EV Charging – How EV Chargers Work

We’ve all seen electric vehicles on the road now. Maybe you’ve even looked at a luxury electric vehicle like a Tesla and considered making it your next car. That’s probably not a bad idea, because it certainly looks like in the very near future, electric cars will be most of the new cars on sale. Understanding the mechanics of how EV chargers work involves delving into factors like voltage, current, and the versatility of a portable EV charger.

We’re not quite there yet, but in less than a decade, we definitely might be.

Most people don’t quite understand how electric vehicles work though.

The truth is, there are actually several different kinds of electric vehicles out there.

First, there are hybrids, also sometimes known as plug in hybrids. These have a rechargeable battery, but also use traditional fuel. Then there are fuel cell electric vehicles, which use sealed batteries that don’t need to be charged. Then there are the plug-in electric vehicles we usually think about when we say “EV.”

These cars work a lot like your cell phone, in that they need to be charged in order to be used. Except, as you can imagine, the batteries are a lot bigger, and you need a lot more of them. So you need to use a special kind of charger.

What are EV Chargers?

EV chargers are simply the outlet that supplies the power your EV batteries need to be able to power the car. There are several types of chargers though, so let’s look at the three levels of EV charger you might use.

Charging levels

Level 1 – Portable EVSE

A level 1 EV charger is basically just any 120-volt power socket in your home or garage. Technically, your electric vehicle can plug into these, and they will charge – but it will take a very long time. In fact, it could take a day or more to charge your vehicle, so this is really for emergencies only! If you had to use a level 1 charger every day, you’d never be able to go anywhere!

Level 2 – Wall Chargers

Level 2 EV chargers are a bit better and are purposely designed for electric vehicles. This kind of charger uses 240 volts, so it supplies double the power. It can charge an EV battery in about half a day. Which is still not lightning fast, but manageable if you plan to charge overnight.

Level 3 – DC Fast Chargers

Level 3 chargers, DC fast chargers or rapid chargers are the top of the line. These EV chargers can charge the average EV battery to 80% in only one or two hours. So, if you have an EV that you use a lot, this is the kind of charger you probably want to use.


With the way that electric vehicles are taking over, it’s highly likely that in the future, most new houses will come with EV chargers already installed. In fact, many new homes do already come with this, either as a standard feature or an option. In the meantime, however, you can call an electrician to install your EV chargers, so you know it’s done safely and correctly.

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