One of the factors to consider when buying an electric car is its charging time. Drivers who are used to filling up combustion engine cars quickly may be put off by the long charging times for electric cars. How long will it take to get enough range out of the vehicle? The charging time for an electric car depends on a number of factors, which we will discuss later in this article.
What does the charging time of an electric car depend on?
There are many factors that affect the charging speed of an electric car. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Type and power of charger. Direct current (DC) charging stations will charge our car much faster compared to alternating current (AC) charging stations. The higher the power of the charger, the shorter the charging time.
- Battery capacity. The higher the capacity of an electric car battery, the longer it takes to fully charge it. The batteries currently used in electric cars range from 20 to over 100 kWh.
- Car parameters. The charging time of an electric car is largely dependent on the design limitations of the vehicle. The technical parameters of the car include the power of the on board charger (OBC). The OBC is a device fitted to the car that is responsible for converting alternating current from the electricity grid into direct current, which is used to charge the car’s batteries. The power of the OBC determines how fast the car can charge. For example, a car with a 7 kW OBC will charge almost twice as slowly as a car with an 11 kW OBC.
- Weather conditions. The charging speed of an electric car depends on the ambient temperature. Best results are achieved in a temperature range of 20 to 25°C. At low temperatures, charging an electric car can be slower because the battery is less efficient. Many modern electric cars use different battery heating systems to optimise battery performance and longevity.
How long does it take to charge an EV?
Charging times for electric and hybrid cars vary depending on the type of vehicle, the power of the charging station and the battery capacity. The fastest charging is possible with DC fast chargers with a capacity of 50 to 350 kW. Such chargers can top up the battery to 80% in 30-45 minutes. AC chargers are slower, but are cheaper and more readily available.
Table 1. Summary of charging times for popular electric cars.
|Car||Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD||Tesla Model S Plaid||Nissan Leaf e||Toyota RAV4|
|Type||Full electric||Full electric||Full electric||Plug-in hybrid|
|Battery capacity (kWh)||82||102||62||18,1|
|Maximum AC charging power (kW)||11||16,5||6,6||6,6|
|Charging times using a 230V socket and the most popular charging stations|
|230V socket 16 A
|25 hrs.||30 hrs.||19 hrs.||5 hrs.|
|Autel MaxiCharger AC Wallbox Socket 1F 7.4 kW||12 hrs.||15 hrs.||10 hrs.||3 hrs. **|
|Wallbox Pulsar Plus AC 3F 11 kW||8 hrs.||10 hrs.||10 hrs**||3 hrs. **|
|Wallbox Pulsar Plus AC 3F 22 kW||8 hrs. **||7 hrs. **||10 hrs **||3 hrs. **|
|Autel MaxiCharger DC W47-S 47kW *||60 min.||80 min.||60 min.||–|
* time required for charging from 20 o 80%
** The charging rate is limited by the car’s on-board charger.
It is worth bearing in mind that AC chargers with the powers listed in the table can be conveniently installed at home and connected to a single-phase or three-phase installation. This allows the car user to use the night hours to charge the vehicle. In addition, using a charger at home generates savings, as the cost of charging the car is significantly lower than at a public charging station, as we wrote about in our article: “How much does it cost to charge an electric car?”.
What is worth bearing in mind when charging an electric car?
- Choosing the right charger. There are many devices available to charge our electric car, including: home chargers, public chargers and DC fast chargers. The choice of device depends on the type of electric car, the capacity of the battery and the availability of an electrical outlet.
- Not allowing the batteries to be completely discharged. Complete discharge is detrimental to the life of the cells themselves and increases the time needed to recharge them.
- Planning charging in advance. Planning your charging in advance will help you to avoid your electric car not having enough range for your planned journey. To schedule a charge, you can use an electric car charging app or a website with a map of public stations.
- Regularly check the battery status. It is a good idea to check your electric car’s battery regularly to make sure it is in good working order. If there are problems, contact a service provider.
- Charging the car in a safe place. Electric car chargers generate heat, so it is important to charge your car in a safe place, away from flammable materials.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can charge your electric car safely and efficiently.
The charging time for electric cars is an important factor to consider before buying a vehicle. In the article, we have discussed various aspects that affect charging speed, such as the type and power of charger, battery capacity, car specifications and weather conditions. High-speed DC chargers can significantly reduce charging time, while AC chargers, although slower, are cheaper and smaller, so they can be conveniently fitted at home. Choosing the right charging method can make a significant difference to an electric car’s comfort and economic efficiency.