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More Distance for your Dollar: How long do EV’s take to Charge?

More Distance for your Dollar: How long do EV’s take to Charge?

range mileage

Electric cars (EV) vary a lot compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) cars when it comes to filling up. Traditionally, you’d wait until a light flashes on your dashboard, pull into the nearest gas station, and stand at the pump for a minute or two – spending around $40 for the pleasure.

With EV’s however, charging habits have adjusted and are more like charging your phone. The majority of electric car charging is done as a ‘top-up’, when you’re at home, work, the gym, or around town. These quick charges could give your car an additional 90 miles of range within an hour. You may even find that you never have to “fill-up” your vehicle from empty to full because you are plugging in wherever a charging station is available. On long journeys though, you might be required to charge from empty to full before you can get going again. But with so many different batteries and charging speeds, how long does it actually take to charge an electric car?

Depending on the charging point, an electric car can go from empty to full in anywhere from an hour to 31 hours. The home charging points will typically be either 3.7kW or 7kW (as 22kW+ charging requires expensive additional work).

It’s worth noting too that all electric cars can charge with a higher power charger, as long as it’s a compatible plug. The vehicle will simply limit the power to the maximum amount it can handle.

For most vehicles, 50kW rapid chargers are the quickest way to get to 100% (150-300 miles of range) after about an hour of charging. Some of the new EV’s being released from incumbent manufactures are compatible with 150kW charging, in addition to Tesla’s Model S, X, and 3. 150kW chargers can provide up to 300 miles of range in under an hour, but despite these chargers making electric car ownership far easier, there are currently very few available.

Tesla’s Supercharger network has 382 points across the UK and BP’s Chargemaster opened its first 150kW chargers at Heathrow in August – but with only two charging points, the 400 charging points promised by 2021 look a long way off.

Therefore, when looking at charge times 50kW chargers are a better indicator of rapid charging. They are far more common at gas stations and rest stops, making up 22% of the public charging infrastructure. The chargers found at urban destinations – such as workplaces, gyms, or shopping centers – will range from 7kW to 22kW, so these are typically used to top-up for short periods of time.

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