When you find a BMW i3 for sale or a new i8, the best investment that you can make as part of the deal is a Level 2 charger. Now, there is a range of L2 chargers for a reason. They charge four times faster than L1 chargers, after all.
Standard household plugs run at 120 volts. These can be used to charge electric vehicles and are enough to typically get them to full charge overnight. However, if you want to charge twice as fast, you’ve also got 240 volt outlets in your house. These run dryers, electric ovens, and large air conditioning units.
So when you talk about Level 2 vs. Level 1, this is the difference that’s being discussed. Level 2 means it runs off of a 240 volt plug. Since you can’t drag your car into your laundry room, unplug your dryer, and plug in the car, there is installation involved for a car charger. It needs to be on a 40 amp circuit with 8 gauge wire in order to charge.
DC chargers are also available, but they will run thousands of dollars. They will deliver a whopping 480 volts, though! These are becoming more widely used at public and commercial charging locations.
Consult your BMW dealer about which charger is the best for you. There are different options, and they may all require slightly different installation. Your BMW dealer can also let you know the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Furthermore, installation can get very tricky. You don’t want to do something wrong and risk damaging your new car (or worse, yourself!). Save yourself the hassle and risk, and get the installation done professionally. An oversight when dealing with this level of electricity can be unsafe.
Whichever charger and installation route you decide on, you’ll thank them when you get that new BMW i8 or BMW i3 ready to go at a moment’s notice.