Level 1 Charging
Level 1 charging is the technical jargon for plugging your car into an ordinary household outlet. For an average EV (Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, Mitsubishi PEV Outlander, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Holden Volt) this equates to around 7.2km of range per hour of charge or about 22 hours for a full re-charge. It would usually be uncommon to be completely re-charging from empty to full, instead EV drivers are usually “topping up” their batteries after having driven a small number of km that day e.g if you had driven 60km that day then it would take approximately 9 hours to charge you back to full from that level.
Level 1 charging can be useful as a destination charger or as a portable option, but probably is too slow to help on say a longer road trip, as you will require a faster charge in a shorter period of time.
Level 2 Charging
Level 2 supplies 240V, like what an electric dryer or oven uses. It goes through a box and a cord that improves safety by waiting to send power to the plug until it's plugged into an EV. Level 2 allows for a wide range of charging speeds, all the way up to 19.2 kilowatts (kW), or about 112km of range per hour of charging. Having said this, the Electronics on board the car transform the wall power into the proper form to charge the battery, therefore limiting the maximum power. The first generation Nissan Leafs can only use 3.3 kW, about 19km of range per hour, or about 8 hours for a full charge from empty. The Holden Volt's on-board charger is also limited to 3.3 kW, although its smaller battery pack gets full sooner.
Many level 2 chargers can be found in public places such as shopping centres, universities and commercial building garages.
DC Fast Charging
Utilizing a direct current, DC fast chargers represent the fastest option for EV Charging currently available. DC fast chargers can be used on all EV (Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, Mitsubishi PEV Outlander, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Holden Volt) although adaptors or specific plugs may be required to utilise the charging station. DC fast charging stations will become more and more accessible as the uptake of EV continues, and governments, councils and business begin to invest in the necessary EV infrastructure. DC fast chargers can give you 65km of range for every 10 minutes of charge, and are ideal for road trips and long distance journeys. You can have almost a full charge from empty in the time it takes to finish a coffee.