How long does it take for an electric car to charge? Well, that certainly sounds like a simple question. However, providing the answer is a little more complex than it seems.
Many things can affect charging speed such as battery size, its condition, the capacity of a charging point, countless environmental factors, and more.
All of these factors play a key role and help to result in answers that range from 30 minutes to more than 12 hours.
Keep reading for the lowdown on charging an electric car and how long it takes.
Key Factors That Affect How Long it Takes to Charge an Electric Car
As we’ve already mentioned, many things can affect charging. The following are the most important.
Size of the Battery
Anyone interested in buying an electric car will find themselves researching many different features. One of the most critical is the size of the electric car’s battery. The battery size is a reflection of its ability to store energy and run the vehicle.
To complicate matters for the consumer, electric vehicle models tend to have batteries that vary in size. You’d think that the most popular EV models such as the Nissan LEAF or the Jaguar I Pace, would have the same size battery, but no. The Jag has a 90 kWh battery, while the LEAF battery is 40 kWh which is less than half that size.
As you might expect, when the charging circumstances are the same, the larger battery will take longer to charge. Let’s give you some exact times so you can compare:
If the two EVs are being charged at a 22kWh charging station, have the same initial amount of battery, and the weather is the same, you can expect the following charging times:
- A Nissan LEAF will take a little under 2 hours for a full charge
- The Jaguar I Pace will fully charge in 4 hours
There is a simple equation you can use, if you want to work out how long another model will take to fully charge. Use the following:
- Battery size/ Charger capacity = Charging time
Something else to consider in terms of EV battery size is the battery’s maximum capacity. This figure determines how much energy per hour it can take while connected to a charger. However, it will only charge as fast as its maximum rate will allow.
The LEAF can take a maximum of 40 kWh, and the I Pace a maximum of 90 kWh while charging.
Type of Charging Station
There are three different types of charging stations: Rapid, fast, and slow. These are also referred to as DC Fast Charging, Level 2, and Level 1 Chargers.
Rapid Chargers (DC Fast Charging)
These are most commonly found at public charging stations, particularly at large gas stations. Generally, you can plug your EV into one of these and expect it to take between 30 minutes to 1 hour to fully recharge.
Rapid chargers have different charging capacities, such as 43 kWh or 50 kWh. However, some Tesla superchargers have a capacity of 150 kWh.
Fast Chargers (Level 2)
Typically, you can expect it to take between 4-6 hours to fully charge most electric vehicles at a fast charging station. However, if your EV has a large battery, such as 75 kWh, it could take between 5-10 hours to complete charging.
Common locations for fast chargers are public parking lots. Many people choose to install one in their homes.
Slow Chargers (Level 1)
This is the slowest form of EV battery charging. Most of these chargers can only give 3.7 kWh to a battery. The smallest batteries can be fully charged in around 4 hours, but larger batteries such as those in a LEAF or I Pace, will take between 11 and 24 hours to get a full charge.
In the US, new standards were introduced in February 2023. These aim to ensure charging is a reliable and predictable experience for EV owners. They also establish minimum technical standards for charging stations, including the number of charging ports, power level, connector types, availability, uptime, payment methods, network connectivity, and more.
The table below summarizes what you can expect from the different charger types.
|LEVEL 1||LEVEL 2||DC FAST CHARGING|
|CONNECTOR TYPE||J1772||J1772||CCS connector, CHAdeMO connector, Tesla connector|
|VOLTAGE||120 V AC||208-240 V AC||400-1000 V DC|
|TYPICAL POWER OUTPUT||1 kWh||7 kWh – 19 kWh||50-350 kWh|
|ESTIMATED PHEV CHARGE TIME FROM EMPTY||5-6 hours||1-2 hours||N/A|
|ESTIMATED BEV CHARGE TIME FROM EMPTY||40-50 hours||4-10 hours||20 minutes to 1 hour|
|ESTIMATED ELECTRIC RANGE PER HOUR OF CHARGING||2-5 miles||10-20 miles||180-240 miles|
|TYPICAL LOCATIONS||Home||Home, workplace, and public||Public|
Environmental factors affect charging times and also the time it takes for an EV to use up the energy stored in the battery. When temperatures are low, electric cars and charging stations become less efficient when giving, receiving, and using energy.
A study was conducted on EV taxis in New York. It was found that when a Nissan LEAF was charged at 20 degrees Celsius, the battery charged to 80% in around 30 minutes. If the temperature drops to 0 degrees Celsius, the battery only reaches 44% in the same time.
Another important factor that affects charging times is how you choose to recharge your EV. Much like refueling with gas, you can choose to refuel often and drive for fewer miles in between refills, or refuel less often and drive more miles. Let’s compare the options when recharging an EV.
For people who prefer to charge their cars at home, overnight charging is the more common option. Most home chargers are rapid chargers and tend to be connected to WiFi or can act as smart charging stations.
The time it takes to charge an EV at home is typically between 4 to 6 hours, from almost empty to almost full.
To charge an EV at home overnight, all you have to do is plug your vehicle into your home charging station and use either instant or smart charging. When you wake in the morning, your electric car will be fully charged.
Top Up Charging
Another option for charging your EV is to use top-up charging. You can do this at home or use a public charging point. Top-up charging means you’re not letting the battery run low. Instead, you’re choosing to charge it whenever possible, either using a private or public charger.
EV owners who don’t have their own charging stations at home tend to use this option. It’s a very convenient way of charging an electric vehicle and ensures the car always has the power it needs.
Now you know how long it takes to charge an electric car you shouldn’t get caught out. If you’re thinking about undertaking a long journey in your electric car, don’t forget there’s always the option of shipping your EV across the country. USTrans offers affordable and reliable car shipping services for all types of vehicles including electric ones.
How long does it take an electric car to charge?
A typical electric car with a 60 kWh battery takes just under 8 hours to charge from empty to fill using a 7 kW charging point.
How long does it take to charge an electric car at a gas or petrol station?
Level 2 charges can charge a BEV to 80% from empty in 4-10 hours. For a PHEV, it should take between 1-2 hours.
How long does it take to charge an electric car from Tesla?
If you need to charge your Tesla the Tesla Supercharger is the fastest charging option. You can drive your car up to 200 miles in 15 minutes.
How long does it take to charge an electric car battery?
You can charge an electric car at home or using a public charging station. A full charge can be achieved in 30 minutes, or it could take half a day or longer.
How long does it take to charge an electric car at a charging station?
How long it takes to charge an electric car at a public charging point depends on the speed of the charger and the size of the EV’s battery. A full charge could be achieved in 30 minutes or it might take longer.
How long does it take to charge an electric car at a fast charging station?
If you’re partway through a long journey and find your EV is running low on battery, a public fast charging point is a quick way to top up on power. Fast charging stations are often rated at between 50 kWh and 350 kWh. Most EVs will be charged from empty to 80% in less than one hour.
How long does it take to charge an electric car at home?
Charging your electric car at home is the most affordable and efficient way of charging your EV’s battery. Using a standard household outlet will take more than 24 hours to deliver an optimal battery charge of 80%. Install a level 2 charging station and you’ll get the same level of charge in 4-5 hours.