- Various factors can impact EV charging times, from battery capacity to the weather.
- It takes longer to charge up a car from 0%, but it also takes longer to charge past 80% on a fast charger.
- Think about factors like battery capacity, regular use, and what sort of charger you’ll be using if you want to get a clearer estimate of time.
Beyond simply trying to find a charging station, current EV owners and future EV buyers also want to know how long it may take to charge up their vehicles. We all know that it takes longer to charge an electric vehicle than it takes to fuel up a gas-powered one. So really, how long does it take to charge an electric car? Let’s go through all of the factors that can impact your EV’s charging time.
Sure, it’s great to have an EV battery with huge capacity, like the promised 381 miles on the Faraday Future FF 91 EV. But as battery capacity increases, so does the time it takes to charge up. Even if the charging rate is similar, a 212-kWh battery will still take far longer to fully charge than a 112-kWh battery.
Your Car’s Max Charging Rate
Each vehicle has a maximum charging rate, which is determined by its voltage and electrical current limits.
Hybrids and plug-in hybrids range from 100 V to 200 V, while fully electric vehicles will operate at 400 V to 800 V, or even higher in the more expensive cars.
Why does this matter? It’s related to the chargepoint you’re using.
The Charging Station’s Max Charging Rate
The current you’ll get from a charging station depends on your car’s voltage and current, but also the voltage and current of the charging station itself. When you plug in your EV, the charger will match your battery’s voltage and deliver the current. But that current is limited by either your EV or the charger, whichever has the lower limit.
Maybe your car operates at 400 V, but you’re using an at-home charger that’s limited to 120 V. The current to your battery is limited by your chargepoint, so you won’t get a current that will fully match your car’s voltage, slowing down the charging process.
You’ll obviously get a faster charge at a 240 V chargepoint and even faster speeds at a DC fast charger – generally speaking, anyway.
Current Battery Charge
Typically, EV drivers will rarely let their batteries get down to a 0% charge – instead, they’ll usually just “top up” their batteries. And while charging up from zero can take you longer to charge your EV, so can topping up when your battery is nearing full.
When an EV battery’s state-of-charge (SoC) is below 10% or above 80%, a DC fast charger’s rate slows down. (This explains why EV manufacturers will claim that fast charging can get your battery to 80% charge in so many minutes.) That last 20% of charge might double the time you’re hooked up to that fast charger.
So if you’re a regular “top-up” kind of EV driver, it might be best to just charge at home overnight.
Think of the Goldilocks tale: The temperature for your EV battery needs to be just right.
Yes, plenty of EVs have a thermal management system, which can heat or cool your battery to keep it at the optimal temperature. But if it’s really hot or really cold out, your thermal management system will slow down the charging process to make sure your battery isn’t getting too hot too fast.
But Really … How Long Will It Take?
These are all important factors to know that will increase or decrease your charging time. But really, you’re still here asking the big question: How long does it take to charge an electric car?
Thanks to Kelley Blue Book, we have some charging estimates from manufacturers on how quickly a car could charge on a Level 2 charger:
- 2022 Porsche Taycan (Performance Plus): up to 10 hours
- 2022 Tesla Model 3: up to 8 hours
- 2022 Tesla Model S: up to 12 hours
- 2023 Audi Q4 e-Tron: 9 hours
- 2023 BMW iX: under 10 hours
- 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV: up to 10 hours
- 2023 Mini SE Hardtop: up to 5 hours
- 2023 Nissan Leaf: 7.5 to 11 hours
- 2023 Polestar 2: 8 hours
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