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Althoff Industries, Inc. Blog

The Different Levels of EV Charging Stations and What They Mean


We offer EV charging station installation in Chicago, IL to our clients, and it’s an addition we recommend for many businesses. We’ve previously written about the many benefits of commercial electric vehicle charging stations, but as a quick reminder of the biggest ones:

  • You’ll draw in more customers
  • You’ll help to retain current employees and attract new ones
  • You’ll improve your brand as a forward-thinking company
  • You’ll reduce your carbon footprint and support green business initiatives
  • Your property value will increase
  • You’ll increase your digital presence

So let’s say you are now interested in installing EV charging stations (and we hope you are!). Now you need to know more about the different types available, specifically the different “levels” of stations. What might work well as a home station may not provide enough benefits for your business. We’ll look into the three levels of charging stations below.

Level 1

This is the most affordable of the three options, and level 1 stations often come packaged with the purchase of EV vehicles. In fact, these aren’t really installations per se, because they only have to be plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet and they’re ready to go. They’re portable and you can quickly move them to other outlets for access. 

However, Level 1 charging stations aren’t suited for businesses. They’re mostly home solutions. They charge slowly, taking around 16 hours to fully charge a vehicle. Being portable isn’t much of a benefit for commercial facilities either, as they can be easily stolen. 

Level 2

This charger is a significantly more powerful station than level 1 and can charge twice as fast, providing a full charge in about 6 to 8 hours. This is a suitable option if you have a small business and only a few employees will use the charger. They can connect their car during work hours and have them fully charged to drive home.

Level 2 chargers require special installations because they use their own dedicated circuit and may require more electrical upgrades. 

Level 3

Also known as a DC fast charger, this is the most popular charger for commercial use; you rarely find them installed for homes because of their cost and the complex installation requirements, which must include an EV charger surge protector. For businesses, level 3 stations offer the complete range of benefits we listed above. These chargers send current directly into an electrical vehicle’s battery and bypasses the onboard charger, which makes charging extremely fast: it only takes about 40 minutes to completely charge a vehicle. 

Contact the Experts

There are many other factors to consider when choosing your EV charging station setup, and you’ll want to work with the best people. Althoff Industries has a team who can see that you have the ideal new charging stations, fully optimized for your specific needs. We’re more than just commercial electrical contractors: we’ll act as your “EV station consultants” who’ll help you maximize the benefits of this technology.

If you’re looking for commercial EV charging stations, contact Althoff Industries, Inc. Challenges Accepted!

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