Electric Vehicle Charging 101

How to ‘fill up’ your EV


Electric Vehicles (EV) must be connected to an electrical system to charge. The amount of time it takes to charge your vehicle will depend on your charger and vehicle. EV chargers are classified into three categories: Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 (direct current (DC)) fast charging. These chargers use different input voltages, Level 1 uses 110/120V, Level 2 uses 208/240V and Level 3 DC fast chargers use between 200 and 600 volts DC.

I. Types of Chargers

Level 1 Charging

level 1 charger graphicLevel 1 charging is cost-efficient – it uses a standard 120-V outlet. All EV models come standard with a portable 120-volt cord-set that allows EV drivers to charge almost anywhere using any standard household outlet. This type of charging takes the longest but requires the least amount of effort to set up.

Level 1 chargers typically charge at 8 km per hour, taking between 12-20 hours to completely charge a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and 6-12 hours to charge a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). These types of chargers are usually used in homes or as an additional emergency or backup charging solution.

Level 2 Charging

level 2 charger graphicLevel 2 chargers are the most practical charging solutions for residential and commercial/ workplace settings. They offer higher power output than Level 1 chargers and most have additional functionality. These 240-volt chargers use a similar outlet as household ovens and clothes dryers; and any certified electrician can install them.

Level 2 chargers typically charge at 30 km per hour, taking between 6-10 hours to fully charge a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and 4-8 hours to charge a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). The price of a Level 2 charger designed for a single user can range from $400 to $1200, while chargers designed for multiple users (such as those installed in a multi-residential or commercial setting) range between $1,000 and $4,000. Commercial chargers usually require a subscription to cover billing and network access fees.

All EVs and charging stations sold in North America use the same plug standard, which means any car can use any Level 2 station across Canada and the United States.

Level 3 Charging (DC Fast Chargers)

DC fast chargers are the highest-powered EV chargers on the market. They can take under an hour to fully charge your vehicle, depending on the battery size and the power of the charger. Generally, Level 3 chargers are only found at public charging stations, as they are ideal for places where a person would spend a short period of time, such as restaurants, rest stops, and shopping centres - because of the high load and significant infrastructure upgrades that are required.

Not every EV model supports DC fast charging, so they cannot be utilized by every EV driver. Also installing these chargers requires inputs from a commercial electrician right from the initial planning phase. Unlike Level 1 and 2 charging which have a standard SAE J1772 connector, DC fast chargers have multiple standards for connectors, three common types are: CHAdeMO, CCS or Tesla.

level 3 charger graphic

II. Charging Considerations

1) Charging at Home

If you live in a single-family home:


A level 2 EV charger can add significant electrical load to your home – typically 40 amps. Having a garage or private driveway is the easiest way to enable your at-home charger installation since having an interior/external wall next to where your vehicle parks is ideal. You’ll need a professional electrician/contractor to install a Level 2 charger. It entails installing a 240-volt receptacle in your garage, like those used for a clothes dryer.

If your contractor determines that you need to upgrade your electrical service to accommodate a Level 2 charger, please email us at EV@alectrautilities.com.

If you live in an apartment or condo:


Charging requirements will vary from building to building based on the building policies and infrastructure. Alectra Utilities encourages prospective EV owners to work with their condo corporation or building manager to identify solutions to meet their EV charging needs before purchasing the EV. Provincial regulations provide a process for both owners and condominium corporations seeking to install EV charging stations.

If you are part of a condominium corporation, you can access information and resources the on the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) website. The CAO maintains information dedicated to assisting owners in applying for the installation of EV chargers.

2) Charging at Workplace

Charging EVs at their office/workplace is becoming a feasible option for drivers whose residential charging options are restricted or inconvenient, such as those living in multi-unit residential buildings and/or those with on-street parking only. Many employers in Ontario offer charging stations where employees can charge their personal cars.

If you would like to enable workplace charging for your office/workplace, please contact us at ev@alectrautilities.com for additional information. Workplace EV charging serves as a market enabler, providing a new charging opportunity. The tax benefits of electric cars are very attractive for both businesses and employees.

3) Charging on the Go

Charging “on the go” is becoming an increasingly viable option for EV drivers.

You can use platforms like PlugShare to locate available EV chargers in your area.

4) Charging on the Go with Alectra

Alectra Utilities offers its customers public charging at the following locations:

Alectra office EVSE charging locations


Where on the property

EVSE details

Mississauga (Derry)

2185 Derry Rd W, Mississauga, ON L5N 7A6

Front entrance

2 Level 2 Flo chargers

Mississauga (Mavis)

3240 Mavis Rd, Mississauga, ON L5C 3K1

Entrance along Mavis Rd

2 Level 2 Schneider chargers

Vaughan (Cityview)

161 Cityview Blvd, Woodbridge, ON L4H 0A9

  • Front entrance
  • Front entrance
  • Under the solar carport
  • 1 Level 3 ABB charger
  • 2 Level 2 Flo chargers
  • 1 Level 2 Eaton charger

Barrie (Patterson)

55 Patterson Rd, Barrie, ON L4N 3V9

Front entrance

2 Level 2 Schneider chargers

Brampton (Sandalwood)

175 Sandalwood Pkwy W, Brampton, ON L7A 1E8

Front entrance

1 Level 2 Eaton charger

St. Catharines (Vansickle)

340 Vansickle Rd, St. Catharines, ON L2S 0C9

Front entrance

2 Level 2 Schneider chargers

III. Buying a Charger


You can visit Charging Station Store for offers and competitive pricing on chargers. Plug’n Drive’s staff offer guidance and support throughout the purchasing process to make it as smooth and simple as possible.

Already have a charger? Register it with Alectra.

Is your location?