The popularity and proliferation of electric vehicles have grown rapidly over the last decade, with major auto manufacturers and governments alike supporting the adoption of electric mobility. For vehicle owners, EVs also offer considerable advantages over traditional cars including enhanced driving performance with instant torque, reduced maintenance, and the convenience of charging at home or in one of many public charging stations.


You might be one of many people who are considering buying their first electric vehicle, or have just bought one. For many owners, driving an EV and especially charging one will be a totally new experience with a learning curve.


The Advantage of EV Chargers


Obviously, how you power your electric vehicle is one of the first differences you will notice compared to traditional cars you might have driven before. Some drivers also need time to get used to the process of switching from gas to electric charging.


One of the key advantages of driving an electric vehicle is the convenience of electric charging. Whether at home, at the office, whilst parked outside, or in public charging stations, you can essentially charge your EV anywhere.


Charging your electric vehicle is kind of like charging your mobile phone. As long as you have a charger, you can charge anytime you prefer, while many owners prefer to charge at home while they sleep. Currently, the time it takes from empty to fully charging an EV requires slightly more time than refilling a gasoline powered car. However, as more and more public charging stations become available in major cities around the world, EV owners also have the added option of charging on-the-go – while shopping, on trips, or on the way to work – usually between 15-45 minutes.


EV Chargers Explained


An easy way to think about EV charging is in terms of charging levels. There are three levels of charging: simply known as level 1, 2, and 3. As a general rule, the higher the level means the higher the power output – and the faster your vehicle will charge.


Level 1

Level 1 charging basically means when you plug your vehicle into the socket with a standard AC power plug. This is the slowest way to charge your EV as standard household outlets deliver a maximum of 1.92 kW. With no communication between the power outlet and vehicle, Level 1 charging can also be potentially dangerous for your vehicle.


Level 2

Level 2 chargers are any standard AC charging units mounted to a wall, on a pole, or placed on the ground. They can deliver up to 19.2kW and are usually installed in residential homes, public, and commercial locations. Both Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) are capable of charging via AC Level 2 chargers.


With a maximum output of 19.2kW, an hour’s charge will provide about 100km to your battery’s range. This means a much faster charge compared to Level 1 at about 5-6 hours, and combined with a range of smart connectivity options, as well as safety features, many vehicle owners ultimately decide to invest in an AC home charging station. Apart from home charging, Level 2 chargers are found at public stations and shopping malls, where vehicles are parked for longer periods of time.


Level 3 (DC Fast Charger)

Level 3 charging, also known as DC or fast charging, relies on direct current to charge an EV’s battery directly, delivering more power in less time. Due to this fast charging capability, they are often found at gas stations and highways for charging on road trips.


Most Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) support fast charging, and the speed of charging is usually decided by the vehicle’s Battery Management System. Typically, Level 3 chargers can charge a vehicle in a matter of minutes compared to hours for Level 2, and days required for Level 1 charging.


EV Charging Connectors Explained


With the electric vehicle industry still in its initial stage of development, there is currently no universal standard for charging. Different EV models come with different charging connectors that are also available in different countries. As such, it is important to know the connector type of your EV for optimal charging.



CHAdeMO stands for “Charge de Move” and was designed by manufacturers primarily from Japan. Carmakers including Nissan and Mitsubishi largely use the CHAdeMO connector standard.



Vehicle manufacturers around the world use the Combined Charging System or CCS connector as an industry standard, while they are often associated with North American and European carmakers. With the exception of Tesla, all new passenger electric vehicles in North America come with CCS connectors.


SAE J1772

This connector type supports both Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging. Slower than DC fast charging, Level 1 and 2 are primarily meant for locations such as at home or work where you can charge over a few hours. Apart from Tesla, all EVs use the SAE J1772 connector for AC charging in the North America.



Finally, Tesla connectors are exclusively designed for Tesla vehicles. As one of the first manufacturers to market with fast charging, Tesla designed its own charging connector and also sells adaptors to enable Tesla drivers to charge with non-Tesla chargers.