"Range anxiety."

It’s what happens when that “empty” signal lights up on your dashboard, and you start looking for the nearest gas station. The difference with EVs is that most people charge up at home, and there are fewer public charging stations than there are gas stations—at least for now. Chase Auto is here to help drivers understand how to charge at home and how to plan for longer trips using public charging stations across the country.

A person drives their electric car towards a charging station

How to charge an
electric car

There are three types of EV charging levels: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3.

A graphic of a handheld battery being plugged into an indoor wall outlet

Level 1 charging

Uses a 120-volt outlet—the same kind of outlet you use to plug in lamps, cell phones and blenders. This type of charging is the most accessible because the outlets are so common, but they’re also the slowest. EVs using Level 1 charging receive about 2-5 miles of charge per 1 hour of charging time. Same page link to footnote reference 1

Level 2 charging

Uses a 240-volt outlet—the same kind clothes dryers use. This type of charging is much faster, receiving 10-20 miles of charge per 1 hour of charging time. Same page link to footnote reference 2 This type of charging is most commonly used at the driver’s home, where they can hire an electrician to set up the 240-volt outlet. Same page link to footnote reference 3

A graphic of a person and child standing in front of a Level 2 charging outlet in their garage
An electric vehicle charging in a parking lot in front of a Chase Bank

Level 3 charging

Sometimes called “DC charging” or “fast charging”—is more like a public gas station. This type of charging delivers the fastest and most powerful charge for drivers on the go and far from their home chargers, but it is also more expensive to build. The vast majority of Level 3 chargers are found at public charging stations, rather than private residences. Electric vehicles equipped for fast charging can receive an 80% charge in about 20 minutes. Same page link to footnote reference 4

How to charge an electric vehicle at home

If you’re interested in buying an electric vehicle, you probably have some questions about how to charge it at your home. Most drivers choose to install a home charging station in their garage or near their parking space to facilitate a Level 2 charge, which is much faster than charging on a standard household outlet.

What you need to know about charging on the road

EVs can take you anywhere, thanks to a growing network of public charging stations across the country. Much like fueling up at the gas pump, these stations allow EV drivers to journey beyond one charge.


Installing an electric vehicle charging station at home

An illustrated diagram of a Level One Electric Charging Station. A Level One Electric Charging Station is a 120V electrical source from a regular home outlet. Drivers using a Level One station will get 2 to 5 miles of range per 1 hour of charging.

Level One

120V
Electrical source from a regular home outlet

Charge Time

2-5 miles of range per 1 hour of charging

An illustrated diagram of a Level Two Electric Charging Station. A Level Two Electric Charging Station is a 240V electrical source from a regular home dryer outlet or a public station. Drivers using a Level Two station will get 10 to 20 miles of range per 1 hour of charging.

Level Two

240V
Electrical source from a regular home dryer outlet or public station

Charge Time

10-20 miles of range per 1 hour of charging

An illustrated diagram of a Level Three Electric Charging Station. A Level Three Electric Charging Station is a 208V or 280V 3-Phase AC Electrical source source from a public station. Drivers using a Level Two station will get 60 to 80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charging.

Level Three

208 or 480V 3-Phase AC
Electrical source from a public station

Charge Time

60-80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charging

An illustrated diagram of a Level One Electric Charging Station. A Level One Electric Charging Station is a 120V electrical source from a regular home outlet. Drivers using a Level One station will get 2 to 5 miles of range per 1 hour of charging.

Level One

120V
Electrical source from a regular home outlet

Charge Time

2-5 miles of range per 1 hour of charging

An illustrated diagram of a Level Two Electric Charging Station. A Level Two Electric Charging Station is a 240V electrical source from a regular home dryer outlet or a public station. Drivers using a Level Two station will get 10 to 20 miles of range per 1 hour of charging.

Level Two

240V
Electrical source from a regular home dryer outlet or public station

Charge Time

10-20 miles of range per 1 hour of charging

An illustrated diagram of a Level Three Electric Charging Station. A Level Three Electric Charging Station is a 208V or 280V 3-Phase AC Electrical source source from a public station. Drivers using a Level Two station will get 60 to 80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charging.

Level Three

208 or 480V 3-Phase AC
Electrical source from a public station

Charge Time

60-80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charging

“Charging station” is a commonly used term for the equipment used to charge electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The “station” simply includes the cord and a user-friendly dock to keep the cord clean and organized.

Much like with cell phones, the cords differ by manufacturer. Some EV models require a brand-specific charger that comes from the manufacturer, but others can be purchased from a range of home improvement stores and online retailers. Be sure to consider cord length, warranty options, and your car’s specific needs when shopping for a charging station.

Part of building a new charging station is adding the electric outlet it uses. Home charging stations work best with a 240-volt outlet—rather than a standard electrical outlet. While these outlets are common, most EV drivers hire a professional electrician to install one near where they park their car. Same page link to footnote reference 5

According to a 2021 Carvana report, these Level 2 home charging stations cost between $500 and $700, and the additional cost of labor to install the 240-volt outlet is about $1,200 to $2,000. In some areas, there may be a government incentive available to cover a portion of these costs. Find out more using this incentive look-up tool.

Tips to keep in mind

1

If parking outdoors, be sure your charging equipment is all rated for outdoor use.

2

If charging at a multi-family residential complex, be sure to speak to your building management about additional considerations.

3

As with any electrical work, you may be required to obtain permits from your local building authorities. More information is available from the U.S. Department of Energy.

1

If parking outdoors, be sure your charging equipment is all rated for outdoor use.

2

If charging at a multi-family residential complex, be sure to speak to your building management about additional considerations.

3

As with any electrical work, you may be required to obtain permits from your local building authorities. More information is available from the U.S. Department of Energy.


Sources

This content is for educational purposes only and provides general auto information. The material is not intended to provide legal, tax, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. product or service. Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results. Chase is not responsible for, and does not provide or endorse third party products, services or other content. For specific advice about your circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.