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Different Types of Charging
You’ll often hear a particular charging regimen described by its charge “level” – Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3. These different charging schemes are distinguished by their utility requirement and total time for a full charge – and each fills an important niche.
“Level 1” AC Charging:
Level 1 charging uses a standard 120V outlet and takes 11 to 20 hours to charge a depleted EV. Level 1 charging systems are designed to be portable and used in the case of an on-road emergency, when the driver is running low on charge and needs to plug into a readily available outlet.
“Level 2” AC Charging:
Level 2 Charging Stations deliver AC power reliably and safely to the electric vehicle. The power from the Charging Station is fed to the car’s on-board charger. An on-board charger is small enough to be integrated into the car and, with the Level 2 off-board Charging Station’s help, can power up the battery in 3 to 8 hours – usually at home when the driver is sleeping. This convenient charging regimen is often called opportunity charging, because it calls for recharging during "opportune" down time such as sleep, work, or play.
Some Charging Stations, like AV’s EVSE-RS+, feature robust communication capability and can “plug in” to the Smart Grid.
“Level 3” DC Charging:
Level 3 Charging Stations use greater amounts of power and current to bypass the vehicle’s on-board charger with a fast and reliable DC charge in minutes instead of hours. AV’s DC charging solutions have been vetted for more than a decade in heavy-duty industrial applications – including auto plants, airports, and retail distribution. Level 3 DC charging is ideal for public charging infrastructure; charging large vehicles with big batteries such as buses; and commercial or service fleets with very little recharging downtime.