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Charging Basics

There are three levels of EV charging. In increasing level of speed, they are: Level I, Level II, and DC Fast Charging.*

Level I charging simply requires a 110 volt outlet, available from any common outlet. All electric vehicles come equipped with a Level I charging cord.

A Level I charge will typically add 2 to 6 miles of range for every hour spent charging.

Fleets customer may find that they need a faster charge and that Level II charging is a better fit for their needs.

Level II charging requires a 240 volt outlet. Due to the higher power demands of a Level II charger, a licensed electrician needs to complete the installation of the Level II charger. Funding is available for Level II chargers.

A Level II charge will typically add 10 to 25 miles of range for every hour spent charging.

Level II charging is most common for fleet customers.

Direct Current Fast Charging, also known as DC Fast or DCFC is the fastest charging available. It is increasingly available along major highways and intended for longer trips or en-route refueling.

DCFC is energy intensive and will require consultation with National Grid to ensure that there is sufficient power available to supply a DCFC. Funding is available for DCFC.

DCFC will typically add 75-150 miles of range for every 30 minutes spent charging. The range of miles added depends on various factors, such the vehicle type and the DCFC capacity. For example, the Chevy Bolt can add about 85 miles per 30 minutes charging and the Nissan LEAF PLUS can add about 150 miles per 30 minutes charging.

A transit bus will be able to add 60-125 miles for every 30 minutes spent charging, depending on the capacity of the DCFC. 

Since DCFC charge rates are impacted by several factors, the charging rates vary widely. DCFC is also the most expensive type of charging. For these reasons, DC Fast Charging is less frequently used by fleet customers.  National Grid can recommend more targeted advice on the DCFC capacity needed based on your fleet’s needs.

National Grid can help you find the best charger type for your fleet. Connect With Us to find out more.

 * The actual charging speed depends upon and is controlled by the vehicle.

Some of this educational content was provided by the nonprofit Green Energy Consumers Alliance, which runs an electric vehicle program called Drive Green.