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What Is a Level 2 EV Charger?

Electric Car Charging at Underground Garage on with Wall Box Cha
Electric car charging in underground garage home plugged to charger station. Battery EV vehicle standing parking lot connected to wall box. Close up vector being charged with power supply socket.

Electric vehicle (EV) chargers come in all shapes and sizes, but you’ll probably use a level 2 charger every day. Level 2 charging is much faster than level 1 charging and more convenient than level 3 charging. Level 2 chargers are also the best option for installing in your home because they can fully recharge your batteries overnight. Here’s everything you need to know about level 2 EV chargers: how fast they are, how much they cost, and how to install one in your home. 

Level 1 vs Level 2 vs Level 3 EV Charging

The main difference between level 1, level 2, and level 3 chargers is the amount of power they can deliver. Level 1 EV chargers are the slowest, only delivering up to 1.92kW (kilowatts) of power. Level 2 chargers can deliver up to 19.2kW, while level 3 chargers are the fastest, with speeds up to 350kW or more.

  • Level 1 EV charging: Using a “mobile connector” let you plug your EV into a regular household wall outlet. While this method offers the slowest charging speed, it’s recommended to carry a level 1 charging cable in your vehicle case of emergencies.
  • Level 2 EV charging: You can find level 2 chargers in homes, offices, and other public spaces. With a level 2 charger, you can choose your charging speed, create charging schedules, and monitor your EV’s electricity consumption from your smartphone.
  • Level 3 EV charging: Typically found near highways, level 3 charging stations are meant to be like gas stations for electric cars. These “DC fast chargers” can fill up your batteries in 15-30 minutes, but they will typically cost more than level 2 chargers.
level 1 vs level 2 vs level 3 ev chargers table 2

How Fast Is Level 2 Charging?

A level 2 charger can deliver anywhere from 2.9kW (kilowatts) to 19.2kW of power. That means it can take anywhere from 2 to 40 hours to fully charge an EV, depending on its battery capacity. In most cases, you’ll be able to fully charge an electric car in 6-10 hours with a level 2 charger.

How Fast Is Level 2 Charging at Home?

When you install a level 2 charger at home, it will typically be able to supply 7.7kW-11.5kW of power. That means it should take 4-14 hours to charge an EV at home, depending on the efficiency of your electric car and its battery capacity.


While it’s possible to install a more powerful charger in your home, most electric cars on the market today only receive a maximum of 11.5kW of power from level 2 chargers anyway. Plus, most homes won’t be able to handle more powerful chargers, unless you’re willing to upgrade your electrical system.

How Fast Is Level 2 Charging on the Road?

These days, you can find level 2 charging stations in office buildings, hotels, supermarket parking lots, and lots of other public spaces. In some cases, these public charging stations will be able to deliver up to 19.2kW of power, which means you could potentially charge an EV in around 2-6 hours.

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In practice, you’ll find many public charging stations are actually slower than your charger at home. For example, ChargePoint has the largest network of level 2 chargers, but many of them are only capable of delivering 6.6kW of power, which means it would take around 7-17 hours to fully charge an EV.

To calculate how long it will take to charge an EV at a level 2 charging station, all you need to do is divide your car’s battery capacity by the power output of your charger OR the power rating of your on-board charger (whichever number is smaller). This equation will give you an estimated charging time in hours.

how to calculate EV charging time

What Is Your Battery Capacity?

The battery capacity of an electric car is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). As a general rule, EVs with bigger batteries will be able to drive farther on a single charge, but they will also take longer to charge. Most electric cars on the market come with around 40-100kWh batteries.

If you don’t know your EV’s battery capacity, you can find it by searching for your model on this site.

What Is an On-Board Charger?

All electric cars have an on-board charger that converts alternating current (AC) found in homes into direct current (DC), which is needed to charge your batteries. The power rating of your on-board charger will tell you the maximum amount of power your EV can receive when using a level 1 or level 2 charger.

level 2 vs level 3 ev charging

For example, the Tesla Model X has an 11.5kW on-board charger, which means the 80kWh battery will fully charge in around 8 hours. However, this will only be the case if you are using an EV charger capable of outputting 11.5kW of power. That same Tesla would take 12 hours to charge with a 7.7kW EV charger.  

Read More: How long does it take to charge an electric car?

How Fast Is Level 2 Charging
Level 3 charging shows charging time to 80% SoC

Where to Find Level 2 EV Chargers

Currently, ChargePoint has the largest network of public level 2 charging stations in the US, but there are many other providers, including Tesla, Electrify America, and EVgo. The best way to find an EV charger near you is to download the respective apps from the providers in your area.

where to find level 2 charger

Depending on where you live, there might be different EV companies servicing your area. To find all the different level 2 chargers near you, you can also use this interactive map from the US Department of Energy.

Types of Level 2 Charging Connectors

Before you use a level 2 charger, it’s important to know it has the right type of connector. These days, there are 2 major connector types, J1772 and NACS. While J1772 is the standard connector for almost all electric cars on the market today, NACS is used in Teslas only – for now.

Read More: EV charging guide

nacs vs SAE J1772

Thankfully, Tesla recently opened its charging stations to EVs with J1772 connectors, but you’ll need to use an adapter. These small plastic devices fit over the charging cable and allow you to charge any EV with any type of charger. So, it’s always a good idea to keep a spare adapter in your glove box or trunk, just in case.

Wall Mounted vs Mobile Connector

When shopping for level 2 EV chargers to install in your home, you first need to decide whether you want to mount it on the wall or just use a mobile connector. Wall-mounted chargers are faster, safer, and they give you more control over charging, while mobile connectors are easy to take with you or put away.

Read More: How to choose the right EV charger

Hardwired Vs Plug-In EV Chargers

When choosing a wall-mounted EV charger, there are 2 options: hardwired or plug-in. Hardwiring an EV charger means connecting it directly to a breaker in your electric panel, which is safer but requires an electrician. If you already have a 240-volt outlet, you might be able to install a plug-in charger yourself.  

Read More: Hardwired VS plug-in EV chargers

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How Much Does a Level 2 Charger Cost?

It will cost at least $300-$500 to purchase a good level 2 EV charger, and you can expect to pay $1,000 or more to install it in your home. Then, you’ll only need to pay for the electricity to charge your EV, which costs an average of $0.17 per kWh in the US.

The cost to install an EV charger in your home will vary depending on how far away your electrical panel is, how old your electrical system is, and the laws in your city or state. However, much of this cost can be reduced if you sign up for rebates and other incentives offered in your area.

How Much Does Level 2 Charging Cost On The Road?

It’s possible to find free public chargers in your area, but they typically cost around $0.30-$0.60 per kWh. Depending on the company, you might also need to pay extra for idling fees, membership fees, transaction fees, and more. Prices at level 2 charging stations might also change drastically based on the time of day.

Read More: How much does it cost to charge an EV?

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The Benefits of Installing a Level 2 Charger at Home

Level 2 chargers are a lot faster than level 1 chargers, and they help you save a lot of money on your energy bills. Most wall-mounted EV chargers come with a smartphone app, so you can control the charging speed, create charging schedules, and monitor your energy use from anywhere in the world.

By scheduling your EV charging times, you can use electricity when prices are low. You’ll also be able to apply for special programs from your energy company that will reduce your electricity bills even more. Plus, the app will warn you when your EV stops charging, or when there’s a potentially dangerous electrical situation.

tesla app
(Image Source: Tesla)

How to Install a Level 2 EV Charger

To install an EV charger in your home, you usually need an electrician to evaluate your electrical system, obtain the proper permits, and install the charger for you. When the installation is complete, you are also required to have an inspector verify that all local codes were followed, and the charger is safe.

If you need any help installing your EV charger, HelloTech can send an electrician to your door to give you a free quote. We can provide an in-home quote in as little as 15-30 minutes, and our technicians can schedule your installation within a week or two of the estimate.

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