My Electric Car – 5. Charging Stations

There are three levels of charging stations:

  • Level-1 (approx. 120 volts and 12-20 Amps): provides a low-power charging option, which means that it can take up to 30 hours to fully charge a 20 kWh battery. This is a standard wall power outlet, and it is what I’m using right now: with the portable plug-in unit that came with Leaf, I charge my EV on a 110V outlet at home.
  • Level-2 (approx. 240 volts and 12-80 Amps): with this option it can take up to 8 hours to fully charge a 20-kWh battery. Many public charging stations are level 2 – 3kW or 6kW. You can also install a level-2 charger at home that is plugged into a 240V outlet.
  • Level-3 (approx. 480 volts and up to 125 Amps): this is the fastest option and it’s also called the “DCFC or DC Fast Charge”. You can fully charge your EV within 30 minutes, but it is only efficient if your battery is 80% or lower.

Before heading to a public charging station, make sure that your EV is compatible with the connectors.

Tesla has its own network of Tesla Supercharging stations. It can take about 20 minutes to charge 50% of the battery, 40 minutes to 80%, and 75 minutes to 100%.

In Canada, government buildings and some business have installed charging stations on their properties; some are free and some charge a small fee.