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Charger Types and Speeds
EVs can be charged using electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) operating at different charging speeds.
Level 2 equipment offers higher-rate AC charging through 240V (in residential applications) or 208V (in commercial applications) electrical service, and is common for home, workplace, and public charging. Level 2 chargers can charge a BEV to 80 percent from empty in 4-10 hours and a PHEV in 1-2 hours.
Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC)
Direct current fast charging (DCFC) equipment offers Rapid charging along heavy-traffic corridors at installed stations. DCFC equipment can charge a BEV to 80 percent in just 20 minutes to 1 hour. Most PHEVs currently on the market do not work with fast chargers.
Level 2 and DCFC equipment has been deployed at various public locations including, for example, at grocery stores, theaters, or coffee shops. When selecting a charger type, consider its voltages, resulting charging and vehicle dwell times, and estimated up-front and ongoing costs.
The figure below shows typical Level 2 and DCFC charging stations 1.
EV Charging Minimum Standards Rule
FHWA, with support from the Joint Office of Energy Transportation, unveiled new national standards for federally funded EV chargers in February 2023. These new standards aim to ensure that charging is a predictable and reliable experience for EV drivers. This includes ensuring that drivers can easily find a charger, do not need multiple apps and/or accounts to charge, chargers work when drivers need them to, and are designed to be compatible in the future with forward-looking charging capabilities.
The rule establishes minimum technical standards for charging stations, including required number of charging ports, connector types, power level, availability, payment methods, uptime/reliability, EV charger infrastructure network connectivity, and interoperability, among other standards and requirements.
Overview of EV Chargers
The below table summarizes the typical power output, charging time, and locations for PHEVs and BEVs for the different charger types. For more information on the power requirements of different chargers, see the Utility Planning section of the toolkit.
1 Note that charging speed is affected by many factors, including the charger manufacturer, condition, and age; air temperature; vehicle battery capacity; and vehicle age and condition.
2 Different vehicles have different charge ports. For DCFC, the Combined Charging System (CCS) connector is based on an open international standard and is common on vehicles manufactured in North America and Europe; the CHArge de Move (CHAdeMO) connector is most common for Japanese manufactured vehicles. Tesla vehicles have a unique connector that works for all charging speeds, including at Tesla’s “Supercharger” DCFC stations, while non-Tesla vehicles require adapters at these stations.
3 AC = alternating current; DC = direct current.
4 Assuming an 8-kWh battery; most plug-in hybrids do not work with fast chargers.
6 To 80 percent charge. Charging speed slows as the battery gets closer to full to prevent damage to the battery. Therefore, it is more cost- and time-efficient for EV drivers to use direct current (DC) fast charging until the battery reaches 80 percent, and then continue on their trip. It can take about as long to charge the last 10 percent of an EV battery as the first 90 percent.
EV Charging Station Cost
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The cost of an EV charging station can vary significantly based on the requirements and current electrical infrastructure, but averages ~1,000 all-in for a Level 2 home charger. This guide details the cost of EV chargers for home and also discusses the cost of Level 2 chargers for business and Level 3 (DC-fast charging) stations.
Many consumers tell us that it can be difficult to find electricians with specific EV charger experience. It may be worth checking out Amazon Home Services EV Charger Installation (the reviews have been excellent so far).
Electric Car Charging Stations Cost Level 2 Charging Station Cost EV Charging Station For Business Cost Level 3 Charging Station Cost Detailed EV Charger Cost Breakdown
Electric Car Charging Stations Cost
The cost of an EV charging station can vary depending on the owner’s preferences and there are two main options for individual EV owners:
- Use a Level 1 Charger (Free) – All EV models come with a basic chord that will plug into a 120V outlet, which is the standard outlet for homes in the U.S. Assuming you already have a 120V outlet in your garage, this option is essentially free. This set-up will only allow for charging rates of 3-5 miles per hour, so if you have a moderate commute, a faster charge is required.
- Purchase a Level 2 Charger (~1,000) – Most EV owners elect to purchase a Level 2 EVSE, which stands for Electric Vehicle Service Equipment, for use in their home. The Level 2 chargers require a 240V outlet ( NEMA 6 which many clothes dryers use). The cost of a Level 2 charging station is typically around 1,000 all-in, which includes the equipment and installation cost. There are a range of Level 2 models ( read our detailed EV charger model review) and costs, which we discuss below.
If you are interested in electric car charging stations for your business or retail location, please refer to the section on Level 2 charging stations for business or read our detailed review of these products. There is also the option for businesses to purchase DC fast charging stations (also called Level 3), but the cost of a Level 3 EV charger is significantly more and is typically purchased through one of the EV charging network providers.
Level 2 Charging Station Cost
The chart below includes the of the most popular EV chargers available as of December 2017.
|JuiceBox Pro 40-Amp||Smallest in class and great for California drivers||Wi-Fi enabled with app and connection to rewards program||10 x 6 x 3 inches||Check Current Price on Amazon|
|Siemens VC30GRYU Versicharge 30-Amp (Editor’s Pick)||Best value and high quality ratings||Siemens quality (UL labs), Wi-Fi options||20.5 x 18 x 15 inches||Check Current Price on Amazon|
|ChargePoint 32-Amp||Sleek and lightweight||App connects to Chargepoint network, Wi-Fi enabled||18.5 x 15 x 7 inches||Check Current Price on Amazon|
|ClipperCreek HCS-40P||Sturdy U.S.-made model||Best-in class 3 year warranty||NA||Check Current Price on Amazon|
The installation cost data is from a study by the Rocky Mountain Institute, a leading cleantech institute, which broke the installation cost down into electrician labor, materials, permitting and mobilization (traveling to the installation location). The study was completed in 2014, so please note that we have adjusted the EV charger equipment cost in our estimate as have come down.
EV Charging Station For Business Cost
According to RMI, the installation for Level 2 chargers for businesses is the largest component of the cost and can be between 4,000 and 7,000. If the charger is located in a public parking garage the installation cost will be less than a curbside installation as the charger can be wall mounted and wiring is easier. A curbside charger is typically free-standing and trenching or directional boring for wiring increases the installation cost.
Level 3 Charging Station Cost
A Level 3 or DC fast charging station are typically installed through one of the EV charging station networks and can cost more than 50,000 to install. The main contributors to the increased cost are both the equipment and installation. The installation can require a 480V transformer and the electrician labor hours can be greater than 40 hours.
Detailed EV Charger Cost Breakdown
The chart below details the costs for Level 2 home chargers, Level 2 chargers for business and Level 3 chargers.
As noted by RMI, installation rates for home EV chargers can fluctuate based on the electrician labor time at 50-80 an hour depending on the location. A new breaker can also increase the price by 500-1,000.
Commercial installations have a wider variance based on the current electrical infrastructure and the extent of trenching/boring required.
The EV Purchasing Cooperative Program is highlighting EVADC’s EV Charger of the Week videos to show residents where public EV charging stations are located around Montgomery County and how to use them. Check back each week for new EV charger videos! Watch YouTube Playlist
EVs are powered by batteries that must be recharged from an electric source. Compared to gasoline, electricity is more affordable and cost-steady. In Montgomery County, powering your vehicle from the electric grid reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 70-75% compared to an internal combustion vehicle.
There are many ways to charge an electric vehicle. The most convenient way to charge your EV is at home. Charging is also available at workplaces, retail locations, parks, highway rest areas, and parking garages throughout our region. This page will help you understand the different ways to charge, how long it takes, where to find public charging, and how to install EV charging equipment at your property.
Level 1 Chargers
- Level 1 Chargers use standard 120V outlets, which are found around the home and used by most home electronics. Every EV can be charged at Level 1.- in most cases, the adapter is included with the vehicle. Level 1 charging supplies about 5 miles of range for every 1 hour of charging. Charging overnight provides 40 miles of range, which is enough for most typical drivers. Fully charging on Level 1 can take a day or longer.
Level 2 Chargers
- Level 2 Chargers use 240V circuits. 240V outlets are sometimes found in homes for use with certain dryers and stovetops – if not available in your home, you can hire an electrician to install one. Level 2 charging supplies about 25 miles of range for every hour of charge. This type of charging equipment is commonly found in shopping centers, public parking garages, recreational areas, apartment buildings, and many workplaces.
Level 3 Chargers
- Level 3 Chargers, or Direct Current (DC) Fast Chargers (aka DCFC) use high-powered 480V circuits for Rapid EV charging. DCFCs are only found at public charging stations and can supply about 40 miles of charge in 10 minutes.
Networked EV Chargers
Networked, or “Smart chargers,” are connected through remote Cloud technology and can be operated through a mobile app. Users can remotely monitor their charging status, control the charging duration, make payments, set reminders, schedule charging, track energy usage, etc.
Non-Networked chargers are solitary functioning units and cannot track charging data or other operational data. Due to their simplicity, they are often inexpensive.
EV Charging Safety and Best Practices
According to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), EVs are safe to charge at your home or business when operated correctly with certified charging equipment. FEMA provides EV charging safety tips in this article.
Data compiled from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), and from Recalls.gov shows that electric vehicles are less likely to catch fire than gas-powered vehicles. EV battery fires have occurred when the battery becomes damaged or punctured, which can result in fires that last longer and require more resources to extinguish than other car fires.
EV batteries can last 10-20 years or up to 300,000 miles if they are maintained well. To maximize the life and performance of your battery:
- Try to usually keep the charge level between 20-80% and moderately charge your vehicle every 2-3 days.
- Avoid depleting the battery entirely and only charge to 100% before taking a long-range trip. You can use automatic features to limit the total charge to 90%.
- Avoid daily use of DC fast charging, which places more strain on the battery.
Find EV Charging in Montgomery County
There are over 500 charging plugs open to the public in Montgomery County, including 100 DC Fast Chargers. Twenty-two (22) conveniently located EV charging stations are available at parking facilities in downtown Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton. Maps of those locations are available from the Division of Parking Management. Local utilities have also installed charging at parks and other public facilities.
Check the Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center or charging station location services such as Plugshare to find an EV charger near you.
Install EV Charging
Montgomery County is ready to support residents and businesses who want to install charging stations on their property. You will need an electrical permit from Montgomery County to complete your project. Please see these resources for guidance on the permitting process for residents and commercial entities.
Charging at home is one of the biggest benefits of EVs. In fact, over 90% of EV drivers regularly charge their vehicles at home. Download our At-Home EV Charging Guide for information to get started.
Technical Requirements Charge at home by plugging the manufacturer-provided Level 1 charging cable into a standard 120V outlet or install a Level 2 charger on a 240V circuit. You will need 30-50 amps capacity in your panel box.
A licensed electrician can evaluate your current electrical system and advise if you need to upgrade your panel or need additional wiring. Equipment and installation costs 1,500 on average for a Level 2 system, but costs can vary widely depending on the electrical work needed.
Permitting Apply for a residential electrical permit from the Department of Permitting Services to install a Level 2 charging station for your garage or driveway.
Curbside Right-of-Way Charging Residents without off-street parking have the option to apply for a right-of-way permit to install curbside charging equipment in the public right-of-way. The homeowner is responsible for arranging and paying for equipment and installation. Residents may not reserve a parking space on the public street in front of the charging station or take payment for charging, but you may lock the charging equipment or use automatic features to control access. Multiple property owners may coordinate to install one or more shared EV chargers on the street to share costs and use of the charging infrastructure.
Choosing Equipment and Installer There are multiple equipment suppliers and installers to choose from. When selecting equipment, check eligibility requirements for utility incentive programs. Equipment vendors or your electric utility may be able to connect you to installer partners. Always work with a licensed electrical contractor.
EV Charging for Apartments, Condos, and Townhomes
EV charging is a valuable amenity for apartments and common ownership communities, providing residents with cost savings and convenience. Simplify your multifamily EV charging project by following these steps:
- Survey residents to understand current and future demand for EV charging. Visit VCI-MUD.org for survey templates and other resources.
- Conduct a site review with a licensed electrician to design your project and select your equipment.
- Contact the Montgomery County Green Bank for low-interest financing and technical assistance.
- Contact your electric utility for incentives and power needs.
- Apply for a commercial building permit and electrical permit and follow all regulations and best practices for accessibility.
- Create guidelines and educate residents about best practices to make the most of your shared resource.
The average cost for equipment and installation for commercial EV charging is around 6,000 per station. Costs can vary significantly based on the amount of electrical work needed.
The webinar below provides information and recommendations from the Departments of Environmental Protection and Permitting Services, the Commission on Common Ownership Communities, Pepco, the Montgomery County Green Bank, and Clarksburg Condominium II Association.
Workplaces are ideal locations for convenient and affordable EV charging. Both Level 1 and Level 2 charging are useful for employees that leave their vehicle parked for the workday. Charging access can be limited to employees or available to visitors and can be provided for free or can be set up to require payment. Visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center for more information about workplace charging.
Retail locations can also attract visitors by installing charging. Charging during a meal or shopping trip can be a great way to keep your EV battery topped up.
Installing commercial charging requires both a building permit and electrical permit. Contact the Montgomery County Green Bank for low-cost financing and technical resources. If your business is located in one of the County’s Transportation Management Districts, there may be additional resources and requirements for EV charging.
Incentives for EVSE
There are a number of incentive and financing programs to help residents, multifamily property owners, and businesses install charging:
Montgomery County’s Green Bank offers financing for EV charging stations for commercial, property owners, and residents in Montgomery County.
Maryland Energy Administration offers incentives for EV supply equipment, but funding for this program was exhausted as of December 2022. New funding may be available beginning July 1, 2023. Visit MEA’s website for the current programs that support EVs throughout Maryland.
Electric utilities servicing Montgomery County offer incentives for EV charging as well. Check your utility’s website for the current availability of these programs.
- Pepco’s EVSmart Program provides Maryland residential customers with residential charger rebates, special Time-of-Use discounted rates for off-peak charging and a managed charging program that gives the utility some control over your EV charger. Pepco also offers incentives for commercial multifamily customers and provides charging discounts for commercial fleets.
- Potomac Edison’s EV Driven Program gives residential and multifamily property charging rebates on qualifying EV charging stations, as well as off-peak charging rewards.
- BGE’s EVSmart Program offers incentives on residential chargers, multifamily property chargers, and a special Time-of-Use (TOU) discounted rate for off-peak EV charging
Have a specific question about EVs that’s not covered here? Contact us at AskDEP@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov.
Is it Cheaper to Charge an Electric Car at Home?
There are many benefits to charging your car at home, including convenience and cost savings. With home charging, you’ll never have to go to the gas station again. You can “fill up” your car while you’re doing other things at home, like cooking dinner or watching TV. And since electricity is typically cheaper at night, you can charge your car while you sleep and wake up to a “full tank” in the morning. Home charging is also more efficient than public charging, so you’ll get more miles per kWh. And since electric cars have fewer moving parts than gas cars, they require less maintenance. Home charging is also better for the environment because it reduces emissions. Unlike gas cars, electric cars don’t produce air pollution. So, if you’re concerned about the environment, an EV and home charging are the way to go. By upgrading your home to accommodate EV charging, you can take advantage of many benefits. A home charger can be installed in just a few hours, and it’s much cheaper than installing a public charger. Home charging is also more convenient because you can charge your car whenever you want, without having to find a public charger or wait in line. In addition to saving you money in the now, home chargers can increase the market value of your home, especially if you live in an area with high demand for electric vehicles.
There are more than 150,000 gas stations in the United States, compared to about 43,000 charging stations across the country. Although this may seem like a large discrepancy at first glance, it’s important to note that this number is growing steadily. There are nearly twice as many charging stations as there used to be. So, it isn’t as difficult to find a charging station for your electric vehicle as you might think. However, the price tag for charging your electric car at a public charging station will run you anywhere between 0.30. 0.66 per kilowatt hour (kWh). Compared to home charging, where the average price is 0.10. 0.21 per kWh depending on your state, it’s easy to see why many people choose to charge their cars at home whenever possible. We spoke with Stuart Gardner of Generation180 to learn more about the benefits of charging a car at home vs at a station.
Typically, yes, it is cheaper to charge your electric vehicle at home, Gardner said, and if you happen to power your home by solar your savings are even more dramatic. However, many public charging stations are offered for free depending on the site host. Additionally, some electric vehicle manufacturers offer special deals (i.e., three years of free public charging on select infrastructure networks). In any case, recharging an electric vehicle is usually cheaper than refueling your old gas guzzler.
The Three Levels of EV Charging
Electricity flows in one direction and is measured in volts. The amount of electricity, or power, is measured in watts. One watt is equal to one volt multiplied by one ampere (amp). An amp is a unit of measure for the rate at which electrons flow through a conductor. This flow of electrons is what we call an electrical current. The standard household outlet in the United States is 120 volts, which means it can deliver up to 15 amps of current. This is why most electric car home chargers are Level 1, or 120-volt, chargers. While it is the slowest way to recharge your electric vehicle, it is also one of the most accessible as no special equipment is required. Depending on your daily driving, L1 works well for many electric vehicle owners, Gardner said.
A Level 2 charger uses 240 volts and can deliver up to 30 or 40 amps, depending on the model. This means it can charge an electric car much faster than a Level 1 charger. For a faster charge, you can install a Level 2 charger, which will require its own circuit such as a 240-volt, 30-amp circuit. Level 2 (L2 or AC charging) uses the same power source as your clothes dryer (~220 volts). L2 can typically charge an electric vehicle in eight hours and is the most common charging option for homeowners. However, L2 does typically requires a dedicated charger and an electrician to install.
A level 3 charger is a DC fast charger that can charge an electric car in minutes rather than hours. These are usually found at public charging stations and not typically used for home charging, but if you want one for your home, an electrician can install it. Although the price will be considerably higher compared to a level 1 or level 2 charger, all three levels of EV charging can be installed in your home. Level 3 (L3 or DC fast charging) is the fastest way to charge your electric vehicle (about 80% charge in 30 minutes), but these chargers are often the most expensive and only found in commercial areas due to the high power required.
Most people choose to charge their EVs at home with a level 1 or level 2 charger because it is more convenient and less expensive than using a public charging station. This is because public stations are often located in parking garages or other commercial areas, which can be difficult to access or far from home. In addition, public charging stations may have fees associated with their use, while home chargers do not. The type of charger you choose will depend on your needs and budget. If you plan to charge your EV frequently, a Level 2 charger may be a good choice. However, if you only charge your EV occasionally, a Level 1 charger may be sufficient. When considering which type of charger to purchase, it is important to consult with an electrician to ensure that the charger you select is compatible with your home’s electrical system.
The Cost of Charging at Home
Like gas vehicles, energy costs per mile will vary for vehicles and a comparison chart of how much each costs to fill can be found here. The cost of home charging will depend on your electricity rates. In California, for example, the average price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) was 0.19 in 2022 with varying in each state. Of course, the cost of charging will also depend on how much you drive. If you only use your car for short trips, you may not need to charge as often. And if you have solar panels, you may be able to charge your car for free during the daytime. While this is not possible for everyone and kWh vary, a kWh price of 0.15 an hour would cost around 56 a month to keep your EV vehicle charged, and having a home charging system cuts down on this cost even more as well as adding convenience by just having an at home EV charger.
A commonly quoted statistic is approximately 80% of EV owners charge at home, Gardner says. Increasingly, however, multi-unit dwellings (often abbreviated to MUD) like apartment buildings offer electric vehicle charging infrastructure as an amenity. Not only does this help attract and retain residents while building a clean energy-conscious community, but it also makes electric vehicles an option for more people. Given every car owner does not live in a single-family home, have off-street parking, or a garage, the availability of charging at multi-unit dwellings is vital to making electric vehicles more accessible and speeding up adoption.
A Level 1 charger can recover 4-5 miles of range per hour, while a Level 2 can recover 25-30 miles of range per hour. The cost of installation for an electric car charger varies depending on several factors, such as the age of your home, your electrical panel capacity, and the type of installation. For a Level 1 charger, the cost of the station ranges from 300 to 600, while parts and labor can cost anywhere from 1,000 to 1,700. For a Level 2 charger, the cost of the station increases slightly to between 500 and 700, and parts and labor can cost between 1,200 and 2,000. Keep in mind that some states require homeowners to get a permit when installing charging stations. Overall, installing an electric car charger at home is a relatively affordable investment that can save drivers time and money in the long run. For example, if you have a Nissan Leaf, it would take 16 hours to charge using a Level 1 charger. With a Level 2 charger, you can fully charge most electric vehicles in four hours. This can be a lifesaver if you’re running low on battery and need to get somewhere fast.
When installing a charging station in your home, it is important to comply with all local, state, and national codes and regulations. This may include permits from the local building and permitting authorities. In general, EV charging infrastructure is considered a continuous load by the National Electrical Code (NEC). Your electrical contractor should understand and use the appropriate NEC for a safe and code-compliant installation. NEC Article 625 contains most of the information applicable to charging equipment. If possible, consult vehicle manufacturer guidance for information about the required charging equipment and learn the specifications before purchasing equipment or electrical services. If you are looking to have a home charging station installed, be sure to find a qualified and reputable contractor who can help you with the process from start to finish. This will ensure that your installation is done correctly and in compliance with all applicable codes and regulations. Depending on the complexity of the installation, the cost of having a home charging station installed can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. However, the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home charging station is installed safely and correctly is priceless.
Comparing the Pros and Cons of Home EV charging stations
When you are considering installing a home EV charging system, users must first consider the pros and cons of doing this. Below are some of the key pros that should be considered, such as:
- Can save time – If you have a long commute, charging your vehicle at home can save you time.
- Convenient– Home chargers are a more convenient option than public chargers, as you don’t have to worry about finding an available charger or waiting in line.
- affordable – Home chargers are typically more affordable than public chargers, as electricity is typically less expensive or can be used during off-peak hours.
- Can increase your home’s value – If you plan on selling your home in the future, having a home EV charger can increase its value.
While there are multiple pros to having a home charging station (mainly in your wallet) there are some cons you will want to consider before investing in your home system.
- Require permits and inspections – In some cases, you may need to get a permit or have an inspection done before you can install a home charger.
- Takes up space – Home chargers can take up space in your garage or driveway that can be used for other purposes.
- Limited to one vehicle – If you have multiple vehicles, you’ll need to install multiple chargers, and depending on the size of your home, this might not be possible.
Gardner also mentioned the benefits and cons they think a new EV owner should expect.
First of all, I would say congratulations on your new EV! The pros of charging at home are always waking up in the morning with a “full tank,” never having to go to the gas station again, and saving money on your “fuel” costs. In fact, the current nationwide average cost of an “e-gallon” is 1.16 (versus the nationwide average cost of a gallon of gas).
While there are some drawbacks to installing a home charging station, the pros typically outweigh the cons. If you’re considering installing a home charger, be sure to consult with a qualified electrician to ensure that your home can accommodate the charger and that the installation is done correctly. If you are thinking of getting an electric vehicle (EV), one of the first things you need to do is install a home EV charging station. While many public chargers are available, having a home charger is much more convenient. It can also save you time and money in the long run while you never need to worry about finding a public charger again.
For more helpful tips and information on saving money and energy, check out our website. A special thank you to Generation180 for their help with this article. If you’re ready to make your next car electric, Generation180 has a “Going Electric Pledge. If you have questions about electric vehicles, reach out to Generation180 and connect with their network of enthusiastic EV Ambassadors.
Concerned about energy for your business? The energy experts at Integrity Energy are here to help! Request a quote today or visit our residential site PriceToCompare.com to get an energy quote for your home.
What Does a Level 3 Charger Cost?
Just like a new car, a charger for an electrical vehicle (EV) comes with features that affect price. There is no single answer to the question: What does a level 3 charger cost?
You can purchase a basic, inexpensive car. But additional features increase the price. Similarly, level 3 charging station costs range from 40,000 to 175,000 per unit.
It’s not just about the price tag, though. Level 3 chargers vary widely by capability. And, in many cases, your company can recoup the investment through the business value that EV charging provides to your customers, your employees, and your brand.
What Are Level 3 Chargers?
EV charging equipment is classified by how fast it replenishes an EV’s battery. Any charger that exceeds 25 miles of charge per hour is a level 3 charger.
Use of Direct Current
Level 3 chargers have the capability to convert alternating current from the grid to direct current (DC) for the battery to store. They’re more expensive than level 2 chargers due to this internal conversion capability.
Differences with Level 2 Chargers
Level 2 chargers rely on the EV to convert AC to DC, a much slower process and why level 2 chargers cost less: about 2,500 to 5,500 per unit.
Level 1 charging involves a regular 120-volt outlet and is appropriate for residential use.
Other Names for Level 3 Chargers
Level 3 chargers also are called direct-current fast chargers (or DC fast chargers or DCFC). In the US, more than 15% of public-facing EV charging ports are DC fast chargers, according to the Department of Energy.
How Do You Use Level 3 Chargers?
Level 3 charging runs off 480-volt power lines. Interestingly, the higher-capacity conduit, panels, and circuit breakers don’t add significant expense over what similar level 2 equipment would cost.
“Fueling” the Electric Vehicle
Similar to a gas pump, the driver inserts the charging cable into the port of the car. Depending on the make of the EV, the charging cord may require a connector to fit into the car’s charging socket.
Understanding Energy Use
Level 3 chargers can communicate in the Cloud through network software. Future Energy’s software solution, Interface, allows you to monitor and control all of your electrical use in real-time.
Some level 3 chargers not only convert energy but also can store it. For example, a ChargePoint DCFC can cost in excess of 100,000, but it includes power blocks and other internal equipment that mitigate the need for a utility upgrade.
What Are the Cost Factors of Level 3 Chargers?
Future Energy recommends the installation of level 3 infrastructure even if your immediate plans call for the installation of level 2 chargers.
Level 3 chargers have a wide range of power output, which affects cost. A charger that delivers up to 25 kilowatts of AC power is considered level 3. However, the top end of the power output extends up to about 500 kilowatts and delivers up to 200 miles of range in 30 minutes of charge.
Type of Connector
There are four types of connectors for level 3 chargers. Similar to different phone chargers for an iPhone or Android, these attachments fit into the EV’s charging socket.
CHAdeMO (pronounced “CHA-di-mo”): Developed by Japanese automakers seeking to form a global infrastructure of level 3 public EV charging stations, CHAdeMO is an abbreviation of CHArge de MOve.” The word loosely derives from the Japanese phrase “How about a cup of tea?”—a nod to how quickly a driver can charge an EV using a level 3 charger. The connector contains two large pins exclusively for DC charging.
SAE Combo (also called CCS, or “Combo Charging System”): The Society of Automotive Engineers created its own standard for fast charging. SAE CCS connectors support both level 3 fast charging and level 2 charging.
Tesla: Tesla offers a proprietary connector. Only Tesla EVs can use Tesla level 3 chargers, also called Superchargers.
GB/T: GB/T is the English equivalent of China’s Guobiao Standards. GB/T connectors are exclusively for level 3 charging in China.
The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) facilitates communication among EV charging stations and many software systems that help manage EV charging networks in the Cloud. In fact, OCPP has become the benchmark for interoperability for EV charging worldwide.
Beyond OCPP compliance, the features of level 3 charging station software also affect cost. These include incorporation of a touch screen or other services the software provides.
The length and type of warranty also affects level 3 charger cost. The standard warranty is two years, but some chargers offer three-year warranties or guarantee the product up to a certain number of charging cycles.
What Are the Benefits of Installing Level 3 Chargers?
The real question surrounding level 3 charging station cost is not the price tag. Instead, the question is how the features of the level 3 charger you choose can enhance your business operations.
Rebates for Level 3 Chargers
The nationwide push toward EV adoption has unleashed numerous financial incentives for your business to install level 3 EV chargers.
In many cases, these incentives, rebates, and grants can cover 100% of your electric car charging station’s cost.
However, not all level 3 chargers are eligible for rebates. Future Energy can help you identify which equipment qualifies so that you don’t miss out on recouping some of your investment. In fact, Future Energy’s Financial Incentive National Database (FIND) tool instantly identifies every available financial opportunity for any Future Energy client nationwide.
Business Value of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Because the market for EVs is so new, it’s important to think about benefits beyond purely a revenue-generating business model. Instead, public EV charging stations are a way to demonstrate your company culture and beliefs.
For example, you can offer level 3 charging as an employee benefit.
Companies are beginning to see how offering level 3 EV charging enhances their reputation. Future Energy is working with an automotive maintenance company to install level 3 chargers at thousands of its locations in the Midwest. The company plans to offer complimentary charging with its automotive services.
These public EV charging stations show potential customers that this company is a forward-thinking leader in the burgeoning market. Beyond the attraction of additional customers, Future Energy is helping the company use the fast chargers to enhance its brand.
Who Can Help You Understand Level 3 Charger Cost?
The question of what a level 3 charger costs isn’t a simple answer. At Future Energy, we help you see beyond the monetary answer to unlock the business value of incorporating level 3 charging solutions into your operations. Contact us today to find out how your business can benefit.
Sam DiNello is Chief Executive Officer at Future Energy. He is an expert in the EV infrastructure space and passionate about innovative data-driven solutions that help companies access real-time intelligence for real-time action.