How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car

blue car in an ev charging bay

People often ask us, how long does it take to charge an electric car?

People tend to be in a rush and it’s not the same as filling a car with petrol, where you’re done in minutes.

Charging a battery takes considerably longer, but just how long?

Let’s take a look…

Electric Car Charging At Home

Home charging is normally the most common charging method for most electric cars. They have a wallbox installed which is a dedicated charging point attached to your home, so you can pull up and then place your EV on charge.

Your charging speed depends on your model of car, how much energy is left in the battery, the car’s battery capacity, the vehicle’s maximum charging rate, how powerful your local grid is and the type of charging point you have installed, for example, at public points, you will find rapid chargers. If you get a home charger that is 7kW, then this will affect charging speed and charge your electric vehicles a lot slower than a 22kW one which does require three phase power. However, you can use a domestic socket as well but this is considered a slow charger and takes considerbly longer to charge an EV’s battery. 

Many electric cars charge at between 10-30+ miles of range per hour, however, this does increase at a public charging station as they sometimes have more powerful outlets which means faster charging speeds. In cold weather this may take a bit longer regardless of whether your using a rapid charger.

Most people charge their electric car battery overnight, that way, even if you have a 7kW, after 8-10 hours, your EV will have a higher battery range. Charging electric cars at home is also far cheaper than a public charging station and even cheaper than a petrol or diesel car.

At the time of writing (July 2022) the cost of petrol is about £1.80 a litre, whilst it’s roughly 26p per kWh. So not only can you leave your EV to charge without monitoring it, but it will also save a lot of money in the long run. You will have to pay for a charger to be installed at your home, but this upfront cost is well worth it for the long-term gain.

A 7kW charger is the most common at home but you can get a three-pin one which is fine, it just charges your EV a fair bit slower. It all depends on how long you want to spend charging an electric car, most people don’t see the point in having a high kilowatt charger as they are at home for hours anyway, so the EV can charge slowly.

Electric Vehicle Charging At Work

Charging at work is a great option if your company or business allows you to charge your car whether that’s for free or paying. Whilst you work, your batteries could be charging for a number of hours, it’s especially useful if you have to commute a fair distance for work.

Much of the charging infrastructure is still being developed so it’s quite rare to see charging points in company car parks or head offices but it’s not unheard of. There is also a grant for businesses installing chargers and it’s called the Workplace Charging Scheme.

Charging Electric Cars At Public Points

car with two public chargepoints

Public charging points are on the rise due to the correlation of electric cars also becoming more normal. You can often find these stations on motorway services, public car parks, hotels, supermarkets and town centres. Charging at one of these rapid charging points requires an electric car that can handle this type of DC charging. It could take 30 minutes whilst some may take a couple of hours, it all depends on what one you turn up to and the charging points they have available.

Some of the more powerful outlets start at 22kW and can go up to 350kW which is very rare. Most are between 50-100kW but public charging stations do cost a lot more to charge your car than your usual rate at home.

But unlike home, these kilowatts can have your car charged to 80% in between 30-60 minutes depending on who you charge with. So even though you are paying more, you are also charging a lot faster, because no one wants to be stuck on the motorway for three hours waiting for your car to charge. So these high kilowatt chargers are a necessity for fast charging. 

Remember, you may have to sign up to a certain provider or pay as you go.

There are plenty of apps out there that give you a nationwide view of all the charging points out there so you can make sure you turn up to one that has your specific provider. In rural areas, charging points can be scarce, so it’s better to plan your electric vehicle charging points beforehand.

Factors That Affect How Long A Charge Takes

Charging any electric vehicle has a number of factors to it, this can be the make, model, or type of charger. But one of the biggest factors by a long way is the size of the battery. The larger the battery, the longer it takes the electric car to recharge.

But there are also a lot of other contributing factors than just those above. Another major one is what type of kW rating your home charger has. Some people have a three-pin plug-in charger at home which is the slowest due to a low kilowatt, whilst an ultra-fast charger which can be found on motorway service stations has a high kilowatt and therefore helps charge an electric car quickly.

Most people charge to about 80% and then get back on the road, you don’t have to charge to 100%. Also anything after 80%, the EV takes longer to charge as it’s helping to extend the battery life.

An example of how long charging can take is if you have a 70kW battery in your EV and you were to use a 7kW charger, it would take about 8-10 hours to charge. If you were to use a slightly more powerful charger, such as a 14kW, this would charge your EV in 4-6 hours instead.

EV Charging Time Charts

Take a look at three real-life examples and see what sort of electric car charging times they do depending on the home charger, power output and battery size.

Ford Mustang March-E

  • Battery – 75-95kWh
  • Range – 280 miles
  • Three Point Pin – 36 hours
  • 3.7kW – 24 hours of charge
  • 7kW – 12 hours
 

Nissan Leaf

  • Battery – 40kWh
  • Range – 143 miles
  • Three Point Pin – 32 hours
  • 3.7kW – 21 hours of charge
  • 7kW – 11 hours
 

Citroen e-C4

  • Battery – 50kWh
  • Range – 217 miles
  • Three Point Pin – 22 hours
  • 3.7kW – 14 hours of charge
  • 7kW – 7 hours
 

EV Charging Speed Calculator

Use this calculation to work out roughly how long it will take to charge your EV:

Battery Size (kWh) Divided By Charger Power (kW) = Charging Time (Hours)

By doing this calculation, you will be able to estimate how long it will take to fully charge your car and you can plan your day around this.

What Is Top-Up Charging

Top Up Charging is simply plugging your car into an electric charging point whenever you park. So if you were to stop at a hotel and park and use a rapid charger, at home or even in a supermarket and you decided to charge your electric car, this is called top-up charging.

Most people’s cars are parked for about 90-95% of the time, so instead of letting your battery drain, people make use of the time when the car is parked to make sure the battery is constantly topped up and charged.

A lot of the time top-up charging is done at motorway services with fast chargers ranging from 7kWh to 50kWh and therefore can charge quickly whilst you get something to eat or have a toilet break.

Learning how long it takes to charge an electric car can help you plan your day and if need be you can charge between daytime and nighttime so that your batteries are always charged. We’ve found that knowing how charged your battery is isn’t the main priority, but knowing how many miles you can travel on a certain percentage of battery is far more important before stopping for your next charging session either at home or using a public charger.

How Much Range You Get Per Hour Of Charging

Knowing how many miles you can get out of your car is important as it allows you to know when you need to next stop for charging. See how many miles are added on average for every hour you charge your car:

3.7kW slow – Up to 15 miles
7kW fast – Up to 25 miles
22kW fast – Up to 100 miles
50kW rapid – Up to 100 miles but in under 45 mins
150kW rapid – Up to 200 miles in 35 mins

These are rough estimates because there are different factors that can affect the range you get when you charge an electric car. For example, a smaller car with a smaller battery is more efficient and gets more miles out of charging for an hour. If you have a larger car with a bigger battery, you will get fewer miles in the same amount of charging time.

A lot of people don’t know, but environmental factors also affect the speed and level of charge you get. If the temperature is warmer, then cars are more efficient and get slightly more miles per hour than if you were to charge in the Winter.

Last Word

We hope this article helped give you an indication of the time frame you can expect when charging your car. Whether that’s at home with a charger, work or at a motorway service station charger, everyone is different.

Just be sure to check your battery size and what type of charger you are getting and how much power it has (kilowatt). These two variables, are exactly what you need to give you a rough estimate for an overall charging time.

If you need more information about looking after an EV, or other charger information then see our main page.

Picture of Nick
Nick

Nick is the proud owner of a MG ZS EV and is an EV fanatic. He has been featured in notable publications like USA Today and The Times for his expertise in the field.