Buying Guide: Level 3 Superfast EV DC Charger

Are you considering a Level 3 EV charger? In this guide, we provide you with all the essential information to make an informed purchase. This task might seem daunting if you’re new to the electrical world, but Traditional Electric is here to help. We will comprehensively discuss all aspects of a level 3 chager: from cost estimates to installation prerequisites, to aid you in making an informed decision that best fulfills your requirements.

Level 3 EV Charger – Worth the Investment (Typically for Commercial Customers Only)

If you’ve been shopping for an electric vehicle (EV) charger, you’ve likely come across the terms “Level 2” and “Level 3”. What do these terms mean, and which charger is the right fit for you? Let’s dive into the specifics of Level 3 EV chargers – what they are, how they work, and why they are worth the investment.

Level 3 charging is the fastest type of charging available for electric vehicles (EVs). Unlike Level 1 and Level 2 charging, which use alternating current (AC), Level 3 charging typically uses direct current (DC), leading to a significantly faster charge. The voltage is also much higher than Level 1 & 2 charging, which is why Level 3 chargers are typically not installed at homes.

A Level 3 EV charger can recharge an EV at a rate of 5 to 30 kilometers range per minute. This speed is achieved by using High Voltage Alternating Current (AC) to a Power Module to convert to Direct Current (DC). This makes Level 3 chargers considerably faster than Level 1 or Level 2 chargers, but it also means they require a much higher voltage and amperage supply. (480 volts and at least 100 amps of free available AC service.)

If you’re seeking the fastest and most convenient way to charge an EV, a Level 3 charger is the optimal choice. Level 3 EV chargers are perfect for commercial customers who wish to charge a small or large fleet of vehicles, and companies that want to grow their business by drawing customers for super fast charging on their EV vehicles.


What Is a Level 3 DC Fast Charger?

A Level 3 charger, also known as a DC Fast Charger, is a high-powered charger that requires a 3-phase utility supply with high minimum requirements, making it generally suitable for commercial locations. This type of charger can replenish an electric vehicle’s battery in mere minutes.

Despite having higher upfront costs than Level 2 chargers, Level 3 chargers can be a worthy investment, particularly if you’re looking to expand your EV fleet or cater to customers requiring fast charging during long-distance trips.

With an increasing number of public Level 3 chargers being installed, it’s becoming easier for EV owners to keep their cars charged and ready for the road. As the demand for EVs continues to grow, we can expect to see even more Level 3 chargers at various commercial locations.

For a Battery Designed system Level 3 Charging, the service size is not as much as a concern. You can install a Battery Bank (as small as 50 kw and up to 1000’s of KW storage) This method uses the Service electrical grid to charge a set of Batteries (day and night) This battery bank then in turn is used to charge EV Vehicle at Level 3 rates without massive service upgrade costs. If you use up the stored power available in the battery bank power, you still have level 3 charging rates, but this will be slower than your initial DC charge rate. And remember your battery bank is always recharging. Here is the catch. Battery Storage DC systems have a much higher initial cost of between $50,000 (for a basic system) to as high as $400,000 or even higher depending on size of the battery bank. But this can often pay for itself by what you will save on initial service upgrade costs.


Why Choose a Level 3 Charger?

There are several reasons why a Level 3 charger might be a better choice over a Level 2 charger. Firstly, Level 3 chargers can charge an electric vehicle significantly faster than a Level 2 charger – in some cases, up to 10 times faster. Secondly, for businesses with multiple EVs, a Level 3 charger can allow for quick deployment of your fleet without having to worry about lengthy charging times. Lastly, if you frequently travel long distances, a Level 3 charger can provide peace of mind, knowing that you can recharge your battery quickly if needed.

Although Level 3 chargers typically cost more than their counterparts, the investment can be well worth it in terms of speed and reliability.

How To Choose the Perfect Level 3 EV Charger

When shopping for a Level 3 EV charger, several factors need to be considered. Here are some aspects to keep in mind:

  1. Level of Use: The first thing to consider is the level of use for the charger. If you have a large fleet of EVs, then you will need a higher-capacity charger that can handle multiple vehicles at once. On the other hand, if you only have a few EVs, then a lower-capacity charger will suffice.


Power Output: The power output of a Level 3 charger is typically measured in kilowatts (KW). The higher the power output, the faster the charger will replenish your electric vehicle. However, higher power output may also be more expensive.

A Kilowatt (KW) = Voltage x Amperage

Voltage and Amperage: Most Level 3 chargers operate at 480 volts. The amperage rating of a charger determines how much current it can provide. A higher amperage rating will result in a faster charge time.

  1. Connector Type: Level 3 chargers with AC current typically use a Type 1, Type 2 (Europe) or Tesla connector. Consult your electric vehicle’s owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to determine which connector is suitable for your vehicle.
  2. Connector Type: Level 3 chargers with DC current typically use CHAdeMO, or CCS
  3. Location: The next thing to consider is the location of the charger. If it will be installed indoors, then you’ll need to make sure it is properly ventilated. If it will be installed outdoors, then you’ll need to make sure it can withstand weather conditions like sun, rain, and snow.
  4. Electrical Capacity – Another important consideration is the electrical capacity of the charger. This will determine how fast the charger can charge an EV. If you have a higher electrical capacity, then you can charge an EV faster. However, if you have a lower electrical capacity, then it will take longer to charge an EV.


The Different Installation Requirements and Costs for Level 3 Electric Vehicle Chargers

As the market for electric vehicles expands, so does the demand for Level 3 electric vehicle (EV) chargers. These chargers require dedicated circuits capable of handling high levels of current, necessitating installation by a qualified EV-experienced electrician.

In terms of cost, Level 3 EV chargers are more expensive than Level 2 chargers. Prices have been falling in recent years due to improvements in technology and reductions in manufacturing costs. You can expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $80,000 for a quality Level 3 EV charger, including installation and associated permitting costs. The exact price will depend on several factors, such as the charger you select, the electrical service size available to the property and if you need overhead or underground service upgrades from your electrical service provide. Let Traditional Electric guide you through the process from start to finish.

How To Choose the Right EV Charger Installer

There’s an array of suppliers and many possible paths to follow, so feel free to express any specific preferences or questions you might have, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you further. For more information, get in touch with us today at 1-877-353-0367 or email us at Traditional Electric has you covered and will assist in all steps of the process with you, from design and installation to EV charger selection and software connectivity. We will also assist you in the permitting process and keep you informed of any rebates and incentives your local municipality is offering. Our continual customer service, maintenance, and support will keep your EV charger operational and functioning for years to come.


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