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The world continues to embrace energy-efficient electric vehicles to reduce the effects of greenhouse emissions on the environment. Charging electric cars can be done at home, work, or public charging points such as those found at Safeway locations.

Many businesses, like Safeway, have embraced the electrification of the automotive market and provide free electric vehicle charging stations for their employees and customers. But how long does it take to charge an electric car at Safeway?

The front of a Safeway grocery store.
A Safeway in California | Gado/Getty Images

The time an electric car takes to charge

At Safeway, the amount of time it takes to charge an electric car depends on a few factors. 

First is the type of charger being used. Level 1 chargers are the slowest and require the longest charging times, while Level 2 chargers are faster. Naturally, Level 3 chargers are faster than both Level 1 and 2.

The second factor is how much charge your car has left. A car with a low battery will take longer to charge than one that’s almost full. 

Finally, the amount of power supplied by the charger also influences charging time. Most Safeway locations have chargers that are rated for 40-80 amps.

Typically, you can expect to charge your electric car anywhere from 1-6 hours at Safeway depending on the factors mentioned above. However, this is just a general estimate and your results will vary.

The different electric vehicle charging levels

There are up to three charging levels for electric cars. They include:

Level 1 chargers

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Level 1 charging equipment charges through a 120-Volt, AC plug and a dedicated circuit. On this level, the charging equipment is portable and takes more time than the other levels. 

It can take 5 to 6 hours to charge the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). A battery electric vehicle (BEV) takes 50-60 hours to charge.

Level 2 chargers

Level 2 charging equipment requires 240V, an AC plug, and a 40-amp circuit. You can install it for your home or public use. 

The advantage of the Level 2 charging equipment is that it’s compatible with most EVs and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles, not limiting the users. It takes 4 to 6 hours to charge a completely depleted battery on Level 2. Keep in mind this time can increase if it’s colder.

Level 3 chargers

Level 3 charges through 480V and a direct-current (DC) plug, which can charge up to 80% of an EV’s battery within 30 minutes.

However, this charging equipment is only for some types of electric vehicles so make sure your car is compatible before plugging in.

Why do businesses offer level 2 or 3 EV charging stations? 

Simply put, people with EVs prefer to shop and work in places with charging stations. Having electric vehicle charging stations at your business helps attract more customers. However, the kind of charging station you have also have a huge role to play. 

The Level 2 charging stations are compatible with most vehicles, so no customer will drive away in disappointment. It’s also more affordable to install this type of EV charging equipment.

Other businesses prefer Level 3 charging stations as they charge much faster. A driver gets to charge their EV in the time it takes them to shop.

Safeway is adding more charging stations

Safeway recognized these benefits and is installing chargers at more of its locations. According to Progressive Grocer, Safeway is even partnering with charging station-maker Volta Industries to offer free charging.

This is a win-win for both Volta and Safeway. Time will tell if the grocery store chain is rewarded for being an early adopter of electric vehicles.

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