Level 1 or Level 2 Charger - charging cost difference?

Discussion in 'General' started by Krseddy, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Krseddy

    Krseddy New Member

    hi all!

    I'm new to the EV/PHEV world and I've scoured the internet and I can't find a clear answer on this:

    I recently purchased a Honda Clarity. Level 1 Charging takes about 10-11 hours to charge from empty to full battery. Level 2 Charging takes usually 3-4 hours.

    Does that mean that the electrical cost for Level 2 charging is cheaper than Level 1 charging (10 hours of use vs. 3 hours of use)?

    Or are they equal costs because the electricity being used is about the same just coming through at different periods of time (10 hrs at 1 kwh vs 3 hrs at 3 kwh)?

    These are kind of made up figures just to see if I'm understanding the point. Thanks!
  2. gooki

    gooki Active Member

    Cost is the same, as total kWh delivered is the same.
  3. Krseddy

    Krseddy New Member

    ok thank you! That's what I figured but wanted to confirm.
  4. DucRider

    DucRider Active Member

    Actually L2 is slightly more efficient and more of the kWh from the wall will make it into the battery. We're only talking a couple of percentage points different, so the actual cost difference is negligible.
    bwilson4web and Pushmi-Pullyu like this.
  5. Krseddy

    Krseddy New Member

    Thanks for that info as well. And yea that’s good to know. I basically pay $2/night and have to wait 11 hours (I have a PHEV and use 85% of the battery each day). So I was wondering if level 2 charging would get that down to say .50 cents or less, but based off your two responses I can see the savings would be minimal compared to the cost of installing the level 2 charger and getting my panel up to 2019 standards.
  6. AlopeX

    AlopeX New Member

    Level 2 can potentially cost less if your electricity provider offers super off peak deals. A lot of utilities have plans that increase your price per kWh during peak hours but give you a super discounted rate over night. A level 2 charger could allow you to charge your car in the super off peak window giving you the same total amount of electricity but it's cheaper due to the cheaper rate.
  7. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Right. The real reason to get a L2 charger is for faster charging, so it doesn't take as many hours to charge up your car at night. It certainly doesn't make any sense to pay the higher fee for a L2 charger -- including the installation fee which can get expensive if your electrician has to install a new 220v circuit just for the charger -- just to save a few cents from a slightly more efficient charge on L2.

    Another reason to get an L2 charger, for some but not others, is that on bitterly cold winter nights, some EVs will use so much of the power coming from the wall to run the battery heater that not much is left over for actually charging the battery, so they may find the next morning that they have hardly added any range. Depending on where you live and whether or not you regularly have winters with bitterly cold days -- let's say, below 20° F -- this may or may not be an issue for you.

    If you do get a L2 charger installed, ask the electrician for an estimate first. Sometimes people get charged ridiculous amounts of money for a simple installation; $1000 or more. If he wants more than, let's say, $200-300 (not counting the cost of the charger), then get some bids from other electricians.

    However, even L1 charging might pose a fire hazard if the circuit being used isn't rated to handle that kind of continuous draw. It's best to have a licensed electrician check the circuit out before you start charging. Think of it as insurance: You'd be penny-wise and pound-foolish to avoid having it checked out just to save the electrician's fee. Do ask the electrician, before you make the appointment, if he's licensed or not. Unfortunately, many people hiring out as electricians aren't.

    Also, don't listen if your neighbor or relative tells you that he's been charging his car every day for months or years and hasn't had any problems with a fire. Your house may not have been wired like his was; and even if it was, maybe he's just been getting lucky.

    If you have an older home and installing a 220v circuit would require upgrading the main breaker panel, then that can get quite expensive indeed. Again, make sure you get at least 2 or 3 bids before going ahead with such an upgrade.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
    bwilson4web likes this.

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