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The popularity of EVs has continued to increase in the automotive market. While more drivers are purchasing these cars, many people still don’t know the ins and outs of electric vehicle ownership. EVs require special considerations, like range conservation in winter, along with the charging process in general.

There are three levels of EV charging, so let’s start with the middle-ground option. How long does it take to charge an EV with a Level 2 charger, and where can you find them?

What kind of equipment do Level 2 chargers need?

According to the AFDC, all Level 2 chargers require a J1772 connector, similar to Level 1 chargers. Alternatively, they can also operate with a Tesla connector. If you have a Tesla and can’t locate a Supercharger station, you can use any Level 2 charging station instead.

In fact, you can replenish the battery of any EV in the U.S. using either a Level 2 or Level 1 charger. Most of these chargers supply 7 kW of power, particularly the ones installed on commercial properties. However, some Level 2 home chargers can provide as much as 19.2 kW. 

Forbes says that 48-amp chargers, which supply the highest power, are more expensive than 40-amp ones. The bigger chargers are also more complicated to install because NEC codes require them to be hardwired a certain way.

Another reason Level 2 chargers can be so expensive is that many households aren’t equipped to accommodate them. Most garages only have a solitary 240V outlet for a large appliance like a water heater.

If you need a panel upgrade to install an extra 240V outlet, this can cost $2,500 with equipment and labor costs. However, you can install a Level 2 charger for as cheap as $300 if your home has multiple 240V outlets. Still, Forbes also cautions that some high-end Level 2 chargers cost up to $1,000.

Depending on what EV you have, it may already have its own portable Level 2 charger. However, most only come with Level 1 chargers, which can be plugged into any 120V outlet.

Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging rates

An electric car/electric vehicle (EV) charging station sign in Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg, Sweden
An electric vehicle (EV) charging station sign | Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

NeoCharge tells us that Level 2 charging can restore between 12-30 miles of range within 1 hour. Depending on the model of your EV, it can take around 8-12 hours to recharge your EV from an empty battery. This means that many EVs can be recharged completely overnight when attached to Level 2 chargers.

According to the Department of Transportation, most PHEV batteries can be fully recharged in 1-2 hours. If you have an older EV (or one with a lower battery capacity), recharging it may only take 4-5 hours. 

How to find Level 2 chargers in your area

If your gas station doesn’t provide any Level 2 chargers, you can also find them in public shopping plazas. Hotels and commercial businesses may offer Level 2 chargers onsite for employees and guests. Level 2 chargers are also installed at colleges, apartment complexes, and private housing communities. 

You can search for “charging station” on Google Maps to find all the Level 2 chargers near you. If the charger is located at a place with Google reviews, these can indicate how long you might be waiting for an open charger. The reviews can also tell you if the charger of your preference is out of order.

Alternatively, you can locate EV chargers using smartphone apps like Chargepoint and PlugShare. Depending on the charger’s location, you may even be able to reserve your spot in advance. Better yet, you can skip the line entirely by installing a Level 2 charger in your own home. 

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