EV Charging Levels Explained

Throughout the years the refueling process of our vehicles has been relatively straightforward, everybody understands how it’s done, and it’s completed in about five minutes. Simple enough, right? Electric cars (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles are relatively new on the market and the fact that they use electricity to propel themselves means a new infrastructure has been put into place, one which few are familiar with.  There’s a number of reasons why that’s so, such as the fact that every electric vehicle can accept different amounts of power. There are also different types of connectors used, but most importantly, there are different levels of EV charging that determine how long it takes to charge an EV.

Three Levels of EV Charging

There are three levels of EV charging; Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Level 3 is broken into DC Fast Charging and (Tesla) Supercharging. The higher the level of charging, the faster the charging process, as more power is delivered to the vehicle. It’s important to note that different EVs charge at different speeds on each level, because each EV can accept different levels of power from the EVSE, industry-speak for electric vehicle supply equipment, the charger.

When an electric vehicle is plugged in, there’s a communication process before the charger is energized. Basically, the car asks the charger how much power it can deliver, and then the car calls for the maximum amount of power that the station can deliver and the vehicle can accept.

The car always determines how much power it accepts, so there’s no need to worry about plugging into a charging station that can deliver more power than your EV can handle. The car will not allow the charger to deliver too much power.


Level 1 Charging: 120-Volt

Connectors Used: J1772, Tesla
Charging Speed: 4 to 8 Kilometers Per Hour
Locations: Home, Workplace & Public

Level 1 charging uses a common 120-volt household outlet. Every electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid can be charged on Level 1 by plugging the charging equipment into a regular wall outlet. Level 1 is the slowest way to charge an EV. It adds between 4 and 8 kilometers of range per hour.

Level 1 charging works well for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) because they have smaller batteries, currently less than 25 kWh. Since EVs have much larger batteries, Level 1 charging is too slow for most daily charging, unless the vehicle isn’t needed to drive very far on a daily basis. Most BEV owners find that Level 2 charging better suits their daily charging needs.


Level 2 Charging: 208-Volt to 240-Volt

Connectors Used: J1772, Tesla
Charging Speed: 19 to 128  kilometers Per Hour
Locations: Home, Workplace & Public

Level 2 charging is the most commonly used level for daily EV charging. Level 2 charging equipment can be installed at home, at the workplace, as well as in public locations like shopping plazas, train stations and other destinations. Level 2 charging can replenish between 19 and 128 kilometers of range per hour, depending on the power output of the Level 2 charger, and the vehicle’s maximum charge rate.

Most BEV owners choose to install Level 2 charging equipment at their residence, because it charges the vehicle up to 10 times faster than Level 1 charging. Charging from a Level 2 source usually means the vehicle will be completely charged overnight, even if you plugged with a nearly empty battery.

Level 2 chargers can deliver up to 80 amps of power. But that requires a 100-amp 208-240V dedicated circuit and a heavy, costly supply line from the breaker box. Most owners will be well served choosing a 40-amp charger that can deliver 9.6 kW to the EV. A 48-amp charger can charge slightly faster at 11.5 kW, but requires a heavier gauge wire and the charger must be hardwired to comply with the NEC code. Therefore, 48-amp chargers can cost significantly more than a 40-amp unit and offer only marginally faster charging.


Level 3 Charging: 400-Volt to 900-Volt (DC Fast Charge & Supercharging)

Connectors Used: Combined Charging System (Combo), CHAdeMO & Tesla
Charging Speed: 5 to 32 Kilometers Per Minute
Locations: Public

Level 3 charging is the fastest type of charging available and can recharge an EV at a rate of 5 to 32 kilometers of range per minute. Unlike Level 1 and Level 2 charging that uses alternating current (AC), Level 3 charging uses direct current (DC). The voltage is also much higher than Level 1 & 2 charging, which is why you don’t see level 3 chargers installed at home. Very few residential locations have the high-voltage supply that is required for level 3 charging.

Additionally, DC Fast Chargers cost tens of thousands of dollars. So even if your residence has 400-volt electricity service, the cost to install the charger would most likely cost more than your EV. Tesla calls their Level 3 chargers Superchargers; others are called DC Fast Chargers. Current Nissan EVs use a third specification, CHAdeMO.

 

EV Charging Speed on Level 1, 2, 3 Chargers
Charging Level Power Delivery Range Added Per Hour Time to Charge 60 kWh EV
Level 1 1-1.4 kW 4-8 kilometers 30-40 hours
Level 2 3.9-19.2 kW 19-128 kilometers 2.5-4.5 hours
Level 3 24-300 kW 120-19,000 kilometers 30-40 minutes
Time to Charge EV with a 60-kWh battery is the time to raise the battery’s charge level from 10% to 80%

Range-added time for Level 3 chargers is often described in kilometers per minute (not hour) because of the speed . Level 3 charging rates (speeds) can vary considerably by vehicle, depending on the EV’s ability to accept power.

Before you start, here’s a fun fact that will make it easier to find the perfect home charging station to match your new vehicle:
In North America, every electric vehicle (EV) uses the same plug for level 2 charging. The only exception is Tesla cars which come with an adapter.
Otherwise, whether you chose to drive Audi, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Nissan, Porsche, Toyota, Volvo, and so on, electric cars sold in North America use the same plug—the SAE J1772 plug to be exact—to charge at home with a level 2 charging station.

Connector types


J1772 connector or plug for charging stations and chargers networks for for electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles

Connector: Port J1772

Level: 2

Compatibility: 100% of electric cars

Tesla: With adapter


CHAdeMO connector or plug for charging stations and chargers networks for for electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles

Connector: CHAdeMO

Level: 3

Compatibility: Check specifications of your EV

Tesla: With adapter


J1772 connector or plug for charging stations and chargers networks for for electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles

Connector: SAE Combo CCS

Level: 3

Compatibility: Check specifications of your EV

Tesla: No


Tesla HPWC connector or plug for charging stations and chargers networks for for electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles

Connector: Tesla HPWC

Level: 2

Compatibility: Only Tesla

Tesla: Yes


Tesla Supercharger connector or plug for charging stations and chargers networks for for electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles

Connector: Tesla supercharger

Level: 3

Compatibility: Only Tesla

Tesla: Yes

 


Ready to choose the right charging station?

Call us today at Oscan Electrical Supplies, and we will be able to get you started on your path to selecting the correct EV Charging Station for you! In Oshawa at 905-728-3800.

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Fall Electrical Safety Tips

As the calendar makes its way to the end of September, we find ourselves preparing for fall. During this transitional period, when the kids have headed back to school and the weather has begun to cool down, it’s a good time to review fall electrical safety with your customers. When activities move inside, it’s important for them to consider the electrical hazards that become more prevalent as the temperatures begin to plummet.

We’ve put together a list of practical safety tips you can share or both inside and outside the home.

Outdoor Electrical Safety

Electrical Wires – When using your ladder outside, especially for projects on the roof or rain gutter, be mindful of overhead electrical wires.

Battery Chargers – Unplug and store those battery chargers for yard tools that won’t be used until next spring.

Outdoor Devices – Protect outdoor electrical devices from moisture. Cover any exposed electrical outlets and check outdoor electrical cords for damage or a faulty connection.

Leaves/Debris – Keep fallen leaves away from outdoor outlets, power cords and outdoor lighting. Also make sure that tree debris is kept away from the air conditioner condenser.

Cold Weather Tools – Inspect the electrical tools that you will be using for fall yard work. Make sure to check the cords for wear and tear – and either repair damaged equipment or replace it.

Outdoor Lighting – Less sunlight in the fall will mean the exterior lights to the house will be on longer. Check the lights to ensure that the bulbs are the correct wattage and that any cords have not been damaged over the summer.

Indoor Electrical Safety

Electric Blankets – Make sure that you inspect all of your electric blankets for worn areas both in the fabric and on the electrical cord. Never tuck an electrical blanket under a mattress or animals to sleep on them.

Space Heaters – If you use a space heater, inspect it and have a quick test run before running it this season. Be mindful of space heater placement. Always allow at least a foot of space around the perimeter of unit and never leave unattended toddlers in the same room with one.

Smoke/CO Detectors – Every season you should check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Since the fall usually means more inside activities, including cooking and use of the fireplace, it’s good practice to ensure the smoke detectors are working properly. If you own gas heater, stoves or other gas-fueled appliances, make sure that you own CO detectors – and that they are working properly.

Light Bulbs – In the fall we start to lose daylight, which will mean more dependence on indoor lighting. Check the bulbs throughout the house to make sure they are the proper wattage for the size of the light fixture.

 

Oscan is your preferred supplier in the Durham Region, Kawartha and surrounding areas.  We have been servicing the electrical needs of our neighbors since 2010. Call us today!

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Where to Begin When Switching to LED Light Bulbs

LED Light Bulb

With the prices of led light bulbs rapidly falling – and light bulb technology boasting features you’d have to see to believe – consumers are finally jumping on the LED bandwagon. LEDs beat out other bulb options in efficiency, far surpassing halogens and leaving mercury-containing CFLs roadside, offering the same light for a fraction of the energy expense, with amazing longevity of up to 10 years.

How cheap are they?

Now giving even the cheapest bulbs a run for their money, you can now pickup an entry-level LED for less than $2.50 per bulb in a multi-pack, or opt for fancier models for a couple bucks more, finding daylight-sensing bulbs starting at $9, dimmable options at around $15, and fancy-pants, color-changing and smartphone-operable bulbs starting at $30.

Where should I start when replacing LED bulbs in my home?

Energy saving LEDs can be used in most common light fixtures, from lamps and accent lighting to track and outdoor fixtures.

  • Start with the bulbs you use most, like the family room and kitchen.
    Replacing these bulbs first offers the greatest opportunity for savings, gaining return-on-investment fast.
  • Focus on areas where bulbs are left on for a long time, like your porch or garage.
    Just be sure to check ratings (read on).
  • Take a load-off in hard to reach places like vaulted ceiling lights and on porches.
    Here they’re ideal, rarely requiring a change and preventing the need for frequent ladder acrobatics.

Learn the lingo before shopping for your best bulb buddy

  • Lumens
    Lumens measure brightness, and now replace watts, which actually refer to energy use – not light intensity.
  • Color temperature
    LEDs offer a rainbow of colors. Identified by color temperature and measured in kelvins, lower temperatures produce warm whites, higher temps mimicking cool, daylight tones.

Dialing in the right lighting room-by-room:

  • Living room
    Mixed lighting here should mirror the mixed use of this room, such as adjustable lamps paired with 3-way LED bulbs in the 1,500-3,000 lumen, 2,200-3,000K color temperature range.
  • Dining
    Dimmable fixtures paired with dimmable LEDs allow for the perfect brightness for any setting. Look for a total brightness of 3,000-6,000; lumens in the 2,200-3,000K range.
  • Kitchen
    Maintain energy in the kitchen with total brightness in the 4,000-8,000 lumen, 2,700-5,000K range. Here, recessed LED retrofits kits are a boon, as are dimmable fixtures.
  • Bedroom
    Avoiding blue light waves here keeps your body from confusing overhead light with sunlight, preserving circadian rhythm. Go for 1,500-4,000 lumens of total brightness, with color temperatures of 2,700-3,000, adding soft neutral bulbs to bedside reading lamps.
  • Bathroom
    Task lighting around the mirror and general overhead lighting should be bright, offering 4,000-8,000 lumens of total brightness in the 3,000-5,000K color range.
  • Home office
    Cool white lights in the 3,000-6,000 lumen and 3,000-5,000K color range ensures productivity.

Not a match for every outlet

  • Dimmers
    Due to circuitry, not all LEDs are compatible with traditional dimming switches. Also, only certain LED bulbs offer this capability, so reading labels carefully is essential.
  • Enclosed fixtures
    Do LED light bulbs get hot? Yes, but not as hot as incandescents. Despite this, they still suffer heat dissipation problems in recessed and enclosed fixtures. Why can’t LED bulbs be enclosed? Enclosed spaces require specially-made LED bulbs.
  • Omni-directional light
    Most bulbs put out light in only one direction, which is fine for most fixtures, but not table lamps which will require omni-directional LED bulbs.
  • Outdoor use
    While most LEDs work outdoors, performing well in the cold, they cannot get wet, and are heat sensitive, thus looking for those rated specifically for outdoor or enclosed fixture use are preferable.

Upgrading those LEDs lead to an OMG moment? Oscan Electrical Supplies is here to help. Contact us today!

 

(Article credit to mrelectric.com)

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