How Powerful Are Home EV Chargers?

If you are looking to purchase an EV, it’s vital that you know what sort of power output you can expect from a home charging unit.

There are different brands and models out there, but there are also a variety of outputs which can differ from house to house depending on what sort of electrical supply your home has.

Let’s not waste any more time…

Level 1 Chargers

Level one chargers are the slowest type of chargers available as they plug into a standard 120-volt (V) AC outlet. The most power output you are likely to get is 2.4kW which isn’t really a practical solution for charging. 

This will only allow about 3-5 miles of additional EV range per hour. That is just not a sustainable outcome, as it would take all night to get 30-50 miles of range. For a lot of people, that is not nearly enough. 

They are no doubt the cheapest to use but also by far the slowest and not really practical for everyday use. Most EV owners would only use level-one chargers in an emergency.

Level 2 Chargers

You could potentially charge up to eight times faster than a level one charger if you were to opt for a level two charger. They have a power output of 6.2kW – 19.2kW and provide a much more convenient solution to home charging. 

A level two charger will require a 240v outlet, which is usually included in many new build homes. If you haven’t got one, you can always hire a local electrician who can usually install it for a reasonable price. 

Using one of these chargers, you can get around 18-28 miles of range per hour which is far better than the level one charger. This would allow an average sized EV to be fully charged in under 8 hours. 

DC Fast Chargers

car charging with angel of north in background

These DCFC chargers are what you will typically find at public charging points such as supermarkets, shopping centres and motorway services. They have the capability to have a maximum output of 350 kW, which could charge your EV to 80% in less than 45 minutes. 

It’s worth remembering, though, that each EV has a maximum charge rate and most may only be able to charge at 50kW. It’s highly unlikely to see these DC fast chargers at home because of the costs involved and the energy demand. They are intended for commercial use only but are the perfect option for when you are on a trip and need to top up.

Choosing The Right Charger

When deciding on which option to go for, take into account, costs, energy usages, how quickly you want to charge and the effect it will have on your daily routine. Are you someone who needs to charge quickly, or have you got hours to waste? 

To determine the appropriate power rating for your charger, you need to consider your vehicle’s battery size and your daily driving needs. A higher power rating charger will charge your battery faster, but it can also put more strain on it, leading to a shorter lifespan.

On the other hand, a lower power rating charger will take longer to charge your battery, but it will put less strain on it, potentially extending its lifespan. Therefore, finding a balance between charging time and battery longevity is important to determine the appropriate power rating for your charger.

Conclusion

As you can see, level two chargers are by far the most common and practical picks for EV owners. They charge at a reasonable speed where you can leave it and return to it in a few hours and see a decent increase whilst not costing you a fortune. 

Level one chargers are just too slow and only really used in emergencies, whilst the DC fast chargers and aimed for commercial use only due to costing a lot of money and pulling large amounts of energy. Make sure you take into account your EV’s maximum charging output when you decide which charging option to go for.

For more information and answers on having electric vehicles, see this page.

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Nick

Nick is the proud owner of a MG ZS EV and is an EV fanatic. He has been featured in notable publications like USA Today and The Times for his expertise in the field.