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How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?

When you have a conventional combustion-engine car that runs on diesel or petrol, you simply have to refuel at the petrol station, and you’ll be able to continue on your journey in just a few minutes. But what if you have an electric car and you need to have it recharged? How long does it take to charge an EV and get it ready for another long drive? Let’s find out!

How to Calculate EV Charging Speed?

How much time do you need to allocate when charging your electric car? There’s no exact answer to this because it depends on the battery size as well as the charger’s power output. If you can get the values for those factors, you can calculate your EV’s charging speed using this formula:

  • Battery Size in kWh / Charger Power in kW = Charging Time in Hours

With this formula, let’s try getting an estimate of the charging speed of three popular electric car models with different battery sizes. 

  • Renault Zoe - It has a 52kWh battery that can be charged in an hour if you use the usual 50kW rapid charger. 
  • Kia e-Niro - This model has a 64kWh battery and will be ready for the next leg of your journey after being charged for one and a half hours. 
  • Tesla Model 3 - With a 70kWh battery, you will need close to two hours to charge this electric car. However, you may recharge the EV using Tesla’s Supercharger network, where you can secure up to 172 miles of charge in just 15 minutes. 

Charging Speed When Recharging at Home

If you’re looking for the most affordable and convenient way to charge your EV, the best option is to have your own electric car charger at home. As soon as you arrive from work, you can start charging your car and leave it overnight. The next morning, it will be fully charged and ready to go. With this kind of setup, you won’t have to depend so much on public charging ports. 

There are two options if you decide to have a charger at home. You can use a domestic three-pin plug socket or have a dedicated wall box. With the first option, know that it’s going to be a lot slower to charge an EV using a domestic socket. As for the second option, if you plan on charging your car at home, then it’s best to have a dedicated wall box for faster and also safer EV charging. 

According to Pod Point, which is one of the best home wall box providers in the UK, a Renault Zoe that’s charged through a 3.6kW output will be ready in 7 hours, 4 hours for 7kW, and 2 hours for 22kW output. For a 3.6kW home wall box, the cost is around £450. For 22kW wall boxes, it’s going to be a bit pricier to install, and you’re going to need three-phase power, probably around double this cost. If you have an electric car, 3.6kW and 7kW home chargers will do just fine. 

Charging Speed in Public Charge Points

In the UK, there are over 15,000 charging locations which amount to over 23,000 devices. This number continues to grow to accommodate an increasing number of EV owners and also to prepare for the 2030 sales ban on petrol and diesel vehicles. 

Many public charging points can be found in motorway service areas, car parks, restaurant parking spaces, and other dedicated charging hubs. Hotels, supermarkets, and high streets also have their own charge points for customers. 

Slow vs Rapid Charging

For a non-rapid charger, you can expect your car to be fully charged in 6 to 12 hours. When we say “slow charger”, this means 3kW to 7kW, while 50kW is categorised as a fast charger. Beyond that, it’s what’s known as “rapid charging.” 

If you use a rapid charge point, you only have to wait 20 minutes to an hour. Of course, this depends on the battery size and its charge state when you arrive at the charging point. A rapid charger can replenish your EV up to 80% within 20 minutes. If you’re looking for locations to have a quick charge, try motorway service stations. The BP Pulse network also offers EV charging for 15p to 30p per kWh. 

Tesla Charging Points

If you own a Tesla, you can charge your car in one of the many stations of the Tesla Supercharger network. Your EV will only need 40 minutes when you use a 150kW V2 Supercharger. As a Tesla owner, you can access the Supercharger network for free.

Tips on EV Long-range Driving

Do you want to drive your EV and go on long journeys, but you’re not sure if it will have enough power? Don’t worry because there are so many public charge points across the UK. They are conveniently located in hotels and restaurants, so you can charge your electric car while you enjoy a meal or rest for the night. 

A tip to make sure that you’ll be able to reach your destination with your electric car is to plan ahead. This is actually standard advice whether you’re driving a car that runs on petrol, diesel, a hybrid, or a fully electric car. Before your trip, see to it that your EV is fully charged. Next, know the places where you’ll stop to rest or eat and choose locations where there are charging points. When estimating your travel time, consider the stops you may have to make to recharge your EV. Plan other activities while waiting for your car to be charged so you can make the most of your trip. 

Takeaway

The time it takes to charge your electric car depends on a number of factors, such as the outlet’s power capacity, your EV battery size, and its state of charge. Typically, you only need about an hour if you’re using a rapid charger. For home chargers which are usually non-rapid, you would have to plug in your EV overnight. 🌙

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