There’s no denying that, over the past few years, electric cars have become increasingly popular. In fact, according to IEA, sales of electric cars are seeing a 40% year-on-year increase. But while most people are considering getting their own electric cars, others are questioning their benefits. For instance, autonomy is a big contention point, with people always asking how long does it take to charge an electric car. Luckily, we are here to take a look at electric cars and figure out more about their charging time.
Average Charging Times
Generally speaking, the average charging time of electric cars is dependent on the type of charging equipment used.
Level 1 equipment offers charging through a 120V, alternating current plug, and requires a dedicated circuit. What’s interesting about level 1 charging is that it uses a standard household outlet. And since level 1 charging equipment is also standard on all electrical cars, it doesn’t require additional installation. All you need is an adapter that has a J1772 plug on one end, and a normal three-prong plug on the other.
Depending on the battery size and technology, level 1 charging takes between 8 and 12 hours to fully charge a depleted battery. As a result, most electric car owners use level 1 charging equipment overnight by using their home’s plug.
Level 2 equipment provides charging through a 240V, alternating current plug, and requires the installation of public or home charging equipment. In fact, level 2 units require their own dedicated 40 amp circuits.
Just like level 1, level 2 charging equipment is standard across all cars and charging stations. It uses a J1772 adapter that can be plugged into the same socket as level 1 equipment. And thanks to the standardized sockets, you should be able to find level 2 charging stations in most residential areas, public parking, and commercial settings.
When it comes to charging capabilities, level 2 charging equipment is relatively fast and can completely charge a depleted battery in 4 to 6 hours. However, the charging time will increase during cold seasons, depending on the overall temperature.
Level 3 equipment, also known as DC fast charging, uses a 480V, direct current plug. What makes level 3 equipment so amazing is that it can provide an 80% charge in less than 30 minutes.
However, not every electrical vehicle is compatible with level 3 charging. And since there is no industry standard, each company uses its own level 3 plug. For instance, Tesla uses its proprietary plug called the Tesla Combo, which only works on modern Tesla electric vehicles.
Factors That Affect Charging Speed
Besides the type of charging equipment, other factors can affect the charging speed. Each of these factors is essential in understanding how long does it take to charge an electric car.
- Battery Size: Vehicles with bigger batteries will take longer to fully charge, especially if they can’t use level 3 charging.
● State of Battery: Charging an empty battery takes more than if you are topping from 50%.
- Max Vehicle Charging Rate: You can never charge faster than the rate that your vehicle can accept. For example, if your vehicle’s maximum charging rate is 6kW, then you won’t charge faster using a 22kW charge point.
- Environmental Factors: Cold temperatures will increase charging time, especially when using a rapid charger. Not only that, but colder temperatures also reduce efficiency, with fewer miles being added during charging.
- Charge Point Charging Rate: Just like vehicle charging rates, charge points have their own maximum rates. So, a 7kW charging point can only charge at 7kW, no matter your vehicle’s maximum rate.
The Bottom Line
How long does it take to charge an electric car? — it depends on a variety of factors, including charging equipment and battery size. But usually, you should expect anywhere between 6 and 12 hours if you are charging a depleted battery. And thanks to constant technological advancements, the charging time is decreasing with each new brand and model that gets released.