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What Are the Types of EV chargers?


New EV owners will probably need to get up to speed (quite literally) on the jargon surrounding the charging of their new cars. And while you can call a qualified electrician to help install your EV charging station, you should still learn about the different EV charging levels and types.


Charging types vs levels

Charging levels refer to the level of power that the charger uses when you plug in your vehicle, while the charging types differ in terms of the connectors you use to plug into the chargers. As a result, the power levels determine the rates you’ll be paying for charging — while the types determine what charger you can use.


Charging levels in Australia

There are different charging levels for electric vehicles:

  • Level 1 — Portable EVSE

  • Level 2 — Wall chargers

  • Level 3 — DC Fast chargers



Level 1

This is the best option for people who don’t mind waiting for a longer time to charge their electric vehicles. Also, if you can’t charge your car battery at home and you commute to work every day, a portable EVSE will get you a long way. Still, this is only a great fit for people who use their EV for limited distances, up to 4000km per year.



Level 2

Wall chargers provide the most common level of EV charging you’ll find in private homes and public charging stations. Level 2 chargers allow your electric vehicle to be plugged into a socket and charged just like any other home appliance — in fact, its 240-volt charge is comparable to an electric clothes dryer. Compared to a portable EVSE, this charges 3 to 10 times quicker because of its higher voltage and amperage. And while it’s a costly investment for homeowners, it pays off in terms of all the time you save.



Level 3

Level 3 chargers are usually DC Fast Chargers — they require the most expensive panel and service upgrades, and the most power. That’s why you can’t find them in the average EV-owning home — for a single minute of charging, you get 5 to 50km of range. This kind of power output makes them viable only for specifically designed streetside charging places and petrol stations.



Charging Types

The charging types for EV are basically just different plug types, such as:

  • AC Chargers — these are further divided into Type 1 (used by older EV and now just Mitsubishi) and Type 2 (the European and Australian standard used by most EV manufacturers).

  • DC Chargers — CSS and CHAdeMO. The CSS standard is short for “combined charging system” because it works with both AC and DC. Depending on which AC plug a CSS charger supports, they’re divided into Type 1 and 2 CSS chargers, and they’re used by Ford, Hyundai, Volkswagen, and BMW.

  • Tesla Supercharger — Tesla’s supercharger uses both AC and DC currents, and it’s the fastest charger compared to any of the above. On the other hand, it works exclusively with Tesla vehicles.


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