV Chargers: A Comprehensive Comparison


The switch to electric vehicles (EVs) is a big change in the car industry. This change is happening because we need more eco-friendly options instead of the usual gas-powered cars. To make this switch work, it's very important to build efficient and reliable charging stations for the growing number of EVs.

EV charging infrastructureEV charging infrastructure

In 2024, the global electric vehicle (EV) market is set to reach about $623.3 billion in revenue. The market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 9.82% from 2024 to 2028, reaching $906.7 billion by the end of this period. By 2028, it's predicted that 17.07 million electric vehicles will be sold, showing how quickly people are adopting these eco-friendly cars or EV’s. And with the EV’s come the EV chargers.

So it’s important for you to know the difference between various EV chargers so that in future we can choose the right EV charger for your electric vehicle.

In this article, we explore the technical and practical differences between Level 1 and Level 2 EV chargers to aid in making informed decisions about EV charging solutions.

Levels of EV chargers

Level of EV chargers determines its power and the type of connector it uses. Different levels of chargers directly impact how quickly an electric vehicle can be charged.

For instance, Level 1 chargers plug into a regular household outlet and are the slowest, taking many hours to fully charge a car. On the other hand, Level 2 chargers use a special outlet and can charge a car much faster, usually within a few hours.

Knowing these differences is crucial for picking the right charger. For consumers, it means finding the best fit for their needs. For businesses and policymakers, it means providing the right infrastructure to support all types of electric vehicles. As more people switch to electric cars, having the right charging options is key to making the transition smooth and convenient.

Everything that you need to know about Level 1 EV chargers

Level 1 chargers represent the most basic form of electric vehicle (EV) charging available and are an accessible entry point for many new EV owners. These chargers use a standard AC (Alternating Current) power supply, similar to what you'd find in typical household outlets used for charging devices like smartphones and laptops. These chargers are mostly installed in homes, residential areas, or sometimes at workplaces.

What are the features of Level 1 chargers

  • Power supply: Level 1 chargers operate on a basic 120V outlet in North America or a 230V outlet in countries like India and Europe, making them universally compatible with home wiring.
  • Output: The power output of Level 1 chargers ranges from 1 kW to 7.5 kW, depending on the voltage and current of the outlet.
  • Charging time: Due to their lower power output, Level 1 chargers are considerably slower than their Level 2 and Level 3 counterparts. For example, a typical EV can take about 8-10 hours to fully charger via Level 2 or Type 2 Charger, making it a feasible option primarily for overnight charging.
  • Target vehicles: These chargers are particularly suitable for vehicles with smaller battery packs, such as plug-in hybrids, which do not require the extensive range of fully electric vehicles.

What are the advantages of Level 1 chargers

  • Convenience: The primary advantage of Level 1 charging is its convenience. Since it utilizes standard wall outlets, no additional installation is necessary, allowing EV owners to charge their vehicles at home without any special equipment.
  • Cost-Effective: Using Level 1 charging eliminates the need for costly upgrades to home electrical systems that are often required for higher-level chargers.

Now let's have a look at the Level 2 chargers

Exploring Level 2 chargers for electric vehicles

Level 2 chargers represent a significant upgrade from the basic Level 1 charger, providing faster and more efficient charging capabilities. Primarily found at public charging stations and increasingly common in private homes, these chargers harness the power of AC electricity at an increased output of approximately 240 volts.

What are the key features of Level 2 chargers

  • Enhanced power output: Level 2 chargers operate at about 240 volts, significantly boosting their charging capability compared to the standard 120 volts used by Level 1 chargers. This higher voltage supports faster charging times essential for commercial settings.
  • Faster charging rates: Level 2 chargers can charge EV batteries 5 to 7 times faster than Level 1 chargers. Typically, a Level 2 charger can add about 20-25 miles of range per hour of charging. This rapid recharge capability is ideal for commercial venues where people can charge their vehicles during shorter stays, such as shopping trips or dining.
  • Specialized plug requirements: Level 2 chargers, because of their higher power output, require a different plug type. In North America, the SAE J1772 connector is commonly used and is universally compatible with all modern EVs, excluding Teslas, which require an adapter. In India, the Bharat AC-001 standard is used, aligning with local automotive standards and ensuring broad compatibility.
  • Prevalence in business and public settings: Unlike Level 1 chargers, which are often installed at private homes for personal use, Level 2 chargers are typically found in public and commercial settings such as parking lots, shopping malls, and hotels. This placement reflects their role in facilitating efficient charging for customers and employees who need to quickly recharge their vehicles while engaging in daily activities.
  • Installation considerations: Although Level 2 chargers are generally more expensive and involve more complex installation processes requiring professional handling, their placement in commercial and public locations justifies the investment. Installations must be planned to ensure accessibility, safety, and compliance with local regulations, making professional assessment and installation crucial.

Level 2 Chargers of Exicom

  • Spin Pro
  • Spin Air
  • Spin Home

To sum it up

As we navigate the ongoing transition towards a more sustainable future, the role of electric vehicles (EVs) continues to expand, bringing the conversation about efficient charging options into sharper focus. Whether you are a new EV owner deciding on a home charging setup or a business looking to cater to the growing number of EV drivers, understanding the key differences between Level 1 and Level 2 chargers is critical.

Level 1 chargers offer a straightforward, cost-effective solution for overnight home charging, making them ideal for daily commuters with consistent routines. On the other hand, Level 2 chargers, with their quicker charging times and higher power output, are better suited for commercial and public venues where faster charging is necessary. This knowledge not only empowers EV owners to make choices that align with their lifestyles but also guides businesses in creating infrastructures that support the adoption of clean energy.

The shift towards electric vehicles is not just about embracing new technology—it's about making informed choices that support both our immediate needs and long-term sustainability goals. By choosing the right type of EV charger, consumers, businesses, and policymakers can play an integral part in shaping an eco-friendly automotive future that promises to transform our roads, cities, and, ultimately, our planet.