5 reasons why Level 1 (outlet) charging is the fastest way to charge an electric vehicle
One of the biggest misconceptions in the electric mobility industry is the claim that Level 1 charging is 'too slow'. This claim effectively keeps people away from using existing infrastructure, i.e. outlets, to their benefit.
Electric Vehicles are like smartphones on wheels, they even come with their own charger that can be plugged into any outlet. If outlets weren't meant to be used by electric vehicles, vehicle manufacturers would never provide a plug-able mobile charger with every vehicle sold.
This is a Tesla Mobile charger that is delivered with every Tesla vehicle. As you can see in the image bellow, the default plug head is always a NEMA 5-15 head which can be used to charge the Tesla using a regular 15A outlet. Tesla chargers are designed to never exceed the continuous load threshold of electrical circuits to avoid tripping the breaker.
Here are some facts about vehicles in general:
Today's cars are parked 95% of the time. This means your electric vehicle will spend almost all of its lifetime resting at a parking space.
According to energy.gov, In a one-vehicle household the average daily mileage is about 30 miles (48 km).
Combining these two facts brings us to this conclusion:
Level 1 charging will fully charge 95% of electric vehicles in under 4 hours when plugged in every day.
Here is a quote from Plug In America “It’s misleading that charging times are generally quoted as time for a full charge … It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a 40-mile Volt, a 100-mile Leaf or a 240-mile Tesla Roadster, if your commute is 40 miles, you’ll only need about 9 hours (Level 1) or 3 hours (3.3 kW Level 2) to charge.”
Your electric vehicle range is function of how big your vehicle's battery is, not the speed of your charger. So don't get deceived by the false advertisement about fast chargers. As Plug In America pointed out, if you travel less than 40miles (60km) on a daily basis, it won't matter at all if your charger is Level 3, Level 2 or Level 1, you will come back to a fully charged vehicle the next day. Your ultimate range is dependent on your battery size, not your charger.
Having a fast charger not only is not going to provide you with any more mileage than you need but it is also a waste of energy. Level 2 & 3 chargers put a lot more pressure on the electrical grid which increases the chance of electricity price hikes in the future.
This practical quiz will compare different levels of charging based on your actual consumption and the type of electric vehicle you own.
What often gets neglected is the fact that an electric vehicle charger, i.e. electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) is not just a gadget you will buy and start using the next day. It takes a lot of effort to install, configure and setup EVSEs.
Having said all of that, here are 5 reasons why Level 1 charging is in fact the fastest electric vehicle charging option available.
1- Level 1 is the fastest to install
Level 1 chargers can utilize existing infrastructure to provide an effective charging solution to electric vehicles. This simple fact reduces the installation time in some cases by several months.
Installing an outlet is often second nature to any electrician. There is no specific training or setup procedures involved. This makes installing a charger for your electric vehicle significantly faster.
2- Outlets are fastest to understand
Often the biggest barrier to install an electric vehicle charger is the fact that people don't understand electric mobility. Instead of having to educate people on levels of charging, you can ask for an outlet to be installed at your space. There is often no push-back on having an outlet installed due its multi-purpose functionality.
In addition to providing effective Level 1 charging, outlets can be used by electric bicycles, e-scooter and even vacuum cleaners.
City of Victoria uses Plugzio Integrated outlets to provide charging facility to electric bicycles and e-scooters across the city of Victoria parking facilities. Plugzio allows them to monitor and manage access to electricity across their parking garages so they can better plan for future infrastructure upgrades. You can view some of the installation images on the product page.
3- Fastest to get budget approvals
Level 1 charging is the most affordable charging solution by a factor of 10. Which means you will not be forced to go through ~5 different people/groups to get approvals for the budget. Getting approval to install a charger could take months, save that precious time by choosing to go with Level 1 charging.
Cost to install a Plugzio Level 1 charger is often within monthly spending limit of managers so no further approvals is necessary. Cost per space for a Plugzio Integrated product is around $1,000 compared to $7,000 average cost to install a Level 2 charger with similar smart functionalities.
4- Fastest to access
Affordability of level 1 charging allows you to have a charger at your most convenient parking spot instead of being forced to share a charger with a few people to cut down the initial cost of installation. This means you will be able to access your charger much faster throughout the day.
It only takes 5 minutes to charge an electric vehicle when you have a dedicated outlet at your own space. Here is the scenario: You get home, park your vehicle, plug in the charger and leave. You come back the next day to a fully charged vehicle! Unplug the charger and off you go.
5- Fastest to get your money back (ROI)
One of the biggest problems which keeps people away from investing in charging infrastructure is the fact that the return on investment (ROI) is calculated in light years. Level 1 solutions like Plugzio take away the unnecessary complexity that causes the prices of charging infrastructure to go through the roof. This affordability comes without sacrificing any functionality.
City of Coquitlam, is spending $200,000 to install maximum of 8 chargers across the city ($25,000 per charger), annual operating cost to maintain these chargers is $8,000. The city will never be able to break-even with this strategy. By choosing to go with Level 1, they could have 150 people charging at the same time, instead of the lucky 8, while being able to break even in less than 6 month by charging users $1/hour for consumption using Plugzio Cloud's monetization strategies.
Level 1 charging is often the fastest charging option available if you take into account all the factored involved in installing a charger for your electric vehicle.
Beside that, electric vehicle ownership is a different life-style. Just like you have to plug your cellphone in every night before going to bed, you will also get used to plugging your vehicle in when you park every-night. It only takes 2 minutes!