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Electric Vehicle Charging Levels 101

Filling up a fuel-powered car is straightforward. You drive into a gas station, fill your tank with fuel, and away you go. Driving an EV is more like charging up your smartphone. You have to plug it in while you’re not using it. Maybe you plug it in while you’re sleeping, or while you’re at work but however you do it, charging an EV is much different from filling up and carrying on.

You can charge electric vehicles at three levels – 1,2 or 3. Understanding these levels can help you immensely when it comes to knowing how long you have to wait to get a full charge.


Think of Level 1 charging as a standard 110–120-volt household outlet. It’s the lowest form of charge and as you can probably guess, the slowest.

On a standard household outlet, it can take days to fill an empty EV battery. This might be totally fine if you aren’t driving very much or if your trips are short and only a handful of kilometres. With most EVs, a level 1 charge will add about 4-6 kilometres for every 1 hour of charging. With most Canadians driving less than 50 km a day, a level 1 charge works out fine if you are planning to just plug in while you sleep.  


If you’re familiar with the type of outlet your dryer is most likely plugged into, this is Level 2. It’s a 240-volt charge that has a slightly larger plug/outlet than the standard household socket.

Most homes with proper electrical can have this type of charging outlet hardwired in. Commonly used at public charging stations, Level 2 chargers can add up to 32 kilometres per hour of charging. That means a full charge for your EV overnight and/or daily if you have access to a Level 2 charger at work. For busy, on-the-go families that are always using the car, a Level 2 charge can help ensure that your EV is fully juiced and ready to go at all times.


These charging stations are most commonly found in public places like retail parking lots and along major highways.

A Level 3 charger boasts a 480-volt charge and can fully power up your EV in about an hour. These charging stations are great for road trips and other long drives. Found along many major routes, this type of charging station can give your EV a sufficient boost while you stop to rest, have a snack or take care of other human needs.

BONUS LEVEL 4 (Tesla only) 

There is a Level 4 charger but so far it is solely for the use of Tesla EVs. This supercharger can recharge a Tesla up to 80% in just 20-30 minutes. Tesla’s Level 4 supercharger is undeniably the fastest charge out there producing 150 kilowatts. That’s over a million volts of electricity! You can learn more about it here 

It’s an exciting time to consider making the switch to an EV. With so many to choose from, can help you find the electric ride of your dreams. Find us at