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Level 2 EV charger guide

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Your guide to level 2 EV chargers and installation

As the world shifts towards electric vehicles, efficient charging is becoming a must. Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) chargers provide the innovation you need to keep your EV running — and home installation is now more accessible than ever. 

Unlike standard chargers, level 2 EV chargers offer a much quicker charging experience, getting you back on the road faster. They're perfect for home use, giving your EV a speedy boost overnight or during work hours.

But, with so many options out there, how do you pick the right one? That's where we can help. At SpotDif, we understand that every EV driver has unique needs. Whether you're looking for an affordable option, the fastest charging time, or a charger with specific features, our intuitive platform simplifies your search. We compare a wide range of suppliers, ensuring you find the perfect match at the best price. Plus, we're here to help every step of the way.

Need guidance on installation or have questions about compatibility? Our information hub is packed with handy guides and insightful support. Read on for all you need to know about level 2 EV chargers and let us find the right option for your needs.

EV charging vehicles

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What is a level 2 charger for an electric vehicle?

Exploring the world of electric vehicle (EV) chargers can be quite an adventure. Among the various options, you might have come across the term 'level 2 charger'. But what exactly is a level 2 charger, and how does it differ from a level 1 charger?

A level 2 charger is a step up from the standard level 1 charger that typically accompanies your EV. It operates on a 240-volt power supply — think along the lines of what you’d use for your dishwasher or tumble dryer. This higher voltage allows the level 2 charger to power up your EV significantly faster than a level 1 charger, which uses a regular 120-volt home outlet.

The difference really shines in the charging speed. With a level 1 charger, you're looking at adding about three to five miles of range per hour of charging — a slow and steady pace that's suitable for overnight charging or short daily commutes. But if you need more speed, the level 2 charger is your go-to. It can provide approximately 12 to 80 miles of range per hour, making it a practical choice for those with longer commutes or who simply prefer a quicker charge.

You'll often see level 2 chargers installed at home, and they are also popular at public charging stations and workplaces. Their faster charging rate not only saves time but also enhances the overall convenience of using an EV, especially for longer trips and more demanding driving schedules.

Is it cheaper to charge with a level 2 charger?

One of the benefits of owning an electric vehicle is its cheap running cost. EV charging is considerably more affordable than filling up with petrol or diesel, particularly with rising fuel costs. Charging your electric car could cost as little as 4 pence per mile — a stark contrast to the average petrol or diesel vehicle which could cost around 14-16 pence per mile. 

Of course, to benefit from these low EV charging costs, you ideally need an at-home charger. But is a level 2 charger cheaper than a level one? It's not necessarily the charger itself that affects the cost, but rather the speed and efficiency of charging. Being faster, level 2 chargers let you make the most of off-peak electricity rates if available. This can mean charging your EV more economically during times when electricity is cheaper.

However, there's an initial investment to consider, too. Installing a level 2 charger at home usually comes with a higher upfront cost compared to a level 1 charger. But the long-term benefits, like reduced charging time and the potential to utilise lower electricity rates, can balance this out over time.

Ultimately, whether a level 2 charger is cheaper for you depends on your charging habits, electricity tariffs, and initial installation costs. SpotDif is here to help you understand these factors, so you can make a choice that's both economical and suited to your EV lifestyle.

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What types of level 2 EV chargers are available?

EV charger

With so many different electric cars and vehicles on the market nowadays, it’s no surprise that there are also different EV charger varieties. What are your options? Understanding the different types available will help you find the best fit for your property. 

Wall-mounted vs floor-mounted chargers

It costs less to install this EV charger

Firstly, you can choose between wall-mounted and floor-mounted chargers. Wall-mounted chargers are the most common and are installed on a wall, often in a garage. They're space-efficient, keeping your charging area tidy and uncluttered.

Alternatively, you could opt for a standalone floor-mounted charger. These units are great if you have limited wall space or if you prefer a more flexible setup. You’ll usually find this type of EV charger at public charging stations but they can be a good fit for home use too.

Tethered and untethered chargers

EV charger plugged into car

Tethered chargers come with a fixed charging cable. It’s convenient since you won't need to store or handle separate cables, but it does mean you're limited to the cable length.

On the other hand, you have untethered chargers. Offering more flexibility, these allow you to use different cables. Ideal if you have multiple EVs with different connectors or if you want the freedom to upgrade your cable in the future.

AC and DC level 2 EV chargers

EV charger at home

Then there’s the power format to consider. AC chargers are the typical choice for home charging. They are compatible with the onboard converter of your EV, turning AC power from your home into DC power for your battery.

DC chargers are less common for home use, — they provide DC power directly to the battery, allowing for faster charging. However, they are more complex and often more expensive.

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Choosing the right connectors and plugs

EV charger socket

It’s essential that your charger is compatible with your EV’s connector type and suitable for your location's plug standards. Different regions have different plug types, and EV models vary in their connector requirements. So always check the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure your charger will fit both your vehicle and your home power outlet.

Are level 2 EV chargers available as dual chargers?

Dual level 2 EV chargers are indeed an option and they're a smart choice for certain users. A dual charger essentially means having two charging points in one unit. This setup is perfect for households with multiple EVs or for businesses looking to provide convenient charging solutions.

With a dual charger, you can charge two vehicles at the same time, doubling the efficiency of your charging station. It’s a real space-saver too. Whether you’re a family with more than one EV or a business aiming to accommodate employees and clients, a dual level 2 charger could be just what you need. SpotDif can help you explore these options to find a charger that suits your specific needs perfectly.

What do I need for Level 2 charging at home?

Opting for Level 2 charging at home is a great move for any electric vehicle (EV) owner, bringing both convenience and efficiency. But what exactly do you need to set it up? Let’s break it down into simple elements:

  • Adequate electrical supply: First and foremost, you'll need a 240-volt electrical outlet, similar to what you’d use for heavy appliances like a dryer. This might require an upgrade from your standard 120-volt outlet, so it’s worth consulting with a qualified electrician.

  • A parking space near the outlet: You’ll need a parking space close enough to the outlet. The charger’s cable must reach your EV easily without stretching across walkways, posing a tripping hazard.

  • The right charger: Choose a level 2 charger that's compatible with your EV. There’s a variety to pick from, and each comes with different features and capabilities.

  • Professional installation: It’s essential to get your charger professionally installed. This ensures safety and compliance with local electrical codes.

  • Permits and approvals: Depending on your location, you might need permits for the installation. Check with your local authorities about any required approvals.

  • WiFi connection (optional): Some level 2 chargers offer smart features, like scheduling and tracking usage, which require a WiFi connection.

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How much does it cost to install a Level 2 charger at home?

The cost of installing a Level 2 charger at home depends on several factors but a ballpark figure is from £500 to £1400. According to the RAC, most homeowners pay about £800.

The charger itself tends to cost between £200 and £800, depending on features and brand. Then, there's the installation cost. If your home already has a suitable 240-volt outlet and your electrical system can handle the extra load, installation might be on the lower end, around £300 to £600.

However, if you need an electrical system upgrade or a new 240-volt outlet, costs can increase, potentially adding several hundred pounds to the total. Also, don’t forget potential extras like permits or additional features like WiFi connectivity.

Are there any government grants to help with the cost of EV charger installation?

Are you considering installing an EV charger but worried about the cost? Good news! There are government incentives to help both homeowners and businesses with this. For instance, if you're a renter or a flat owner, the EV chargepoint grant offers financial support for installing charging points. It's a great way to make the switch to electric more affordable.

Landlords and businesses aren't left out either. The EV chargepoint and infrastructure grant is designed to encourage the installation of EV charging infrastructure in residential buildings and commercial spaces. These grants significantly reduce the financial burden, making it easier and more viable to support sustainable transportation.

These grants not only lower installation costs but also accelerate our collective move towards a greener future. Keen to learn more? Head over to our EV charger grants page for detailed information on how these grants can benefit you.

Find the right level 2 EV home charger for you

At SpotDif, we understand that choosing the right level 2 EV charger can be a bit of a puzzle. That's why we've created a user-friendly comparison tool to help you find the perfect charger that fits your unique needs, all at the best price.

Why settle when you can select the ideal charger with confidence? Let SpotDif guide you to the best choice for your EV. Start exploring with our comparison tool today.


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Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist
Combining in-depth research with an interest in all things home improvement, I aim to keep SpotDif readers up to date with interior design trends, renewable energy options, and more.

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