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How Many Amps Does an Electric Car Charger Draw?

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

how many amps does an electric car charger draw

Do you ever wonder why certain EVs require more than a day, overnight, or less than an hour to charge? If yes, perhaps you should ask the more specific question, “How many amps does an electric car charger draw?”

Nowadays, different charging points may have varying current ratings, leading to varying charging durations. In this instance, you should select the correct charger grade to suit your vehicle.

If you intend to build a charging station in your home, the following information may be helpful.

How Many Amps Does a Car Charger Use?

electric-car-charger-requirements

Electric vehicles, or EVs, are becoming extremely popular. However, one question about them is how long do they need to be charged for?

In this case, the answer is determined by the charging station. Generally, the higher the electric car charger amps, the faster it can power an EV battery. This is also why you may hear that some EVs require overnight charging while others may be fully energized in a matter of hours.

For a better understanding of EV charging, here is a summary of various charger levels.

Charge Point Electric Car Ratings

EV Car Charger Car Charger Voltage Amp Rating Average Watts Rating (per hour) Charging Duration
Level-1 charger 120v 15 – 20 amps 1.3 – 2.4 kW 30+ hours
Level-2 charger 208v – 240v 15 to 80 amps 7.4 – 22 kW 8 – 12 hours
Level-3 charger 400v – 900v 300 amps 50 – 350 kW 30 mins to 80%

Level 1 Charger

electric-car-charger-amps

Level 1 devices have a long charging duration that meets the power requirements of most plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Apart from PHEVs, these can also be used with typical EVs that have bigger battery capacities.

However, this may be inconvenient, since adding 3 to 5 miles of runtime per hour is too slow for many (fyi, an electric car typically lasts 194 miles on one charge). As a result, powering the EV battery with this device may take more than a day.

Level 2 Charger

chargepoint-home-charger

The majority of today’s EVs are compatible with the level 2 charger. This type of 240 volt EV charger, such as a Chargepoint Level 2 Charger, requires a dedicated circuit connected to the main panel.

Using this device, you may be able to get your vehicle to full capacity overnight. Car owners should be able to drive 12 to 80 miles after an hour of using this power station.

Level 3 Charger

charge-point-electric-car

In addition to the types mentioned above, there is also a chargepoint called level 3 DC fast charging. Within a minute of this charger’s operation, you can drive your car 3 to 20 miles.

This type is the most common at commercial stations and may not be found in any home, due to its high electric car charging voltage and current. Moreover, the purchase costs are so expensive that the average buyer would consider it a luxury.

Within all varieties of chargers, level 2 is ideal for household installation. If you’re wondering how many amps does a level 2 charger pull, look at the table above.

  • Note: Before installing any home charging station, it is good to know first each electric car charger requirements. Then, evaluate if your home or your main service panel can accommodate it, whether you can pay the installation cost, and most crucially, whether you live in an apartment building.

Frequently Asked Questions

chargepoint-level-2-charger

What Size Breaker Do You Need For An Electric Car Charger?

It depends on the level of charger you have. In most cases, a level 1 EV charger amps will suit 15 or 20 amps single-pole circuit breakers. At the same time, level 2 chargers might require a minimum of 50 amps for fault protection if they are 40 amps; with 50A chargers, however, 70 amp breakers are necessary.

Do You Need a 200 Amp Panel for a Car Charger?

A 200 amp panel service is not necessarily required for a chargepoint electric vehicle charger. However, a load center with a lower rating than 200 amps may be insufficient to power your other electrical devices while you are charging.

This is possible, mainly if you use a level 2 charger. As a result, while it is not required, a 200 amp service or higher is ideal for any car charger amperage.

Can I Use a Dryer Outlet to Charge My Electric Car?

Yes, you may power your EV using your dryer outlet. This is a good alternative if you cannot access a charging station. However, you may require a special Tesla charger or other specific adapters before you can connect your EV into this socket.

What is the Difference Between a 16 Amp vs 32 Amp EV Charger?

The main difference between these two chargers is their working speed. Usually, the charging time of a 16-amp model will double that of a 32-amp.

Also, electric car outlet requirements differ for these units. A 16-amp charger only demands a 120v outlet rating, while a 32-amp requires 240v outlets.

How Fast Can I Charge With a 50 Amp Car Charger?

A 50 amp EV charger, such as a Chargepoint Home Charger, can add 37 miles of drive range after one hour of operation. As a result, it is a good idea to utilize this kind of product if you intend to purchase a second EV or just want to boost your charging speed.

Conclusion

Knowing how many amps does an electric car charger draw will help you determine how slowly or quickly you can power your EV. This way, you’ll know which charger to get if you want to install one in your home.

On the other hand, installing a residential charging station is a significant investment. Hence, you must ensure that the charger you choose is UL certified, indicating it meets electrical safety regulations.

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