(iSeeCars) – Electric cars continue to grow in popularity as more automakers electrify their lineups and gas prices hit record highs. Advances in battery technology have helped alleviate range anxiety, with most modern electric vehicles having at least 200 miles of range.
Although you don’t have to stop at the gas pump to refuel your electric car, you will need to plug it into a charger to make it work. How long will it take to charge your electric car? The answer depends on many factors such as battery capacity and the type of charger you are using.
While there’s no simple answer, we’ve got the important information to help you better understand the EV charging process and how long you can expect it to take, depending on your specific situation.
Factors that affect EV charging time
Besides the obvious factors that can affect your car’s charging time, such as your electric car’s battery size and charging equipment, there are other factors that affect charging time. of your car. These factors include:
- The state of charge of your battery: you probably won’t charge your vehicle from zero percent, so it depends on the initial state of charge of your battery. Some may choose to charge their vehicle every day, while others may wait a few days until their battery is nearly empty.
- Your car’s maximum charge rate: Each vehicle has a maximum charge rate that determines how much charge your vehicle can accept in a given amount of time.
- The charge rate of your charging station: Just as your car has a maximum charge rate, so does every charging station. Your charging time will depend on the maximum charge rate of the charging station you use to charge your battery.
- Temperature: Just as traditional car batteries drain faster in extremely hot and cold weather, extreme temperatures can slow down a vehicle’s charging speed.
Types of electric car chargers
There are three levels of charging equipment available for home and public electric car charging. It is important to note that it takes the same time for an EV battery to charge from 80% to 100% as it takes to charge from 10% to 80%. This is because a full 100% charge can be harder on the battery, and storing that last 10-20% of the battery’s capacity always takes longer. However, there may be times when you want to charge your battery to 100%, for example just before a long car trip.
The easiest way to charge a plug-in or electric vehicle is to use home charging equipment. All Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) come with a 110-Volt or Level 1 Home Charging Kit that allows your vehicle to plug into a standard wall outlet with an adapter. This method requires no modification to your home’s electrical system, but it provides only three to five miles of range per hour of charging. That might be good enough for plug-ins, but if you want to maximize your vehicle’s all-electric range, it’s not very effective. To put that charge rate into perspective, it would take 20 to 40 hours to charge a Tesla Model S, depending on its battery capacity and range. A Hyundai IONIQ 5 would take up to 43 hours.
Next is the Level 2, 240-volt charger, which can provide between 12 and 60 miles of range per hour. This charge level is also the one found at most public charging stations like Chargepoint, and can also be installed in the home by a professional electrician using a 40 or 50 amp circuit, similar to household electric clothes dryers. Installation can cost between $500 and $2,000. The cost of home installation is determined by several factors, and some local tax incentives and rebates can help offset this cost, so be sure to research what home charger incentives exist in your area.
A Chevrolet Bolt with a range of 259 miles will take about 9.5 hours to charge from zero to 100% on a Level 2 home charging system.
Level 3: DC fast charging
Level 3 chargers, also known as DC fast chargers or DCFC chargers, offer the fastest way to charge your vehicle. These charging devices use direct current (DC) power and require special outlets to connect. Most modern EVs, like the 2022 Nissan LEAF, now have standard quick-charge ports that allow fast charging. However, many older electric cars may not support fast chargers, which is important to keep in mind if you are looking for a used electric vehicle.
DC fast chargers are mostly available as public charging stations because they are too powerful and expensive to install in most homes.
A Level 3 DC fast charger can boost an electric vehicle’s battery from around 10% to around 80% capacity in 20-30 minutes, making it ideal for charging during car journeys . Using one of these EV chargers is the closest thing to filling up at a gas station. Their power is usually between 20 and 50 kW, which allows the equivalent of 3 to 20 miles per minute of charging time. These charging stations are most commonly found along major highways at conventional gas stations and shopping malls. They are becoming more prevalent as the adoption of electric vehicles increases, but they remain rare in large swaths of the country. That means a long road trip that doesn’t involve major highways will have little to no fast-charging options.
Tesla has its own fast charging network, known as Tesla Superchargers. Tesla Superchargers use a Tesla vehicle-exclusive connector on its charging stations, but owners of other vehicles can use these chargers with a CHAdeMO or CCS adapter.
It should also be noted that these charging stations are more expensive than level 2 charging stations. Most public charging stations charge per kilowatt-hour (kWh), a measure of the amount of energy transferred to the battery from the car. However, some public chargers are free, so it’s worth researching to see if there are any free public chargers in your area.
Maintaining your battery: the 80% rule
In order to prolong the life of your battery, it is recommended not to charge it beyond 80%. This is because high voltages can accelerate battery degradation. These batteries operate at peak performance when in the middle of their charge cycle. In fact, most electric cars have a mechanism that prevents the battery from charging beyond 80%. Do not exceed 80% charge of your battery will help extend the life of your car battery.
Electric car charging time: by type of car and charger
Here’s how fast you can expect to charge some common electric vehicles by vehicle and charger type:
Tesla Model 3: 310 mile range
- Level 1 Home Charge: If you charge Model 3 using a standard household outlet, it will take 24-36 hours to go from an empty charge to a full charge.
- Level 2 Charge: It will take approximately 9.5 hours to fully charge your Model 3 using the Tesla Wall Connector.
- Tesla Level 3 Supercharger: A DC fast charger can fully charge a Model 3 in 15-25 minutes.
Chevrolet Bolt EV: 259 mile range
- Level 1 Home Charging: A standard wall outlet will charge approximately 48 miles in 12 hours. That means it would take 63 hours to fully charge a Volt.
- Level 2 Charge: With a level 2 charger, it will take approximately 9.5 hours for a full charge.
- Level 3 DC Fast Charger: A DC fast charger provides 200 miles of range in an hour, meaning it reaches 80% battery capacity in that time. The Bolt’s charge time slows when the battery is nearly full, so it takes almost two hours to fully charge a Volt with a fast charger.
Nissan LEAF: 226 mile range
- Level 1 Home Charging: A standard wall outlet provides five miles of charge per hour. For a LEAF Plus with a range of 226 miles, it would take 45 hours to charge, or nearly two full days.
- Level 2 Charge: It will take a Nissan LEAF 11.5 hours to reach a full charge with a Level 2 charger.
- Level 3 fast charge: It takes 40-60 minutes to fully charge a Nissan LEAF with a DC fast charger.
The essential :
While there is no magic number when it comes to EV charging times, EV drivers have several options for charging their vehicle. For the typical driver, most charging takes place at home. However, many city dwellers or apartment dwellers do not have access to residential charging and rely on public charging stations. There are many apps available that can notify drivers of the location of public charging stations, including ChargePoint and PlugShare. It’s also worth noting that some level 2 public charging stations allow faster charging times than standard home charging stations, but they probably charge more than what you pay for your standard electric rate. Typically, using Level 2 charging gear will allow you to fill your battery almost overnight, while standard Level 1 charging gear will take several days. If you use a DC fast charger, you can charge your vehicle to 80% in an hour or less.