For those who are considering switching over to an electric vehicle, one of the main concerns is charging time. Filling up a petrol or diesel car is a relatively quick (albeit expensive) process, depending on how close your local petrol station is, but how long does an electric car take to charge?
There is no single answer to this question, but here we’ll go through the main factors that affect EV charge time.
Factors that affect the charging time of an electric car
The time it takes to charge an electric car depends on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point used. The higher the battery capacity of a car is, the longer it will take to fully charge. Different electric cars also have different max charging speeds. For example, although 22kW charging points are available in some locations for a quicker charge, EVs with a maximum charge rate of 7kW using these will still only charge at 7kW.
Depending on the combination of these different factors, an electric car could take as little as 30 minutes to charge or over 12 hours.
What is a typical battery size?
A typical electric car has a 60kWh battery which will take around 8 hours to reach full charge from empty, using a 7kW charging point. This means that a typical electric car will be able to be comfortably charged overnight at the home, provided you have an EV charging point installed.
Charging point speeds
As mentioned above, different types of charging points are available. AC charging points come in either 3.7kW slow, 7kW fast, or 22kW fast (three-phase). Most home charging points will be either 3.7kW or 7kW, as the three-phase power required for 22kW is very expensive to install. The speed of these charging points is the upper limit, so even an electric car with a 7kW max charge rate using a slow 3.7kW charge point would still only charge at 3.7kW.
Rapid charging points use DC current and are the fastest way to charge an electric vehicle. They are often used for en-route charging, such as at petrol stations. Most UK rapid charge points are between 43-50kW but there are a few 150kW charging points, which can’t be used by all electric car models but can fully charge some in less than an hour.
Top-up charging and full charging
It’s important to note that you don’t always have to charge from empty to full – you can top-up your car’s charge but make sure to plan carefully. Many supermarket car parks now have EV charging points, as well as some workplaces, so you can top-up your vehicle’s charge whilst you are shopping or at work. Most EV drivers will combine top-up charges with a full charge overnight at their homes.
How many miles you get from these top-up charges will depend on how long the vehicle is charged for, what type of charging point is used, and how efficient the car is. As a general rule, an hour’s charging at a 3.7kW charging point will give most EVs up to 15 miles added range, a 7kW charging point will give up to 30 miles, and a 22kW will give up to 90 miles.
The model of the vehicle, the battery size, max charge rate of the car and the charging point will all affect how long it takes an electric car to charge but combining top-up charging with overnight home charging is a great way to ensure your vehicle always has plenty of power without having to change up your daily routine.
If you need to set up your home charging point, you can view our range of Degson electric vehicle charging cables and sockets here.