How long does it take for an electric car to fully recharge?

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Do you know when your electric vehicle will be completely refuelled? What you need to know is here.

image via luxedigital

Filling an electric car’s tank is not the same as recharging it. Getting back on the road takes some time, and depending on how far you travel, that may be a problem.

However, how long does it take to recharge an electric vehicle? That’s a difficult thing to answer since each electric vehicle battery is so unique. It all comes down to the battery’s size and the amount of power it can handle at once. Due to the principles of thermodynamics, cold temperatures may also affect the battery of an EV.

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Electric car charging types and speed estimates

20-80%0-100%
Level 1 (Slow): 40kWh battery8h 53m14h 39m
Level 1 (Slow): 82 kWh battery18h 13m30h 3m
Level 2 (Fast): 40 kWh battery3h 48m6h 17m
Level 2 (Fast): 82 kWh battery7h 48m12h 53m
Level 3 (50kW Rapid): 40 kWh battery0h 32m0h 52m
Level 3 (50kW Rapid): 82 kWh battery1h 5m1h 48m

Currently, there are three types of electric vehicle chargers on the market: the Slow, the Fast, and the Rapid. A potential electric vehicle owner should know the distinctions among the many models, even if the labels are self-explanatory.

Kilowatts (abbreviated kW) are the unit of measurement for charging speed in automobiles. The higher the number, the more quickly your automobile will be recharging, therefore it makes sense to classify a charger as either slow, fast, or rapid.

If your charging speed is less than 7kW, you’re at Level 1, or sluggish charging. In most cases, these chargers are rated at 3kW, however 5kW slow chargers are available as well. Cars may take several hours to a few days to completely recharge using slow chargers, which use AC power.

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Level 2 (rapid) charging will recharge your car’s battery significantly more quickly than a slow charger and is available in power ranges ranging from 7 kilowatts to 22 kilowatts. You may expect a full charge for your automobile in a few hours, but don’t expect it to be lightning-quick. Though, as always, this depends on the make and model of your vehicle. AC electricity is also used by fast chargers.

Level 3 (rapid) charging: This is the quickest way to charge an electric automobile, with charging rates up to 50kW. A ‘Rapid’ charger may be anything up to 350kW, and there is no hard limit on what qualifies as a ‘Rapid’ charger. Few automobiles can handle that much power, and they’re quite uncommon.

Between 50kW and 150kW is the most common range for quick chargers, however greater speeds exist. Tesla owners, for example, will be able to use the 250kW Superchargers established around the United States by the firm. In most cases, a rapid charger can recharge your automobile in about one hour. They are powered by DC (Direct Current).

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If you’re looking for the fastest possible charge for your automobile, you’ll need to go beyond the capabilities of a charger. So an 11 kW fast charger can only provide 7 kW speeds if the vehicle it’s linked into isn’t capable of handling anything more. As a result, you must be aware of your car’s capabilities and the manufacturer’s recharge specifications.

For additional information, check out our Should you fast charge an electric car? guide.

Level 1Level 2Level 3
Tesla Model Y10 miles per hour29 miles per hour162 miles in 15 min
Tesla Model 311 miles per hour30 miles per hour175 miles in 15 min
Tesla Model X5 miles per hour20 miles per hour175 miles in 15 min
Tesla Model S7 miles per hour23 miles per hour200 miles in 15 min
Chevrolet Bolt4 miles per hour25 miles per hour100 miles in 30 min
Ford Mustang Mach-E3 miles per hour28 miles per hour59 miles in 10 min
Audi e-tron100% in 129 hours1000% in 10.5 hours80% in 30 min
Nissan Leaf100% in 60 hours100% in 11.5 hours80% in 45 min

Slow charging

Slow chargers, as the name implies, charge at a glacial pace. They’re known as “trickle chargers” because of how slowly they charge since they don’t utilise a high voltage. The speeds you’ll obtain from these chargers are equivalent to what you’d get by putting your automobile into the wall as you would a phone or a TV with a specific adaptor.

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A 40 kWh battery can be recharged from 20% to 80% using a 3kW charger in around 9 hours, as an example. However, if you were to go from 0% to 100%, it would take over 15 hours. In the meanwhile, gradually charging an 82 kWh battery from 20% to 80% takes almost 18 hours. In order to get from 0% to 100%, it would take you 30 hours.

These values are simply approximate approximations, but they give you an idea of how long it takes to charge an automobile at a slow speed.

So, unless you have plenty of time to waste while your vehicle recharges, stay away from these chargers while out and about. Fortunately, they aren’t common, and their excruciatingly sluggish charging pace is the reason why.

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To achieve the best results, you should either instal a fast charger or check with your car’s manufacturer for an adaptor that you can connect into a wall socket at home.

Fast charging

The majority of the time, your automobile will be charged at high speeds. Not only are they quicker than slow charging, but they also recharge at a slower rate, so that battery deterioration is kept to a minimum. In this approach, you get the best of both worlds, ensuring your vehicle is always ready to go and extending the battery’s life.

With a huge battery, this is going to be quite helpful. In order to recharge an 82 kWh battery from 20% to 80%, a 7kW fast charger takes around 13 hours, or little under 8 hours. While this is going on, a 40 kWh battery may be recharged from 20% to 80% in little under 4 hours, or just over 6 hours total. Once again, these are just rough estimates, and the real vehicles may vary.

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Rapid charging

Charge your automobile as quickly as possible by using rapid charging, but avoid doing so on a regular basis. When exposed to high voltage, lithium batteries deteriorate far more quickly than other types of batteries.

Or, at the absolute least, quicker charging rates may be produced when exposed to excessive heat on a frequent basis. Batteries decay, and the more they degrade the less charge they can retain, which means your range will grow less as the battery gets weaker and worse.

To prevent battery overheating and deterioration, many new automobiles are equipped with better and better cooling systems. However, it’s still a good idea to stay away from quick chargers if you can. This is not to argue that a quick charger should never be used. Just make sure it’s either your last option or you’re in the middle of your journey and need to recharge as quickly as physically feasible.

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Rapid charging allow for long-distance travel, too. 82kWh batteries can be charged from 20% to 80% in one hour using even the slowest 50kW chargers, which are very common. It takes nearly twice as long to recharge from 0% to 100%. The 40kWh battery should be able to go from 0% to 100% in around an hour, or a little over half an hour to get from 20% to 80%.

Electric car charging: How much recharging should you do? 

Instincts may urge you to attempt to recharge your automobile every time, but you should avoid this. Why? Because it’s bad for the battery’s performance. Avoiding a full charge is one of several strategies for extending the life of your car’s battery.

Keeping your electric vehicle’s charge between 20% and 80% is the most common advise offered to EV drivers. Too much or too little charge isn’t healthy for it, and neither is sitting about with too much or too little charge. Lithium ion batteries, whether they’re in a vehicle, a phone or a laptop, all have the same problem.

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Lithium ions circulate between lithium-metal oxide and graphite, the two main layers of a lithium battery. You have a 100 percent charge if all the lithium ions are in the metal-oxide layer; otherwise, you have no charge since they are all in the graphite layer.

The battery is strained and degrades faster because of the expansion caused by having too many ions in one layer. Whichever extreme you’re referring to, both are undesirable. As a result, you want to stay as far away from them as possible.

It’s ideal to have a battery with a 50% charge, since this ensures an equal distribution of ions, but this isn’t realistic. So, unless you’re ready to go on a lengthy journey and want every last kilowatt-hour of electricity to get you there, it’s best to maintain everything between 20 percent and 80 percent of its maximum capacity.

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Because you’re feeding the automobile with less electricity, charging to 80 percent is much simpler than charging to 100 percent.

Isn’t it interesting how many IT firms tout quick charge rates up to 80%? This is due to the fact that a battery’s charging speed decreases as its capacity increases. At 80% capacity, charging speeds plummet. In fact, even the most powerful quick chargers slow to a trickle as you approach 100% charge.

There is no use in attempting to attain 100% unless you really must, thus it’s best not to bother unless you absolutely must. The fact that you’re extending the life of your battery is a nice bonus.

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Electric car charging: Your options

There are two primary possibilities if you want to purchase an electric automobile. One alternative is to use public chargers, which is the least convenient. Alternatively, if at all possible, do the task yourself at home.

As we’ve previously noted, public charging is only a viable option if you can’t recharge your device at home. It doesn’t matter whether you’re forced to park on the street or if your garage is out of electricity.

If you live in a region where the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles is lacking, public charging may not be an option for you. If you have the ability to charge at home, do so. In the absence of a dedicated home charger.

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As long as you have the correct adaptor, you can recharge an electric car from a conventional wall outlet, although this is quite sluggish. Even the smallest electric vehicle batteries, as previously indicated, may take up to a dozen hours to recharge. The type of thing you don’t want on a daily basis if you need to drive.

Installing a fast charger in your house is the best option for balancing speed and convenience. A typical wall-mounted Level 2 charger costs between $400 and $700.

Fortunately, federal tax credits in the United States allow you to recover 30 percent of the cost of a home charger up to $1,000. Another example: The UK government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) covers up to 75% of the cost of a home charger (up to £350). However, both require that you possess a plug-in electric vehicle that qualifies.

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The 7kW charger, which is less expensive than the 22kW chargers that some modern vehicles can use, is still a good option to consider. Using a fast charger instead of depending on public quick chargers would not only significantly enhance battery life compared to using a slow or mains charger.

You should use your car’s charging timer if it has one, if possible. If you forget to disconnect the battery, you won’t end up with an overcharged battery.

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