Following the success of Electric Car companies like Tesla and the improvement in the power systems of Electric Vehicles (EVs) over the last few years, it is becoming incredibly commonplace to own Electric Vehicles in the United States today. Level 3 charging, the fastest level of charging for Electric Vehicles, has seen a rise in adoption by many Electric Car users due to fast charging speeds, yet the system still has some drawbacks.
You cannot install a Level 3 charger at home. Theoretically, you could, but it is not a practical endeavor due to high costs, engineering complexity, and high voltage ratings. As a result the cost of installing and running it far outweighs the benefits.
Although Level 3 chargers are the most efficient charging stations on the market today, they are primarily employed in public and industrial areas. Read on to learn more about Level 3 chargers and find answers to other questions about chargers for Electric Vehicles.
- Why Installing a Level 3 Charger at Home Is Not Feasible
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Installing a Level 3 Charger at Home Is Not Feasible
Level 3 chargers offer lightning charging speeds for Electric Vehicles and are usually the most preferred choice for most electric car users.
Therefore, it is common for many users to want a Level 3 charging station at home. However, if you’re going to install a Level 3 charger at home, you will encounter a few drawbacks.
Installing a Level 3 charger at home is not feasible due to engineering, legal and economic problems. These problems include:
- The complexity of installation.
- The cost of installation.
- Local laws.
- Safety concerns.
Level 3 Chargers Are Too Complex To Install at Home
Most houses in the United States are on a 240V electrical grid system. However, Level 3 chargers require at least 400V grid systems and specialized equipment to set up and function.
This voltage rating is due to the extremely high power requirement of the charging station.
Level 3 charging stations can only be installed by highly trained personnel working closely with local governments.
If you want to find out why your Tesla Is Not Charging at Home? Here’s How to Fix it. I wrote this helpful article to make the problem simpler to solve.
Installing a Level 3 Charger at Home Has High Costs of Installation
On average, the charger and related hardware for Level 3 charging stations cost $12,000 to $35,000. This price can soar even more depending on freight and personnel costs.
Even if your home is on a 400V grid, the cost of installing the charger will very likely exceed the price of your Electric Vehicle.
Local Laws May Prohibit You From Installing a Level 3 Charger at Home
Some states do not allow private residents to draw more than a certain amount of electricity for their homes. Therefore, this can be a drawback to setting up a charging station. In addition, some municipalities might impose significant levies on power-intensive projects.
Installing a Level 3 Charger at Home May Pose Some Safety Concerns
Level 3 chargers operate using vast amounts of electricity, increasing the risk of fatal electric shocks and severe electric fires. Incorrect installation can put your home and your charger’s safety and performance at risk.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Level 3 Charger?
There are three charging systems on the market today: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 chargers. These levels are suitable for all types of Electric vehicles, from electric scooters to heavy-duty electric trucks. And while each charging system varies from the other in application, complexity, installation costs, and electric power delivered, Level 3 chargers offer the fastest charging speeds for Electric Vehicles.
Level 3 chargers are the quickest charging stations for Electric Vehicles currently available on the market today. They use Direct Current (DC) instead of Alternating Current (AC) when plugged in and offer far greater voltage (up to 350kW) compared to Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations.
Typically, a Level 3 charger will deliver 300 kW of electric power to an Electric Vehicle and charge a dead battery to full in about 40 minutes. This charging time is much faster than Level 1 and 2 batteries that require 40 and 8 hours, respectively, to charge a dead battery to full.
By the way, I wrote a somewhat related article where I explained How To Open Tesla Model 3 Frunk With Dead Battery. You can check it out when you’re done.
These numbers translate to 298 miles (480 km) of range to a passenger car in the time it takes for you to grab a quick breakfast.When delivering power, level 3 chargers also connect directly to the Electric Vehicle’s battery and need a direct connection to the electricity grid for their operation.
Naturally, because of the amount of power they supply to cars, Level 3 chargers require high-voltage electricity sources, which are only available in a few residential areas. Therefore, they are mainly used in public charging stations and industrial settings.
The Difference Between Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Chargers
The principal difference between Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 charging stations for Electric Vehicles is the electric power that the chargers deliver to automobiles. Charging times are directly proportional to the power output, and the faster the charge, the higher the output.
Consequently, the greater the charging station level, the higher the power output.
|Charging Level||Power Output||Operating Voltage||Charging Time||Driving Range (for each hour of charging)||Locations For Use|
|Level 1||1.3 to 2.4 kW||120 V||24 to 40 hours||3 to 5 miles (5 to 8 kilometers)||Home, Workplace, and Public|
|Level 2||3 to 19 kW||208 to 240 V||5 to 8 hours||12 to 80 miles (19 to 130 kilometers)||Home, Workplace, and Public|
|Level 3||24 to 350 kW||400 to 900 V||20 to 60 minutes||200 to 300 miles (322 to 483 kilometers)||Public|
With Level 1 chargers, you can connect your Electric Vehicle to a conventional 110 or 120 volt AC outlet in your garage. Level 2 charging, which employs a 240-volt system, reduces charging times by 70%. Level 3 charging, also known as DCFC or Fast Charging, requires special grids due to its high operating voltage.
Suppose you would like a better visual of the different electric vehicles’ charging station levels, this video from Driving.ca does a beautiful job of explaining:
You can use any charging station for your Electric Vehicle, including the Level 3 charger. You can do this because all Electric Vehicles have safeguards to allow only the required amount of electricity during the charging process.
How Much Does It Cost To Charge an Electric Vehicle Using a Level 3 Charger?
Level 3 chargers (or “Superchargers,” as Tesla calls them) have become more commonplace as public charging systems due to their fast charging speeds. There are presently three Level 3 charging plugs in use in the Electric Vehicle industry.
Nissan and Mitsubishi use the Asian CHAdeMO standard for their Electric Vehicles; Tesla has its plug, while the rest uses the Combined Charging System, or “Combo” plug.
As an added bonus to this article, I’ve created this easy-to-use charging calculator. Simply input your model, charging wattage, and charging percentage, and you will get the estimated time it will take to charge a Tesla in terms of hours. You can play around with numbers a bit just to see how charging time changes:
Tesla Charging Calculator (Time):
Estimated Time It Takes To Charge Your Tesla
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On average, it costs between $0.40 and $0.60 per kWh to charge an Electric Vehicle using a Level 3 charger. This means that the cost of charging your car will depend on the capacity and size of the battery. However, the price may vary depending on the company providing the charging services.
On the other hand, it costs between $0.20 and $0.25 per kWh on average to charge an Electric Vehicle using a Level 2 charger. Although it costs less per kilowatt-hour to charge a car using a Level 2 charger compared to a Level 3 charger, Level 3 charging stations provide more mileage in a fraction of the time.
Level 3 charging stations are the standard in public spaces and industrial areas where companies can efficiently resolve engineering and economic costs.
However, charging your Electric Vehicle using a Level 3 charger is more efficient because of the cheaper charging fees overall and the reduced time it takes to recharge.
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