Charging 101

Charging 101

Whether you are at home, work or on the go, you can charge your electric vehicle safely – at your own convenience and at a fraction of the cost of gasoline.  This section includes an overview of charging terminology, options, and things to consider before buying an EV.


Level 1

Charging a vehicle at “Level 1” means plugging in to a standard 120 volt outlet.  All drivers can charge their EV at Level 1 and this requires no extra equipment or installation. On average, a full charging time is about 8 hours – but vary by model. Consult the automaker’s website for more information.

Level 2

Charging a vehicle at “Level 2” means plugging into a 240 volt outlet. Home owners may decide to install a charging station – also known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) – in their home. This requires professional installation and an outlet type commonly utilized by home appliances like refrigerators and dryers. There are also many Level 2 chargers across the United States in public areas. On average, full charging time varies from 2 to 6 hours, but times vary by model. Consult the automaker’s website for more information.

DC Fast Charge

Charging your vehicle using a CHAdeMO, SAE Combo plug or a Tesla Supercharger allows drivers to plug into “DC Fast Charge” networks where they are available. These types of chargers provide about 80 percent of a vehicle’s potential battery power in about 15 minutes. Again, times vary by model. Consult your manufacturer for more details.  

Wireless Charging

Some of the latest models of plug-in vehicles have wireless charging capabilities that use “inductive charging” – allowing drivers to charge without plugging in. While this is a newer service under development, many manufacturers are beginning to focus on this convenience. Additionally, the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is currently demonstrating that high levels of efficiency can be achieved with wireless EV chargers.

Key Considerations

What are my driving patterns? Decide how far you travel each day and what your all-electric driving needs will be. This will help you decide if a plug-in hybrid or battery EV is right for you.  

Where will I charge? At home? At work? On the go?

What resources are available to help me find and use charging stations?  

Are there financial resources to help me install charging?

Worth Noting

Charging Networks – visit our EVSE Showroom to learn what Charging Networks are available to EV drivers.

Workplace Charging – visit the US Department of Energy site to learn which employers are offering their employees an opportunity to plug-in at home.

Utility Electricity Rates -Time of Use (TOU)   

Charging Etiquette