As the number of electric cars on the road increases, there are more and more people asking this question: How long does it take to charge an electric car? Here’s the short answer:
- Home charging: 6-12 hours at speeds of 3.6 kWh or 7 kWh
- Public slow charging: 2-6 hours at speeds of 7 kWh up to 22 kWh
- Public Fast charging: 1-4 hours
- Tesla Supercharger: <1 hour
In this blog post I will try to cover as many charging methods as possible in order to give you a better idea of what your options are when it comes time to charge your own vehicle.
What affects the charging time of an electric car?
There are multiple factors that affect how long it takes to charge an electric car. Here are the five most important ones:
- Size of battery: The more energy your vehicle’s battery can store, the longer it will take to charge. The bigger a car’s battery capacity (measured in kWh), the longer it takes for that person—or an electric company–to recharge their car.
- State of battery (empty vs. full): The fastest way to charge your car is from low levels of power. If you are charging the battery when it’s on empty, then this will take longer than if you were topping off at 50%.
- The quickest and most efficient way for a vehicle with an electric engine to recharge its cells is by starting out in top condition instead of being nearly depleted.
- Max charging rate of vehicle: The maximum charge rate a vehicle battery can accept is the same whether you are charging it at home, from a public charging station, using Tesla’s supercharger system, or with any other fast chargers.
- Max charging rate of charging point: Because not all charging points are capable of the same charge rates, the time to charge will depend on the max available for that specific charging point. If you plug your Tesla into a slow charger, it’s going to charge slowly.
- Environmental factors: Batteries of all kinds don’t perform as well in the cold. Your car battery will not do as well when the thermometer drops. In fact, some cars suffer from a 50% range reduction. This means more frequent charging.
Where can I charge my EV?
There are four main options for charging an electric car. EV charging can happen at home, at public slow and fast charging points, and at Tesla’s own 150 kW supercharging stations.
Charging at home
A typical home charger has a power rating of either 3.6 kW or 7 kW. This is how much power your home charging point delivers to the battery every hour.
You can work out your time to a full charge by dividing your battery size by the charging speed of your home charger.
For example, a new Nissan Leaf has a 40 kWh battery (or 62 kWh if you want). At 3.6 kWh charging from home chargers, this battery would require a little over 11 hours to charge from empty to full. A faster home charger brings that time down to less than six hours.
Public charging points (approx. 20-to-80-mile range per hour)
Public charging points for cars are popping up at motorway service stations, supermarket car parks, and big multi-level car parks as well. Being close to a charge point reduces “range anxiety” a bit for most drivers.
How fast are they, though? Public pod point speeds vary, but the most common speeds are 7 kWh and 22 kWh. To use our Nissan Leaf example, we already know at 7 kWh, the car charges from empty to full in under 6 hours.
In theory, the faster speed of 22 kWh using a 3 phase ev charging cable, meaning this could charge the car in less than 2 hours. However, there’s a problem.
The Leaf’s main charger is only rated at 6.6 kWh. Even with a rapid charger, the charging speed is limited to this rate.
Thankfully, Nissan (and a lot of other manufacturers) has a second, high-speed EV power supply connector. This allows for faster charging, up to 50 kWh.
Fast charging points
You can charge your car even faster with a public rapid charger. These deliver an electricity supply up to 50 kWh. One of these would charge our Nissan Leaf in an hour or less.
Once again, we need to point out the different battery sizes and rapid charging options available. Every car is different and EV owners should check their specs to discover their maximum battery charge rate.
Tesla Superchargers (Full charge in around 40 minutes)
Tesla owners can charge their electric cars even faster thanks to Tesla’s 150kW charger. These support a full charge in around 40 minutes, making them the fastest way to power up your electric car and get back on the road.
How do I charge at public electric car charging points?
There are just a few things to remember when using a public electric car charging point. It’s not quite as simple as rolling up, plugging in, and paying for the juice. Here’s what you need to know:
- Your car’s connection point must be compatible with the public charger. In some cases, you may need to purchase a special adapter to use the charger. Most modern public chargers have a standard Type 2 plug for slow charging and a CHAdeMO connector for rapid charging.
- The fees can vary from one charging point to another and across different power networks. Some network providers charge extra fees, such as a one-off registration fee, connection fees, and a monthly charge.
You can’t just roll up to an electric car charging point anywhere you’d like. You should check your connector compatibility and how much the network will charge you to use its power supply.
What is top-up charging?
Many owners of electric cars try to employ top-up charging so they have plenty of miles of range when they need them. No driver wants to be left without juice, so they plug their cars into a pod point or use chargers to keep their electric cars topped up all the time.
The way to be successful at top-up charging is to find all the chargers you can use locally. A local petrol station with a point, street parking areas with chargers and rapid chargers in public parking are all useful spots to add a bit of extra juice to make your battery run for longer.
Are all-electric car chargers the same?
No, they vary quite a bit. The type of connector available, alternating current or direct current use, rapid charging speeds, and the number of people who can charge simultaneously are all different from one point to the next.
The best approach is to use your car’s model and create your own charging network. Your 3.6 or 7kW home charger is the best place to start building your personal charger network. Then, you can add information about your normal user experience, like your daily commute, to plan your charger stops.
Should you charge your EV every night?
Sure! If you have a pod point at home, you can make sure you have plenty of miles of range by keeping your battery topped up every day. Charging your electric vehicle every night won’t hurt the battery. Most EV drivers plug their cars in every night.
Conclusion paragraph: The charging time of an electric car depends on several factors. There are many types of chargers, each with its own pros and cons. You will also need to consider where you plan to charge your EV before deciding how often you should top up or plugin overnight for the best possible performance day-to-day without incurring any charges from electricity providers. Make sure you get all the right kit by checking out our range of EV charging accessories that can make life easier for recharging at home or away – they’re even great as gifts!
How much does an electric vehicle charging station cost?
A home pod point capable of 3.6 or 7kW charging costs between £550 and £1200. More expensive units offer smart features and can be used as a rapid charger. However, if your property only has single-phase power, you’ll probably be limited to a 7kW charging speed.
How much does it cost to charge an electric car at a charging station UK?
The typical cost is between £7 and £10 to charge an electric vehicle at a public point. Rapid chargers cost more per hour and a larger battery size needs more power to achieve maximum range. Naturally, charging a larger battery super fast costs more.
How often do you have to charge an electric car?
You’ll need to charge your car when your miles of range is less than you need to travel. For many people, this isn’t every night. The average commute in the UK is 23 miles round trip. If you’re just driving to and from work and making a few shopping trips, then you may only need to charge your car a few times per week.
Can you charge an electric car at home (with a home charger)?
Yes. This is the most economical way to keep your electric vehicle topped up with the maximum miles of range. If your tariff has a lower electricity cost at night, you can top up your vehicle for even less.
How long does it take to charge an electric car at home?
A home charger can fill up your battery in six or seven hours at 7kW or almost twice as long at 3.6kW. Rapid chargers in homes are only available for homes with access to three-phase power.
How quickly can you charge an electric car?
The fastest rapid chargers supply up to 150 kW per hour. If you have a Tesla model, then your battery can be full in under an hour. If you have a different model, then the maximum speed per hour is determined by the model.