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Like its name may suggest, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is similar to an EV in many ways, but it’s different in other ways as well. For example, PHEVs can travel in battery-only mode just like EVs can, but usually, PHEVs don’t have as much range compared to a battery electric vehicle (BEV). As such, there’s a difference in how quickly a PHEV and an EV can be charged, and here’s a look at how long it’ll take to charge a PHEV with a Level 2 charger.

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A curbside electric car charger | Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This is the equipment that’s needed for Level 2 charging

Like the Department of Energy wrote, certain equipment may be necessary in order for owners to take advantage of Level 2 charging. Almost every PHEV and EV on the market can use a J1772 connector, as it’s the standard connector in the industry. The J1772 connector can be used for both Level 1 and Level 2 charging, though it will not be capable of DC fast charging. 

The current exception to this is Tesla and its chargers. Instead of a J1772 connector, Teslas currently have a Tesla Connector, though that may change in the future. In any case, what this also means is that the Tesla Supercharger network as well as Tesla’s home charging equipment use a Tesla-specific connector. PHEV owners who want to charge their car with those Tesla options will need to buy an adapter.

How long it’ll take to charge a PHEV with a Level 2 charger

A Level 2 charger will supply between 7 kW to 19 kW of power, and its voltage can vary between 208V for commercial Level 2 chargers and 240V for home chargers. With that being said, there is some debate about exactly how much range a Level 2 charger can supply in an hour. The Department of Energy estimates that a Level 2 charger can typically put out 25 miles of range per hour.

NeoCharge, on the other hand, wrote that a Level 2 charger can supply between 12 to 30 miles of range per hour. However, since PHEVs don’t tend to have much range, it should mean that a Level 2 charger will fill up a PHEV rather quickly. Of course, it also depends on how much range the PHEV can have.

The Karma GS-6 is a longer range PHEV, and it has about 61 miles of range. As such, it will take at least two hours to charge that Karma, and up to five hours at worst. Most PHEVs, however, get between 15 and 40 miles of range. As a result, the average PHEV owner can recharge their car in one to three hours with a Level 2 charger. 

Where drivers can find a Level 2 charger for their plug-in hybrid electric vehicles


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While that may seem slow compared to filling up a tank of gas, Level 2 chargers are much faster than Level 1 chargers. For comparison, Level 1 chargers only add five miles of charge per hour. On top of that, there are a lot of Level 2 chargers out in the world as businesses and EV enthusiasts know that Level 1 charging is too slow to be used by any EV owner who has a commute. 

As a result, Level 2 chargers are practically the average charger that PHEV and EV owners will come across in the world. They’re found at businesses, parking garages, apartment complexes, schools, workplaces, and more.

It’s also possible to install a Level 2 home charger, but this is likely a bad idea for PHEV owners. They can easily top off their PHEV overnight with a Level 1 charger, so a Level 2 home charger is overkill.

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