The EV Charger Ultimate Guide: Levels, Costs & Brands

teal electric car charging

 You might be surprised to learn that there isn’t just one type of charger for electric vehicles. 

While all electric vehicles require an outlet and electricity, there are 4 distinct levels of charging that require different equipment (voltage) and time to charge.  

ev chargers

The 4 Levels of Charging

Level 1

Level 1 chargers are standard and can be plugged into any 120 volt, 20 amp wall outlet. They are 74.2% efficient and take nearly a full day to charge an electric car. 

Level 2

Level 2 chargers use a higher-output power source for a faster charge. At 240-volts, they require an electrical connection. They are 87.2% efficient and can charge as fast as 3 hours. 

Level 3 (not recommended)

Level 3 chargers are not considered necessary for residential EV owners. They can reach up to 800 volts and are commonly referred to as DC Fast Charging. They are able to charge an EV almost fully in 30 minutes, but require electricity and equipment not standard in any household. 

Level 4 (not recommended)

Level 4 chargers are even further removed from household standard. Commonly known as DC Ultra Fast Charging, these are overwhelmingly for industrial purposes.

How much does an electric car charger cost? 

woman using ev charger

It’s important to note that buying an electric car charger is not necessary, as a Level 1 charger is provided with every electric vehicle. However, as we discussed in our guide to EV charging at home, most people should upgrade to a Level 2 charger for quicker and more powerful charging. 

Choosing a Level 2 charger largely depends on the features you would like. You can certainly opt for a “non-smart” or “dumb” EV charger instead of the more popular “smart” chargers that allow you to set charging schedules and on-the-go adjustments if you don’t feel the feature is necessary for your needs or lifestyle. (Although, it is pretty darn convenient and fits in with our “smart” world.)

Cost of installation is a somewhat different topic, but certainly something to consider when you are thinking about purchasing a charger. Installation costs are largely determined by the location and type of charger you purchase. For a more specific pricing idea, you can request a quote from us and receive a unique breakdown of costs associated with your EV charging station installation.

Finding the Right Level 2 EV Charger

Are you on the market for an EV charger? Whether you’ve already got an EV and now need a charger or you’re weighing your options and getting ahead on your research, this guide will help you easily compare price and features of some of the top brands.

Tesla wall charger

Tesla Wall Charger

Tesla’s chargers only work for Teslas without an adaptor, but are certainly considered top performing chargers. Also, as far as appearances go, the Tesla wall charger is easily one of the most aesthetic pleasing of the top chargers.

  • Customer ratings: 4.6/5
  • Cost?: $500 (adapter adds an additional $88-160)
  • Smart?: Yes
  • Compatible with?: Teslas only or all EVs with an adaptor
  • Range per hour?: up to 44 miles
  • Cable length?: 8.5 or 18 feet
  • Security?: None

ChargePoint home flex

ChargePoint Home Flex

ChargePoint is the bestselling level 2 EV charger and has many smart features for relatively inexpensive.

  • Customer ratings: 4.8/5
  • Cost?: $699
  • Smart?: Yes
  • Compatible with?: all EVs, including Teslas with an adaptor
  • Range per hour?: up to 37 miles
  • Cable length?: 23 feet
  • Security?: 3 year warranty 

enel x juicebox

 Enel X JuiceBox 40

The JuiceBox offers the most competitive price for a smart, universal level 2 charger and the largest charging capacity per hour. It is also the only charger to offer built in security. 

  • Customer ratings: 4.9/5
  • Cost?: $589
  • Smart?: Yes
  • Compatible with?: all EVs, including Teslas with an adaptor
  • Range per hour?: up to 60 miles
  • Cable length?: 25 feet
  • Security?: Locking mount

EvoCharge evse

EVoCharge EVSE 

The EVoCharge is the cheapest non-Tesla/universal EV charger. However, that story changes when you look at their smart options. Overall, if you do not need a smart charger this is a good option, but the cost of one of their smart chargers is rather steep compared to others.

  • Customer ratings: 4.8/5
  • Cost?: $579-634 
  • Smart?: Smart options range from $899-$949
  • Compatible with?: all EVs, including Teslas with an adaptor
  • Range per hour?: up to 35 miles
  • Cable length?: 18 or 25 feet
  • Security?: 3 year warranty 

Our top pick: Enel X JuiceBox 40

Top ratings, reasonable price, and great charging capacity. It’s pretty hard to beat the specs of the JuiceBox charger. 

If you have any questions on what EV charger is right for you and your home or want to learn more about associated costs for equipment and installation, feel free to contact us. We are your local EV specialists and are here to help.