Electric vehicle charging equipment is commonly categorized into one of three types described below:

Level 1 Charging
Level 1 equipment provides charging through a 120 volt (V), alternating-current (AC) plug and requires a dedicated circuit. Generally speaking, Level 1 charging refers to the use of a standard household outlet.

Level 1 charging equipment is standard on vehicles and therefore is portable and does not require the installation of charging equipment. On one end of the provided cord is a standard, three-prong household plug. On the other end is a connector, which plugs into the vehicle.

Depending on the battery technology used in the vehicle, Level 1 charging generally takes 8 to 12 hours to completely charge a fully depleted battery. The most common place for Level 1 charging is at the vehicle owner's home and is typically conducted overnight.

Level 2 Charging
Level 2 equipment offers charging through a 240V, AC plug and requires installation of home charging or public charging equipment. These units require a dedicated 40 amp circuit.

Level 2 charging equipment is compatible with all electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. Level 2 chargers have a cord that plugs directly into the vehicle in the same connector location used for Level 1 equipment.

Depending on the battery technology used in the vehicle, Level 2 charging generally takes 4 to 6 hours to completely charge a fully depleted battery. Charging time can increase in cold temperatures. Level 2 chargers are commonly found in residential settings, public parking areas, places of employment and commercial settings. 

Level 3 Charging (CHAdeMO)
Level 3 Charger
Level 3 equipment with CHAdeMO technology, also commonly known as DC fast charging, charges through a 480V, direct-current (DC) plug. Most Level 3 chargers provide an 80% charge in 30 minutes.  Cold weather can lengthen the time required to charge.

This type of Level 3 equipment is not compatible with all vehicles, and the charge itself is not accepted by all vehicles. There is currently no industry standard for this level of charging; however, Level 3 chargers are being deployed across the United States in public or commercial settings. Currently, the Mitsubishi "i" and Nissan LEAF can accept a Level 3 charge. Other vehicles, such as the Chevy Volt cannot.

 Level 3 Charging (Tesla Supercharger)

Supercharger_cropped   The Tesla Supercharger will only work for the Tesla Model S, providing half a charge in approximately 20 minutes.
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