If you’re in the electric vehicle (EV) market, you’re probably curious about how long it takes to charge an electric vehicle. You can’t just stop at a gas station for five minutes, you have to wait for the batteries to be charged.
How quickly an electric vehicle charges depends on several factors, including whether you’re charging at home or in public, the speed (or level) of the charger, how big your battery is, and whether you’re doing a top-up or full charge.
So to answer the question, “How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?” The answer is, it’s complicated. However, owners can charge an EV in 30 minutes or wait up to 10-12 hours for a full battery, depending on charger speed and battery size. Here are a few more details that explain how long it takes to charge an electric vehicle.
Various factors affecting EV charging times
How long it takes to charge an electric vehicle depends on various factors. While a public charging station can charge an electric vehicle in just 30 minutes, it costs much more to use fast chargers in public than a home charger. For most EV owners, EV charging speeds are most important at home, as that is where they do most of the charging. Either way, here are all the different variables.
- EV Battery Size: The larger the battery size (measured in kWh), the longer it takes to charge. Some cars have a small 28kWh battery, while others like the new GMC Hummer EV pack huge 200kWh battery cells. (The average (60kWh battery) takes almost 8 hours to charge from empty to full with a 7kW charger.)
- Maximum charging rate of your electric vehicle: EV charging speeds vary by manufacturer. So if your EV’s top speed is 7kW, a more powerful charger isn’t going to make it faster.
- Current battery level: Drivers rarely charge empty, but in this case a full charge takes longer than a 50% charge.
- The speed and power level of the charger: Charging times vary depending on the output power of the charger.
- Temperatures: Cold temperatures can affect battery efficiency and possibly increase charging time. A hot ambient temperature (especially when charging) can do the same.
EV charge levels and speeds
With so many different EVs on the market offering different battery sizes, charging speeds and even different EV charging plugs, there are many variables. And while some of the numbers may vary by vehicle, region, or plug, these are a good baseline when it comes to EV charger levels.
- Level 1: Typical 120V home charger with speeds from 1.2 to 2.4 kW.
- Level 2: Improved 240V socket with speeds from 2.5 to 19 kW.
- Level 3: 480V DC fast charger with speeds from 50 to 350+ kW.
Most electric vehicles in the United States come with a simple Level 1 charging cable that you can plug into any household outlet. Unfortunately these are standard 3 pin 120 volt plugs and extremely slow. As a result, many home owners are upgrading to a faster Stage 2 charger.
A Level 2 charger typically uses a larger 240V plug, similar to the power cord of household appliances such as a washing machine or dryer. These are significantly faster than Level 1 and will typically deliver in excess of 30mph of charge time or a full battery after an 8-10 hour overnight charge. Many public chargers are still Level 2.
Level 3 chargers (aka DC fast chargers) are what you typically find in public places, from Tesla Superchargers, and at gas stations or office buildings. Level 3 is the fastest way to charge an electric vehicle and can give you enough battery to go over 100 miles in 30 minutes or almost 250 miles in an hour (and a full battery).
How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle at home?
Based on the information above, how long it takes to charge your EV at home depends on the vehicle and the type of charger used. For example, Ford’s Level 2 Charging Station Pro for the F-150 Lightning delivers 80 amps (or 19 kW) and between 20 and 30 miles of range in an hour, depending on the size of the battery. Ford says the base model’s 98kWh battery can be fully charged in about 10 hours.
This means most owners will want to plug it in overnight or when they get home and it will usually be fully charged and ready to go in the morning. But if you only drive 10-15 miles to work or around town every day, you don’t even need to plug it in every day.
Most electric cars have slightly smaller battery packs, so charging time will vary, and again this depends on the vehicle and the capabilities of your home chargers. Tesla’s popular Level 2 home chargers can charge up to 44 miles per hour.
Most electric vehicles that charge at home take at least 8 to 10 hours to fully charge, if not longer, depending on the hardware.
Using DC fast chargers to charge an electric vehicle in public
Again, it’s important to remember that depending on the vehicle and charger you’re on, EV charging speeds will vary. Using the F-150 as an example, Ford claims that with a DC fast charger in public, the F-150 Lightning can take up to 150 kW and deliver a 15% to 80% charge time of 41 minutes.
However, many public chargers are Level 2, and even if you can find a Level 3 (DC fast charger) you should check the charge level. Many public DC fast chargers have a maximum output of 50kW, which is still extremely fast, but not as fast as a Tesla Supercharger station.
Currently, most Tesla superchargers range from 90kW to 250kW and are super fast. These can charge up to 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes. You can find Supercharger stations around the world.
And while Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network is currently at 250kW, the company is working on speeds of 300+.
How long it takes to charge these popular electric vehicles
If you were melting from all the confusing numbers, levels, and information outlined above, we’ve got you covered. To keep things simple, here’s a list of how long it’s likely to take to fully charge some of the most popular electric vehicles available in the US today, according to KBB (at home).
These EV charge times are based on a 240V Stage 2 charge source, according to each manufacturer’s website and specifications.
- Tesla Model S: 12 hours
- Tesla Model 3: 12 hours
- Chevrolet BoltEV: 10 hours
- Kia EV6: 6-10 hours
- Ford F-150 Lightning: 10-13 hours
- Nissan Leaf: 11 hours
- Rivian R1T: 10-12 hours
- Hyundai Ioniq5: 8.5 hours
- BMW i3: 7 hours
- Porsche Taycan: Up to 10.5 hours
- Audi E-Tron: 10 hours
- North Star 2: 8 hours
- Subaru Solterra: 8-10 hours
Ultimately, it comes down to what electric vehicle you buy, the electrical wiring in your home, and what type of charging system you plan to use. Most people would benefit from installing a Level 2 charger at home. This way your electric vehicle can be charged overnight and be ready for use every morning.
This article was previously published on Source link