How long does it take to charge an Electric car?

Key points

Although, understandably, charging duration is compared to filling -up with petrol or diesel this is the wrong way to think about it. Charging is normally done whilst the car is parked, whilst sleeping, shopping or having a coffee.

The time to charge normally depends on both the capacity of the battery and the capability of the charger. Anticipate charging at the vehicle’s maximum rate rather than that of the charge point, charging at a higher than the optimal rate for the battery may degrade it quicker.

In practice there is frequently no need to charge to 100%, the charging rate is not linear and an 80% charge will generally be the best to aim for when charging duration is a concern. Keeping to 80% or lower is also better for the battery.

Example of Planning a long journey example in an Electric car

Charging rates

Charging with a Home charging point is normally at 3 – 7kW and can take 5 -7 hours, however if you’re asleep it probably doesn’t matter.

Plugging in using a 13A domestic socket will be much slower. A 64kW battery could take 24 hours!

Lamp post charging points generally provide 5.5kW.

Fast chargers are 7kW to 22kW, with 7kW being the most common.

Rapid chargers charge at 43kW (AC) or 50kW. Not all cars can handle this.

Ultra-rapid chargers charge at over 100kW, generally 150kW but can be up to 350kW. Currently very few cars can handle this and their use should be kept to a minimum as it can reduce battery life.

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