How Long Does It Take To Charge A Electric Car?

For people that switch to electric vehicles, charging the battery becomes a way of life. Coming from a petrol-based car which you drive to a gas station, charging takes a longer. While you can quickly adjust to it, just how long does it take to charge an electric car?

There is no definite answer to that question. However, this article examines the factors that affect the duration of a charging session.


Battery capacity

It is only logical that a car with a large battery will take longer to charge fully than a smaller battery. For example, the Tesla Model S with a 100 kWh battery will take longer to charge to 100 percent than the Nissan Leaf if charged at the same speed.

PHEV, or hybrid electric vehicles that you can charge by plugging it into a power outlet, typically have smaller batteries, hence will charge faster. The Mercedes A 250, for example, has a 15.6 kWh battery that gives it 44 miles on battery power alone.

Battery capacity, however, is only one part of the charging equation. The charging speed matters too, and we shall look at it next.


Charging speeds

Electric vehicles come with different charging speeds. This is why you will see the maximum power a car can accept in car reviews. The Model Y, made by Tesla, can accept up to 350 kWh with the appropriate charger. The Ford Mach-E only takes up to 150 kWh.

The maximum power rating depends on the internal charge of the car, which is part of the power train. Newer electric vehicles have higher powertrain capacities, which means they can charge faster, provided there are capable chargers.

Another factor that determines the rate at which your car charges is the type of charger you use. Chargers are categorized as Level 1, Level 2, or DC rapid chargers for EV owners living stateside. Level 1 charges at the least speed but are the least complicated to use. Your car could take a whole weekend to reach a full battery charge.

You will charge your electric vehicles faster if you install a Level 2 charger at home. They work with 240 volts and for best results require installation by a trained professional. They typically take 8 hours to charge to 100 percent or the equivalent of plugging overnight. Many businesses also offer Level 2 chargers as perks (referred to as destination charging) for their customers, and you can take advantage to top up your battery while on their premises.

The fastest chargers are DCFCs (Direct Current Fast Charging). They can fill up your battery within 45 minutes by supplying up to 350 kWh, provided your electric vehicle is compatible. However, you can’t install DCFCs at home, unlike Level 1 and Level 2 chargers. They have a prohibitive cost of installation and power requirements compared to Level 2 charger installation costs and power requirements. They are usually offered by companies that maintain a network and charge you to use them.


Battery percentage before plugging in

The first and last 20 percent of your battery take longer to charge. Think of the charging as pouring water from one bottle into another. The rate of water getting into the receiving bottle is not constant throughout. It starts slowly, ramps up, and then slows down as the bottle gets filled up.

If you maintain your battery percentage between 20 and 80 percent, you won’t have to stay that long at the chargers.


How much battery do I need?

It is unnecessary to charge 100 percent each time, which is similar to how petrol car owners do not always fill up their tanks. For instance, while on longer trips like cross-country driving, you can charge enough to get you to another public charger. 

The average American drives about 25 miles a day, which is less than one-fifth of the range of many modern electric vehicles. This means you can get by with one or two hours of Level 2 charging or less than 15 minutes of DCFC on most days.

As stated earlier, there is no definite answer to how long it will take to charge your EV. However, what is certain is that to install a Level 2 charger at home, you need the services of professional installers so you can have the best home charging experience.

Our CLICK Electric experts have the training and experience to help you select the best charging equipment and carry out any required modifications. Call us today for a FREE estimate at (877) 858-5853

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