How Long to Charge an Electric Vehicle: Everything You Should Know
How long does it take to charge EVs?
Electric car charging times usually vary depending on several factors, and we made it our goal to get to the bottom of this question.
So, today, we will discuss how long you should charge your electric cars and closely related topics — such as factors that affect charging times.
Charging Times of Different Types of Electric Vehicles
How long it takes to charge each type of electric car varies. Let’s examine the differences between each type of EV:
1. Battery Electric Vehicles
Battery electric vehicles (BEV) get their power from their built-in battery source. Because of that, once it runs out, BEVs can no longer run unless you charge it.
On average, it takes about 40 to 50 hours to charge BEVs from 0% to full charge when using slow chargers with a power rating of 120 volts.
However, when you use a rapid charger with 240 to 280 volts, you get a significantly faster charging speed, taking you only 4 to 10 hours to top it up.
Unlike home charging, rapid charging is pretty common for workplace and public charging points.
2. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
A plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) is a combination of traditional and modern vehicles. It sports a battery charger and gasoline tank, perfect for those with range anxiety.
This type of car takes 4 to 8 hours to fully charge using a 120 volts port. Meanwhile, it takes 1 to 3 hours if you’re using 240-volt rapid chargers.
This is significantly faster than BEVs and more convenient because of the gasoline tank.
- Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and PHEVs share the same EV charging times and attributes.
However, HEVs utilise the gas engine to get their electric battery to charge fully.
You should be cautious of how many times you need to charge your HEVs.
We recommend you observe top-up charging and ready your charger, especially if you have range anxiety.
The downside with HEVs is they usually run slower than other electric cars. It’s good for city driving — such as getting you from your home to the supermarket or work.
Factors Affecting Charging Times
Through our research, we’ve discovered several factors that affect charging speed.
We’ve listed them here to help you understand how to immediately get your electric car to full battery:
1. Battery Type
Electric cars use different battery types, causing a significant impact on the charging time. On average, most electric cars today make use of the following:
- Lead-acid batteries
- Lithium-ion batteries
- Nickel-metal hydride batteries
Most of these batteries have good charging speeds and power capacities.
2. Size of Vehicle Battery
Bigger batteries in electric cars mean it takes longer for them to reach full charge than smaller batteries.
After all, a bigger battery pack means a larger capacity, requiring more time to store enough power.
This could also affect how much range you get per hour, given the battery size.
3. Charger Type
Every charger type has different speeds, making them ideal for different reasons. The typical EV charger (which is the common home charger) takes a long time to reach 100%.
But there are also fast charging stations, which can get your car to full charge in around an hour. You can even find ultra-rapid charger stations if you want the maximum charging rate.
4. Location of Charging Station
External factors, like weather, affect charging time. In fact, charging stations in places experiencing cold weather typically take longer than those in warmer climates.
Fortunately, if charging speeds are slower than usual, you can use ultra-rapid chargers. You can even take certifications as an electric vehicle charging installer to build a fast charging station.
A charging point located in warmer climates could take less than an hour to fully charge, especially with the help of rapid charging points.
WARNING: Don’t charge an electric car when the heat temperature is at an all-time high.
5. Remaining Charge
It takes longer to charge an electric car if you’re starting from 0% than at 50%.
Make sure to charge your car’s battery frequently and avoid completely draining it.
We especially suggest this to electric car owners who are always on the go and don’t always have access to public charging points wherever they go.
Most chargers also switch to an automatic slow charging mode once your car’s battery reaches 80%. The charging rate slows down to protect the battery pack.
Different Types of Charging
Levels 1 to 3 charging types can vary regarding how long it takes to get your electric car to optimum charge.
Distinguishing the three may be initially confusing, but we’ll explain them below.
1. Level 1 Charging
Level 1 charging is the most basic and standard type.
It uses the usual 120 volts, which is common for a home charger.
Unfortunately, it takes quite a long time to charge your EV batteries to 100% and doesn’t support rapid charging.
If you need an affordable and portable charger, consider this option.
2. Level 2 Charging
A level 2 charging point is significantly better because it utilises 240 volts.
You can expect it to charge an electric car faster than the average speed. The fast charging speed will definitely help if you are always in a hurry.
The beauty of level 2 charging points is they’re readily available, and you can find them in most motorway service stations and public car parks.
Unfortunately, they are slightly more expensive than level 1 charging points.
3. Level 3 Charging
When it comes to capacity, a level 3 charger does the job well. They’re typically more expensive because it requires 480 volts and three-phase power.
You’ll usually find level 3 charging in service stations because it’s mostly for commercial use. You can experience rapid charging in dedicated charging hubs that have this.
Benefits of Electric Vehicle Charging
Not many EV owners know of the full benefits of electric vehicle charging. This being the case, we’ve listed down why EVs are great:
1. Cost Savings
Money is a big motivational factor in our choices. After all, we want to score a good deal regardless of what we’re buying.
Admittedly, like any diesel car, buying an electric car requires high upfront costs.
The main difference is you no longer have to spend on fuel.
Instead, you can use renewable energy sources to power your electric car and the free home charger it comes with.
2. Environmental Benefits
It plays little role in harming the environment, which has become a priority in recent years.
Because EVs don’t use fossil fuels, they produce less carbon footprint and harmful greenhouse gases.
This means there’s less pollution to deal with.
Using renewable energy doesn’t contribute to global warming and helps promote public health.
Your EV can be even MORE EARTH-FRIENDLY if the electricity you use comes from water, wind and other renewable sources.
3. Balanced Energy Flow
Based on our research, we’ve discovered that EVs have a good energy distribution.The battery charges at its maximum rate, so it doesn’t get overloaded.
Plus, most EVs are equipped with technology to ensure that they can better preserve your vehicles’ battery capacity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before we leave with our final words, we’ll answer some of the FAQs we usually get about EV charging. Keep reading to learn more about them:
How Long Can You Drive an Electric Car Before Recharging?
An electric car usually averages around 250 to 500 miles of range on a single charge.
That’s a long distance, which could get you a full week of enjoyment travelling from home to the office.
You can even buy a Tesla model, which has more than 350 miles of range on a single charge.
Couple this with Tesla’s supercharger network, and you can reach far distances! Just note where Tesla’s supercharger network is so you know where to go next.
To help you understand electric vehicle charging on a deeper level, you can take a charging installer course to help you out.
Why Can’t Electric Cars Charge Faster Than Petrol or Diesel Cars?
EVs have a big battery size. Therefore, expect them to take a long time to charge.
Topping up the rechargeable battery takes even longer if you use a domestic socket or a home charger, which offers only level 1 charging.
This is different from a petrol or diesel engine, where you only need to fill up your tank to get your car running for miles on end.
How Is Charge Time Calculated?
Allow us to be a bit technical for a bit.
The important factors here are the battery capacity of your car and its charge current.
Divide the capacity by the current, and that’s how you end up with the charge time of your car battery.
There are different chargers out there that can power up your EVs in no time.
But how long your car charges depends on things like battery type and even a simple environmental factor like charging location.
Rapid chargers can juice your EVs when you need to power up and go.
But even a regular public charger and home charger can do a good job of powering your car!
This guide should help you out when building that electric vehicle charging infrastructure or buying a Tesla model.