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How long does it take to charge an electric car?

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Electric car charging times - the complete guide

Find out how long it takes to charge an electric car, whether you’re at home or out and about. Learn how charging speed varies between different EVs and what affects EV charging times.

Article Contents

  • How long does it take to charge an electric car? 
  • How long does it take to charge an electric car at a public charging station? 
    • Slow Chargers  
    • Fast Chargers 
    • Rapid Chargers  
    • Ultra Rapid Chargers  
  • How long does it take to charge an electric car at home? 
    • 3-pin plug charging time 
    • Wall box charging time 
  • Electric car charging time comparison 
  • Factors that affect EV charging times  
  • FAQs 
  • Enjoy fast EV charging speeds with Power NI  

 

How long does it take to charge an electric car? 


How long it takes to charge an electric car depends on the size of your EV battery and the type of charger you’re using. Some electric cars charge in as little as 45 minutes, while others could take more than 20 hours to fully charge with a slow charger. Using a typical 7kW home EV charger, a full charge will usually take between four and eight hours, depending on the car battery size.

How long does it take to charge an electric car at a public charging station? 


It takes between 10 minutes and 12 hours to charge an electric car at a public charging station, depending on the circumstances. EV charging times are impacted by your electric car battery capacity and the power output of the charger. It also depends on how much charge is remaining when you start the charge and whether you want a full charge or just enough to get back on the road.

Based on their power output, public charging stations can be: 

Slow Chargers - 3kW slow chargers can be found in workplaces and some older on-street and car park EV charging stations. They’re best used overnight or when you’re not in a rush since slow charging typically takes 6-12 hours. The downside is the long charging time, but slow, sustained charging can help to protect your EV battery. 

Fast Chargers - 7kW or 22kW fast chargers are the most common chargers in public charging networks. They’re the best option for a normal charge when you’re on the go. Charging usually takes 1-6 hours. A key advantage is that fast charging is often available for free at businesses where you park for extended periods. But it might mean waiting to use a charger or having to stay in one place for a long time. 

Rapid Chargers - Rapid chargers delivering a charge at 43-50kW are most commonly found at motorway service stations. The faster chargers can achieve an 80% charge in around 45 minutes. This is ideal for keeping on the move when you’re in a hurry but repeated rapid charging can reduce battery performance.  

Ultra Rapid Chargers - Ultra rapid EV chargers will charge at up to 350kW. They are also most frequently found at service stations. A rapid charger can reach an 80% charge in just 20 minutes. Not all electric vehicles are compatible with ultra rapid chargers, but they offer a very short charging time and minimal disruption to journeys for those that are suitable. 

How long does it take to charge an electric car at home?  

It will take around 8 hours on average to fully charge an electric car at home. The charging time could be anywhere between 45 minutes and 22 hours depending on what type of home charger you’re using and your EV’s battery capacity.  

How long does EV charging take using a 3-pin plug? 

Charging with a 3-pin plug can take up to 22 hours to fully charge your electric car, depending on battery size. When you plug your EV into a 3-pin plug it charges at a maximum of 2.5kW. That makes it the slowest type of home charging. 

How long does EV charging take using an EV home charger? 

Charging an EV with an EV home charger will usually take around 4-8 hours. That’s because most home chargers — like the Power NI EO smart home charger — are 7kW fast chargers. The exact charging time will depend on the EV’s battery capacity. 
 

Electric car charging time comparison 

You might be wondering what the charging time would be for a particular electric car. That’s very easy to calculate as long as you know the EV battery capacity and the power output of the charger. To work out EV charging time: 

EV battery size (kWh) ÷  charger power output (kW) = average charge time 

You can use the electric car charging time comparison table below to see how long some popular EVs take to charge. We’ve included a variety of different battery sizes to give you a complete picture of the time taken to charge EVs from empty to full. 
 

Electric Car Model Battery Capacity (kWh) Slow Charger (3.7 kW) Fast Charger (7kW) Fast Charger 22kW) Rapid Charger (43-50) Ultra Rapid (100kW+)
Nissan Leaf 40 11 6 1.8 0.8 N/A
Renault Zoe 52 14 7.5 2 1 N/A
Volkswagen ID.3 58 16 8 2.5 1.25 0.5
Tesla Model Y 75 20 10 3.5 1.5 0.7
BMW iX3 82 22 12 3.75 1.75 0.8

 

Factors that affect EV charging speed 

Several factors affect EV charging speed for all electric vehicles. Let’s explore those now. 

Size of the battery - All EV batteries have a capacity measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The larger the battery capacity, the longer it will take to charge. 

Charging rate of the EV charger - The power output from the charger will determine how quickly the battery charges. A 150kW ultra rapid charger will charge an EV faster than a 7kW fast charger.  

Charging rate of the electric car - Some electric cars are capable of charging at a faster rate than others. For example, a Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe can’t be charged using an ultra rapid charger.  

Existing charge in the battery - If you already have charge left in the battery, the charging speed will be faster than if you’re charging the car from empty. 

Weather conditions - Cold temperatures can result in slightly slower charging times. You might find an EV takes longer to charge in winter than in summer. 

Number of cars charging - If you’re charging multiple electric cars from a single EV charger with load balancing, the charging rate will be divided between the EVs and the charge will take longer. 

EV Charging Time FAQs  

Do fast EV chargers damage electric car batteries? 

Frequent high-voltage DC charging has been linked with EV battery degradation, which can shorten battery life. Find out more in our guide to electric car batteries. 

How long do electric cars hold their charge? 

Electric cars hold their charge for months if they’re not being driven. When they are being driven, the charge will last for the duration of the EV’s range. This will depend on factors such as the battery capacity and the speed at which the EV is being driven. Find out more in our guide to how electric cars work.   

Does it cost more to use a fast EV charger?  

It can be more expensive to use a fast EV charger — but this will depend on the cost per kWh of electricity for the charger you’re using. When the electricity unit price is the same, the cost of charging a car is the same using any speed of EV charger. It only costs more time to use a slower charger.  

Fast charging can be more expensive at public rapid and ultra-rapid charging stations if they’re charging a premium for the convenience of the service they provide. Learn more about the cost of running and charging an electric car. 

Is it better to charge an electric car with quick top-ups? 

It’s generally recommended to maintain a charge level of 80% to extend EV battery life. For most people, this will be quick top-ups of charge but it depends on the sort of journeys you make and how far you travel each day. See more in our guide to charging an electric car at home.  

How often should I charge an electric car? 

That will depend on how you drive, the type of journey you make and how far you drive each day. To extend battery life it is recommended to maintain a charge level of 80%. This might require a charge every few days, regular charging top-ups or a near-full charge every night, depending on how your EV is used. Learn more about how the way you use your electric car impacts how often you need to charge it in our electric car buyers guide. 

Enjoy fast EV charging speeds with Power NI 

Get faster EV charging speeds and better value charges with a Power NI smart home charger and our 100% renewable electricity EV charging tariffs

  • Enjoy convenient, fast charging at home with our 7kW home charger   
  • Start, stop and schedule charges with our smart charger and app  
  • Get special, cheaper overnight charging rates