How long does it take to charge an electric car?
The length of time it takes to charge your electric car simply comes down to the size of your battery and the types of charger you use. The bigger the battery’s capacity, the longer it to takes to charge. The more powerful the charger, the quicker it will charge. Some chargers can bump you up to 80% charge in just 30 minutes, while a standard three-pin plug at your home can take up to several hours.
Can I charge to just 80%?
The reason you hear the term ‘charge up to about 80%’ rather than 100% is because cars can receive a relatively fast charge to about 80%, while the final 20% takes much longer. This protects the life and longevity of the battery. Smartphones nowadays do the exact same thing; they charge your battery as quickly as possible up to 80 per cent before taking a little longer to get up to 100%, to protect and manage your battery.
Does the type of charger matter?
So, with the knowledge that charge times are heavily dependant on your car and charge point, here are some examples to help you get a grasp of how long charging might take. Typically, public rapid chargers offer between 43kW and 350kW. A rapid charger of 50kW would take 30 minutes to charge a 42.2kWh BMW i3 from 20% to 80% - adding 72 miles. If your car has a larger battery, for example a 77.4kWh KIA EV6, it would take 54 minutes to get up from 20% to 80% - giving you roughly 150 miles. Fast chargers really do live up to their name!
If you are limited to a three-pin household socket, these can vary from 2kW to 3.5kW. This in turn means it takes much longer to charge up to 80 per cent. To get the BMW i3 from 20% to 80%, it would take over eight hours with a 3kW charger. While a KIA EV6 with a larger 77.4kWh battery would take 15hrs to get from 20%-80%. These charge times might work just fine for you if your range needs are reasonably typical and you can charge your car overnight.
If you’d like to speed up your charging process, you can always look at getting a professionally- installed 7kW charger. In comparison with our 20%-80% estimates above, consider that this type of charger would get the BMW i3 from 20%-80% in just three and a half hours and the KIA EV6 charged similarly in just six and a half hours.
Considering 7kW chargers slash the charging time typically in half or better, it’s clear to see the benefits of having one of these units installed if you’ll be charging regularly at home.