Difference Between 1 2 3 Tier EV Charging

Difference Between 1 2 3 Tier EV Charging

The difference between 1 2 3 tier EV charging all comes down to the voltage. The higher the voltage the quicker the charging speed. We like to explain the 3 tiers as follows:

  •  1 is a 3 pin plug
  • 2 is a dedicated home charging station
  • 3 is a public “fast charging station”

There are many other differences such as manufacturer, AC or DC, ampage or charging time but general I find the above example keeps it simple to understand.


Tier 1 EV charging uses 120 volts, alternating current (AC) and requires a dedicated circuit. This generally means using a standard 3 pin plug. This is why you often see cables coming out of downstairs windows connecting to electric cars to charge them.

Most cars come with tier 1 charging equipment as standard. The cable has a three pin plug that leads to a connector that plugs directly into the vehicles charging socket. Tier 1 charging does not require the installation of any dedicated equipment.

Generally cars take between 8 to 12 hours to charge fully. The downsides are obviously the the charging time and not having a dedicated charging station can cause problems. Bad weather can interfere with charging. It often looks messy and requires to you run a cable from inside the house to your car, often people leave windows open to do this.


Level 2 equipment offers charging through a 240V, AC plug and requires installation of home charging or public charging equipment. These units require a dedicated 40 amp circuit.

Home charging equipment (Level 2) is compatible with all electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. Level 2 chargers have a cord that plugs directly into the vehicle in the same connector location used for Level 1 equipment.

Depending on the battery technology used in the vehicle, Level 2 charging generally takes 4 to 6 hours to completely charge a fully depleted battery. Charging time can increase in cold temperatures. Level 2 chargers are commonly found in residential settings, public parking areas, places of employment and commercial settings.

Level 3 charging uses something called CHAdeMO technology also commonly reffered to as fast DC charging. Level 3 chargers generally charge 80% of a cars battery in around 30 minutes.
Not all cars are compatable with level 3 charging, you will have to check with the manufacturer of your car to see if  you can charge using a level 3 charging station.

Difference Between 1 2 3 Tier EV Charging

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