The Level 2 Charging Difference Between A Mercedes B-Class Electric & Smart Electric Drive

Ted Kidd shared some useful insight on the bottom of this long article comparing the charging capabilities of 27 electric car models, but it’s a topic that I thought deserved a little more attention in a separate post. The basic point is that different electric car models have quite different abilities when it comes to Level 2 charging — some, for example, have a maximum charging capability of 3.3 kW, while others have as much as 20 kW — and this is a very important factor in the practicality and convenience of an electric car.

electric smart car charging netherlands

To spell it out further, say you have a Smart Electric Drive (which has a 3.3 kW onboard charger) and are out on the town and need to add 20 miles. There are no DC fast chargers around (well, that doesn’t matter in this case, as your car doesn’t have fast-charging capability anyway) but there are several Level 2 charging stations in the vicinity. It will take you approximately 2 hours to add those 20 miles.

Mercedes B-Class Electric

Now, say you have a Mercedes B-Class Electric (which currently uses a Tesla battery pack with a 10 kW onboard charger). Again, assuming you need to add 20 miles and you have Level 2 charging stations around that you can use, you can plug in for just about 40 minutes and get that 20 miles. You can theoretically get some food, do some shopping, or do something else useful in that time, whereas filling 2 hours in order to get 20 miles is likely to cause much more inconvenience.

Of course, how likely you are to need public charging at all is an individual matter, and many may not need it and may not care much about the capacity of their EV’s onboard charger, but it’s definitely something to consider before buying an electric car.

For more details an consideration, see: Electric Car Charging 101 — Types of Charging, Charging Networks, Apps, & More!

14 thoughts on “The Level 2 Charging Difference Between A Mercedes B-Class Electric & Smart Electric Drive

  1. With a fifty to eighty mile range and 3.3k L2, there are places that I would not attempt to go here in the SW USA, as the distances are rather large. That being said, 98% of my travels are within my range. I still have a gasmobile for the other 2%.

    1. Yep. I’m about as much of an EV fanboi as there is, and I wouldn’t recommend a car with no DC fast-charging and just 3.3 kW max charge rate. I’d consider fast-charge capability and 6.6 kW to be requirements unless someone is simply buying a city commuter car for short distances and have another one for other purposes.

      1. Smart can charge with 22 kW (3x32A A/C) in Europe.
        22 kW is standard in the streets of Copenhagen, together with 11 kW.
        Motorway charging has 43 kW (3x63A A/C) together with Chademo and Combo, each 40-50 kW D/C.

      2. I call EV without fast chargers as toys, which I have done in my blog. Even commuters may have occasion when they need something more without having to drive home to gas car.

        1. As a commuter with an electric smart car that I love, no, in over a year, and 25k kms of driving I’ve never needed a fast charger.

          And I know lots of people with i-mievs, and leafs, and despite fast charger capability, they’ve never actually used a fast charger.

          As a matter of fact, I don’t actually know someone who’s used a fast charger on their electric.

          Calling an EV that you don’t like a toy serves no purpose.

          Now, I’d love faster charger, but there’s no need to throw insults.

          1. It’s not a perosnal insult to you, so don’t feel bad. But I stand by that EV without fast chargers today are toys. I tried exclusive L2 as an experiement for few days, and “toy” is the word that came to mind. If you haven’t used DCFC, you wouldn’t understand.

            EV with DCFC has effectively replaced my gasmobile, even driving almost 300 miles in one day. I haven’t started my gas car in months, and the battery is dead.

          2. You know me…but yeah, outside of Tesla, not a lot of fast charging going on with EV’s here in Ontario. That said, the newest DC charger in Markham seems to have been used quite a bit since it opened a few months ago. Pictures of various EV varieties on the plugshare listing.

      3. Regardless of charging rate, most electrics today can’t replace gasmobiles anyways. That you theoretically can travel along the electric highway in a leaf, doesn’t mean that many people actually will.

        Now, I’d love fast charging, and a larger 6.6 kW onboard charger, but it’s not like the car is good for nothing.

        Interestingly, I couldn’t recommend a leaf, because of the battery degradation issues that remain. A 4 year old leaf actually has less usable range than a Smart EV.

      1. Does level 4 charging involve a lightning strike? Because Level 3 is scary fast… 28 minutes to charge for the Soul EV.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *