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Electric Vehicle FAQs
Need help understanding the language around EVs and their charging stations? We can help!
The three levels of EV charging are Levels 1, 2, and 3 (also known as “fast” or “DC” charging). As the charging level increases so does power delivery and the speed at which your EV can charge. Level 1 is the slowest charging speed available. Level 2 is much faster and often publicly available. Level 3 is the fastest but not the most accessible due to energy requirements, cost to install, and proprietary chargers and networks.
Level 1 Charging
- Level 1 is the most accessible as it is uses 120 -volt outlets, outlets commonly found in a home. This accessibility comes with the tradeoff of it being the slowest EV charging method at around 3 to 5 miles per hour charging speed. This slower charging speed works well with hybrids that have smaller electrical batteries, but if you have a fully electric vehicle that you travel with a considerable distance daily, then the next level of charging might be better for you.
Level 2 Charging
- Level 2 is the most common kind of charging you will find out in public and operates at 240 volts. You might find these on along streets, parking lots, and in parking garages around the city. Level 2 has charging speeds of 12 to 80 miles per hour based on what the charging station you use is outputting and what your vehicle can accept in the form of charge rate. The speed of level 2 chargers means you can most likely bring your vehicle to a full charge overnight.
Level 3 Charging
- This is the fastest charging type with speeds from 3 to 20 miles per minute. These chargers use Direct Current (DC) instead of Alternating Current (AC), resulting in quicker charging for your vehicle. Level 3 chargers are the least common due to the power requirements needed to run. Level 3 chargers can be found in some public locations.
Every EV except for Teslas use the plug called J1772 or the “J-Plug”. This means that every electric vehicle can charge on Level 1 and 2, but there will be some restrictions on Level 3 chargers based on the manufacturer. Teslas use a proprietary charger that allows them access to the Tesla supercharge station network but no other Level 3 chargers unless you have an adapter.
Most homes can have a Level 2 charger installed.
Level 2 chargers require double the voltage of a regular outlet at 240 volts. Installation cost ranges from $200 to $1,000 but can be several thousands more if you need an additional circuit added as a service upgrade.
The Federal Inflation Reduction Act provides tax credits for charging installation.
Per Washington State law (RCW 46.08.185) only vehicles that are actively charging may park in an EV charging spot, otherwise subject to $124 fine.