Electric vehicle charger mounted on the wall and plugged into a vehicle

Which At-Home Charger is Right for You? The Difference Between Level 1, 2, 3 Charging Stations

If you’re like most first-time EV owners, it probably took a few late nights and a couple dozen browser tabs worth of research before you were comfortable pulling the trigger on your new ride. The last thing you want now is to have to do it all over again when deciding which charger you need at home.

With so many different models and features to choose from, choosing a charger can seem complicated. How do you know what level of charging station is going to suit your needs best? Don’t worry, we’ve got you.

Level 1

Most EV owners opt to install either a Level 1 or Level 2 charging station at home. Level 1 chargers operate at 120 volts, meaning installing them is as simple as plugging one into a common household socket. However, Level 1 chargers are only capable of delivering 3 to 5 miles of range per hour. Because they charge so slowly, you rarely see these chargers in public. They are, however, perfect for PHEV owners, as the batteries in these vehicles typically only carry an all-electric range of a few dozen miles, anyway.

Level 2

EV drivers with longer commutes might be better off installing a Level 2 charging station at home. Level 2 chargers operate with a 240-volt power source, like what a home dryer might use, so your existing home electrical infrastructure may need to be upgraded to comply. However, Level 2 chargers are capable of delivering an average of 32 miles of range per hour, though even more is possible depending on the charger’s power output.

Level 3

Level 3 DC fast charging stations operate using a much higher power source – as much as 400 or 500 volts. As a result, these chargers are capable of delivering around 200 miles of range per hour, depending on power output. Level 2 chargers are common in public locations, as are Level 3 DC fast charging stations – and these numbers will continue to grow exponentially. Most homes don’t have a high-voltage supply capable of running a Level 3 charger.

At home or on the go, no matter what level charger you’re taking power from, EVs are designed to only take in what that model can handle. You don’t have to worry about EV components being damaged from a charger delivering too much power at one time.

Charging Station Levels

Charging Speed

Ease of Home Installation

Voltage Needed

Level 1

3-5 miles per hour


120 V

Level 2

32 miles per hour


240 V

Level 3

200 miles per hour


400+ V

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