With the ever changing world of “going green”, electric vehicles (EVs) have become more prevalent.  As such, Consumers, Various Facilities and EV Dealerships are facing the challenge of adding chargers to operate and support the servicing of EVs.  
So what are the different “levels” of EV chargers?  To compare chargers, we will utilize a new Ford Electric F150 Lightning which is listed with a stock 98 kWh (kilowatt hour) battery and a travel range of approximately 230 miles per charge.
Level 1 AC Charger (Residential Use):  This is basically an extension cord that will plug into a normal wall receptacle.  It will output 120V AC power at roughly 12 amps (A) to the EV.  This will charge the F150 at a rate of approximately 4 miles per hour.
Level 2 AC Charger (Residential Use):  This is similar to a level 1 AC charger but utilizes a 240V receptacle, similar to what an electric stove would use. This will charge the F150 at a rate of approximately 14 miles per hour.
Level 2 DC Charger (Residential and Commercial Use):  This charger is rated up to 19.2kW, draws upwards of 80A, and typically operates at 208V or 240V.  This type of charger will be a wall or pedestal mount unit and will convert the power to DC before delivering it to the EV bypassing the EV’s internal charging module.  The benefit of this charger, is it can typically output more power than what the EV’s onboard charging module can.  This will charge the F150 at a rate of approximately 30 miles per hour. (Before purchasing this charger for residential use, it would be beneficial to determine the electrical system’s capacity and current demand within your home.)
Level 3 DC Fast Charger (Commercial Use):  This charger will typically require a 480V 3-phase power connection and will operate up to 360kW.  The F150 maximum input is 155kW which will charge at a rate of approximately 54 miles in 10 minutes.  
On one recent project, a Client wanted to add a Level 3 DC fast charger to their Facility for both internal and public use.  This particular charger was roughly the size of a refrigerator, weighed close to 800 pounds, required a 480V 3-phase electrical connection and was rated at 54 kilowatt (kW).  This power consumption is equivalent to turning on five hundred and forty (540) 100 watt light bulbs.  EADS first evaluated the existing electrical system at the facility and determined upgrades were required.  EADS then designed and performed the necessary utility coordination to deliver a dedicated 480V 3-phase electrical system for powering the charger and provisions for future expansion.
Helpful Facts:  
  • When shopping for an EV such as the F150, the stock battery can be upgraded to a larger battery at time of purchase just like adding optional leather seats.  Take into consideration your travel needs and range when selecting which battery to purchase.
  • When charging an EV, the charge rate rapidly decreases once the battery reaches 80% to avoid overheating and overcharging.  Charging from 0% to 80% may take less time than charging from 80% to 100%.  When traveling with an EV, it may be beneficial to limit charging to 80% to get back on the road quicker.
If your clients have any questions regarding adding EV chargers to their facilities, contact Mike McLucas in the Altoona Electrical Department!