Tesla EV Charging Levels Explained: Level 1 vs Level 2 vs Level 3

We’ve seen a huge revolution and increased popularity in EVs (Electric Vehicles) in the last couple of years. Now, if you’re in the EV industry or using an EV then the chances are high that you might have heard about Tesla EVs. Meanwhile, if you’re using a Tesla EV for a while then you would be interested in knowing Tesla EV charging levels. If that’s the thing, you should check this article to know about charging levels such as Level 1 vs Level 2 vs Level 3 on Tesla electric vehicles.

It’s been a while since Tesla users charged their electric vehicles and the charging process is also easy. But the chances are high that your EV doesn’t accept the different amounts of power. To make it easier, you might have noticed that your EV charges really well in some charging stations but sometimes it doesn’t charge properly in some other charging stations. Because not only there are different powers available but also different types of connectors have been used.

Tesla EV Charging Levels Explained: Level 1 vs Level 2 vs Level 3

Tesla EV Charging Levels Explained: Level 1 vs Level 2 vs Level 3

So, coming to the topic, depending on the type of connectors and type of power, your electric vehicle will charge slower or faster. To be specific, charging levels and charging times are applicable to EVs and plug-in hybrids. Whereas these factors aren’t applicable to traditional EV hybrids at all. Now, if you think about the difference between Hybrids and standard EVs, most of the hybrids are charged by regeneration of the electricity or by the engine itself & not by an external charger.

Basically, each level of charging offers different charging speeds for EVs and even for other electronic devices. Tesla’s configuration is different based on models and charging stations which offer a maximum charge power that EVs can accept. Choosing the right Tesla charger reduces hassle and installation charges whatsoever. Obviously, it maximizes the electric charging at a less timeframe consistently. You can easily get to know about charging levels such as 1, 2, and 3. Here we’ve shared with you a brief and easy guide to understanding all charging levels for your Tesla EV. So, without wasting any more time, let’s jump into it.

1. EV Charger Refers to Two Different Aspects

  • Internal or ‘OnBoard’ Charger: The onboard charger is a crucial component inside the Tesla electric vehicle. The OBC checks internal power flow to safely charge your EV battery.
  • External Charger: The external charger is also known as ‘Electric vehicle supply equipment’ or EVSE. It offers power from the grid or the source (charging stations) to your EV’s onboard charger.

2. How Fast Tesla EV can be Charged?

As per the charging level, the maximum output power of the charging station and the maximum input power of your Tesla EV, there are three types of charging levels applicable that you can check below.

  • Level 1 (120 volts) charging
  • Level 2 (240 volts) charging
  • Level 3 (480 volts) Supercharging or DC fast charging

3. Charging Levels Overview

Here EV charging levels like Level 1, 2, and 3 basically runs on different levels of voltage that we’ve mentioned below.

  • Level 1: It’s the initial phase of charging or you can say ‘Trickle’ charging which basically uses the 120V standard charging procedure which can be used in home charging solutions for your electric vehicle. Tesla owners can use NEMA adapters (5-15) which come by default with EVs. You can get at least 1.4kW of power delivery or a driving range of 2 Miles per hour charging. [15-20 AMPS]
  • Level 2: The second level of charging does offer a double amount of voltage charging such as 240V which includes Tesla Connectors, Plugless Tesla Wire Charging, public charging stations, etc. For your household items, electric dryers or stovetops do deliver 240V electrical circuits. So, the Level 2 charging on Tesla EV delivers 3.7 – 17.2 kW power delivery or a driving range of 9 – 52 Miles per hour charging. [up to 80 AMPS]
  • Level 3: This type of charger are direct current (DC) fast charging units that use ultra-high power 480V electrical circuits to charge your Tesla EV. It can be available at several public charging stations (tagged as “Superchargers”). You can get up to 140 kW power delivery or around 170 Miles of driving range in just 30 minutes of charging in Level 3 mode. [300 AMPS]

4. Why Level 1 Charging is called ‘Trickle Charging’ in Tesla EVs?

Tesla EV users can charge via a standard 120V residential charging outlet with a trickle charging adapter. If you don’t have any hurry in charging or don’t need to go miles away then this trickle charging will be good. Do note that Level 1 charging or Trickle charging is really slow which means it’ll take so long to fully charge your Tesla EV such as overnight charging or more.

PROS of Trickle Charging (Level 1) CONS of Trickle Charging (Level 1)
No additional cost because you’ll get a traditional 110/120V charging adapter for your Tesla EV out of the box when purchased to charge it in Level 1 status at your home. Trickle charging (Level 1) is really really slow and takes a lot of time almost like overnight to get 30 miles of range.
You can charge your Tesla EV using the Level 1 charging from anywhere via the standard power outlet which is convenient for sure. You won’t be able to charge your Tesla EV quickly even in urgency.

5. Why Level 2 Charging is Considered Best for Home Advantage?

Usually, the 240V Level 2 chargers do provide a bigger advantage to charge your Tesla electric vehicle because they’ve faster charging speeds (up to 15 times faster than trickle chargers). Tesla Mobile Connector, Wall Connector, and the wireless Tesla charging station are different types of Level 2 chargers. A ‘Level 2’ EV charger can be connected to a specific type of electrical circuit such as 240 volts. But there are different EV chargers or charging stations do consume different types of charging time for the car.

6. How to Charge Your Tesla EV Independently?

Plug-in charging status usually requires the car driver to manually connect and disconnect the vehicle from the charging outlet for each charging session. Whereas the Plug-less charging mode ensures the autonomous charging of your Tesla EV itself when the car driver simply parks over its wireless charging pad at charging stations. A Vehicle adapter receives the energy and charges your battery quite easily without any manual process.

Plug-less charging for the Tesla Model S is available with support planning for Model X and Model 3 in several regions. Plug-in and Plug-less chargers both deliver AC power to the internal onboard charger of your Tesla Model S. So, there is no major difference in charging status or timeframe except for automation.

7. Why You Can’t Use the Tesla Level 3 Supercharger at Home?

Level 3 Superchargers can charge a Tesla EV from 0-170 Miles of driving range in just 30 minutes of charging time which is insanely fast. It can get up to 80% of charge in just 40 minutes and then the charging slows down to basically safeguard the battery health. Although we’re aware that faster charging impacts battery health in the long run, these days people want to charge their mobile devices and even EVs faster.

Meanwhile, some Tesla EV owners might think why the Level 3 Supercharger isn’t convenient at home to be used? It’s because of the more power consumption and higher cost for sure. In the cost of a Supercharger at your home, you’ll need an infrastructure and proper electricity routing as well as better technical support which will cost higher than buying another Tesla. So, it’s mostly recommended to use Supercharger at the Tesla charging station for better accessibility. Even if it’s not available at your nearest station, having Level 2 should be enough.

That’s it, guys. We assume this guide was helpful to you. For further queries, you can comment below.

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