How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car?

2 Posted: 2nd Nov 2022
How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car?
  • Our full guide to electric car charging time

    Ever wondered how long it takes to charge electric cars? Not surprisingly, the number of hours to charge depends on the model. But it's often not as much as you might think. For example, if you have a home charger, plugging it in overnight means it's ready to go for the morning commute. Plus, there's a range of public charge points that'll give you a boost in around 30 minutes. 

    Below, our guide looks at the ins and outs of charging an electric car, so read on to learn more. 

     

    So how long does it take to fully charge an EV?

    The time it takes to charge an EV fully depends on several factors, such as battery size, vehicle model and charger type. Most home chargers have a power rating of 3.7kW or 7kW. This rating also determines how fast the car charges. 

    For example, a car with a 70kWh battery will take 10 hours to charge if using a 7kW charger. The larger the battery, the more time it takes to charge. But, using a higher-rated charge point could speed things up further. 

    In addition, most electric cars also come with a standard socket for emergency charging. But it'll take many hours to fill the battery using this method.

     

  • Top-up charging

    The top-up charge method is one of the best ways to keep your car charged up. This means recharging your vehicle from 20% to 80%, making charge times faster and more convenient. 

    Most people use top-up charging whenever they park. So, for example, if you're popping to the supermarket, work or the gym, it's easy to plug in and get a boost. So, in reality, many EV owners don't worry too much about charging an EV, as a mix of overnight and daytime recharges keeps the car topped up. 

    Draining the battery entirely and then recharging it to 100% takes the longest and is also bad for battery health. Typically, the rate slows when the charge gets above 80%, as this helps preserve battery life.

     

  • How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car
  • Charging at home

    Charging your electric car at home is one of the most efficient and cost-effective charging methods. In addition, plugging it in overnight is one of the best ways to schedule the charge around your lifestyle. Depending on the model and charge rating, a full charge can take anywhere from 5 to 12 hours.

    At-home chargers are generally 2.3kW, 3.7kW or 7kW, which determines how many miles of range you get per hour of charging. 

    Range per hour

    • 2.3kW standard socket – up to 8 miles of range per hour of charging
    • 3.7kW home charger – up to 15 miles of range per hour of charging
    • 7kW home charger – up to 30 miles of range per hour of charging

     

  • Public chargers

    You'll find public charging points at supermarkets, car parks, workplaces and gyms. They're ideal for topping up your vehicle while you go about your daily routine and these charge points are usually 22kW. As these are at a higher rate than your standard home charger, you get more range per hour. 

    Range per hour 

    • 22kW – up to 90 miles of range per hour of charging

     

  • Rapid charging points

    If you need a quick top-up, heading to your nearest rapid charging point is the best option. These charge points have a higher-rated kW output and are usually found in service stations. Rapid chargers are typically rated between 43 – 150kW and provide a substantial charge in just 30 minutes. 

    Range per hour 

    • 43-50kW – up to 90 miles of range in 30 minutes 
    • 150kW – up to 200 miles in 30 minutes 

     

  • What affects your charging speed?

    There are several factors that affect the time it takes to charge your EV. These include: 

     

  • how long does it take to fully charge an EV
  • Battery size

    Your EV's battery is measured in kWh. So, the bigger the battery, the more time it takes to charge. For example, the Ford Mustang Mach-E's largest battery model is 91kWh, which takes around 11 hours to charge at home.

    However, the entry-level Volkswagen ID.3 with a smaller 45kWh battery takes just under seven hours.

     

  • Battery state

    Charge time also fluctuates depending on how empty the battery is. So charging from 0% will naturally take longer than if it's 50% full. And when you're above 80%, the charge rate slows down substantially. That's why charging from 20%-80% is the most effective way to charge.

     

  • Vehicle maximum charging rate

    Each EV model has a maximum charging rate depending on the car. So, for example, if the battery has a maximum charge limit of 7kW, plugging it into a 50kW charge point will not make charging any faster.

     

  • Charge point maximum charging rate

    Charge points have a maximum charge rate, so if your vehicle differs from this, it will only charge at the charge points maximum output.

     

  • Temperature

    The optimum charge rate also depends on environmental factors. In mild and warmer temperatures, charge points are more efficient.

    However, in colder temperatures, your car may take longer to recharge. Hotter environments also affect battery efficiency.

     

  • Other electric car charging considerations for battery health

    Charging your electric car is really easy. Plus, many models provide information on how to enhance your range through different driving modes. The infotainment system on your vehicle may also give information on battery health, so it's important to monitor this to optimise its efficiency. 

    Helpful tips on prolonging battery life are: 

     

  • How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car
  • Charge from 20% - 80%

    To optimise battery health, it's often advised to keep your charge levels between 20-80%. This is because consistently running the battery low or empty and then filling it up to the maximum capacity can affect battery longevity.

    What's more, it's quicker just to keep it topped up, so you don't have to wait hours for a recharge.

     

  • Regular rapid charging

    While rapid chargers are a great way to boost your range on the go, using them frequently can degrade the battery faster. Using a chargepoint suited to the maximum rating of your car battery is the best option for prolonging its health.

    Slow charging is typically best for battery health with overnight charging at home offering an easy way to do this.

     

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