Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are available in three different levels – Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. These levels vary in terms of charging speed, power distribution, and charging time. Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations use alternating current (AC), which comes from the wall source and is converted to DC by the on-board charger found in the vehicle (factory installed). Level 3 charging stations, on the other hand, use direct current (DC), which comes directly from the grid, enabling faster charging times and higher power output.
Level 1 Charging Station:
Level 1 charging stations are an introductory charging solution typically utilized for hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). These EV stations draw power from a 120-volt supply and can charge a vehicle at a rate of 3 to 5 miles per hour. While this charging rate may suffice for shorter journeys, it is generally not recommended for frequent use with fully electric vehicles.
Electric vehicle (EV) consumers have the option to purchase Level 1 charging equipment from a variety of vendors, although some may already be included with the initial purchase of the vehicle.
Connectors: J1772, Tesla
Locations: residential and a few businesses
Level 2 Charging Station:
Moving up to the mid-tier level is the Level 2 charging station, which is commonly found in residential, retail establishments, office buildings, and sports arenas. Level 2 charging stations use a 208-240-volt power supply and can charge a vehicle at a range of 12 to 80 miles per hour. This level of charging station can fully charge a vehicle in 6 to 12 hours, making it a convenient option for drivers who need a charge while they go about their daily activities.
Connectors: J1772, Tesla
Volts: 208 to 240
Locations: corporate, businesses, multifamily dwellings and a few residential
Level 3 Charging Station:
The highest tier of EV stations is the Level 3, which is also referred to as a direct current fast charge (DCFC) station. These charging stations use a 400-900-volt power supply and can charge a vehicle at a rate of 3 to 20 miles per minute, making it the fastest power source available on the market. Level 3 charging stations are typically found in corporate settings, public areas, and travel stops along highways. For businesses interested in DC fast chargers, Volta’s network program provides a cost-effective, streamlined path to investment.
Connectors: CHAdeMO & Tesla, Combined Charging System
Volts: 400 to 900
Locations: corporate, businesses and public areas
For business owners who are considering to invest in EV charging stations, it’s important to have a good understanding of the different charging levels and what they offer. This knowledge can help you make an informed decision that suits your needs and goals.
EV Charging Station Comparison
Rate per Hour
Time to Charge
1 - 1.4 KW
3 - 5 miles
30 - 40 hours
39 - 19.2 KW
12 - 80 miles
2 - 5 hours
24 - 300 KW
75 - 1,200 miles
30 - 40 minutes
The power acceptance capacity of electric vehicles can cause a significant variance in the charging estimates,
making it important to consider this factor.