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Understanding EV charger basics

Is a Level 1 or 2 charger right for you?

Let’s be honest, electric vehicles (EVs) are cool. You’ve seen them in TV commercials, you’ve seen them on the street and now you’d like to see one in your garage. If you’re going to make the switch to an EV, the first thing you’ll need is an EV charger. 

Let’s start with the basics. 

Level 1 EV chargers 

When you purchase an EV, it comes equipped with a Level 1 charger. This is a 120-volt compatible home connector kit that looks like an expensive extension cord that plugs into a wall outlet. Because these chargers plug into normal electrical outlets, you won’t need to make any upgrades to your home. 

Level 1 chargers charge at a rate of about 4 miles an hour. In other words, they provide around 32 miles of driving time for every eight-hour charge. This limited output is why many EV drivers opt to install a Level 2 charger.  

Level 2 EV chargers 

Level 2 chargers are wall-mounted and operate off of 240 volts. To install a Level 2 charger, an electrician may need to put in a special 240-volt receptacle like the ones used for clothes dryers. Some new homes, such as SRP ENERGY STAR® Homes, come EV-ready which means they already have garages prewired for Level 2 chargers. 

So what’s the benefit of getting a Level 2 charger? They charge up to nine times faster than Level 1 chargers.  

Most drivers see average charge rates of 25 miles per hour with a Level 2, so a typical EV will get a fully charged battery in four to nine hours depending on its range. Many Level 2 chargers also have smart capabilities that offer additional functions, like scheduling charging times and sending notifications, that can be controlled with an app from your phone.  

If you’re interested in a Level 2 charger, take advantage of the SRP EV Charger Rebate. SRP customers can save $250 on a Level 2 smart charger by shopping the SRP Marketplace™. If you’ve recently purchased or are considering purchasing an eligible charger from somewhere other than SRP Marketplace, you can still apply for a rebate.  

Public chargers 

When EVs first rolled out, finding a public place to charge could be difficult. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case.  

Now EV drivers can find multiple fast charging ports nearly everywhere they go. One of the best public charging options is the direct current (DC) fast charger.  

These chargers are the quickest way to charge your vehicle and provide 10–20 miles of range per minute. Today, almost all fully electric cars are equipped to handle DC fast charging connections.  

Some public EV charging stations also accommodate multiple charging port styles. However, be sure you know your car’s capabilities before trying to plug in. 

For instance, currently, only Tesla cars can charge at Tesla Supercharger locations. You can easily find public charging locations and which ones are appropriate for your EV by using the Chargeway or PlugShare apps. 

Helping the Valley drive electric 

As part of SRP’s 2035 Sustainability Goals, we’re dedicated to supporting the enablement of 500,000 EVs in our service territory while managing 90% of EV charging load. We’re working toward this goal in a variety of ways, including investing in community charging infrastructure and offering EV rebate programs and incentives for our customers. 

SRP sponsors several EVgo and Electrify America DC fast charging stations at shopping locations around the Valley. We’ve also just installed a 20-port charging station at the Phoenix Zoo to help us understand the charging habits of EV drivers. 

Here’s a helpful list of SRP’s EV programs and rebates: 

  • SRP EV Charger Rebate – Up to $250 back on Level 2 chargers purchased.
  • EV Price Plan – A plan designed to save EV drivers up to 9% by charging their cars during super off-peak hours 
  • EV Community – Earn a $50 bill credit for joining and stay plugged into opportunities, news and other SRP EV initiatives   
  • EV Calculator – An easy-to-use tool on that enables customers to find the right EV, compare models and understand how switching to an EV can help them save 

Get your home EV-ready and save. 

Learn more about your EV charger options and eligible rebates. 

  

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