Switching from a car that runs on gasoline or fuel to a more eco-friendly variant can certainly be a step forward to a more green environmental impact, but knowing the answer to the question "How long does it take to charge an electric car?" is very important. While electric cars do not operate on fuel like standard cars, they still require a source of power to operate and drive the owner to their desired destination. As a result, it is crucial to know how long it takes to charge an electric car because ultimately, depending on the model, the entire charging process can either take a few minutes or even half a day.

how long does it take to charge an electric car

Depending Factors for Electric Cars

Two important factors that ultimately determine the answer to "How long does it take to charge an electric car?" are the battery and the speed of the charging point. First off, the battery's size tells you how much energy it can store up and use. Obviously, the bigger and more advanced the battery is, the more energy it can use. As for the charging point, the process depends on the point itself. Is it domestic, or is it corporate? What are the delivery ratings and acceptance rates?

Battery

Just like any chargeable electronic device (laptop, smartphone, tablet and so on), most electric cars use lithium-ion batteries. However, it's not just the same battery that can be found inside of an electronic device. Electric cars use bigger batteries and multiple ones at the same time. Basically, the bigger the item, the bigger the battery. Additionally, as a result, it will take the battery to charge longer.

It's worth to note that not all electric cars use lithium-ion batteries. For example, some vehicles from GEM (Global Electric Motorcars) use lead-acid batteries. Although the batteries have been proven to be reliable and make the vehicle charge faster, the vehicle itself will only be able to reach a maximum speed of just 25 miles per hour.

battery

Charging Point

The capacity and speed of charging points is somewhat similar to batteries because they also depend on the model of the vehicle and the type of charging point used. For instance, not taking sports and upmarket models into consideration, most electric cars will be charged in eight to 10 hours through the use of any 230 V power outlet through a cable with an adapter provided by the manufacturer.  

Later on, we will mention the types of charging points and how different they are in recharging electric cars. Whether they are domestic or corporate, it's a good idea to know each one's performance capabilities.  

How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?

Finally, we get to the part of answering the most important question when it comes to recharging vehicles: how long does it take to charge an electric car? 

To start off, it is best to charge an electric car overnight. The reason it needs to charge overnight is because the electric car will need to be plugged in during that time period to be fully charged for the next day. However, as we have stated earlier, it all depends on the charging point and battery, meaning that one model can take a few hours while a different model can take as long as half a day (12 hours).

How can you determine the amount of time it takes for your vehicle to charge? Sure, you can plug it in and see for yourself, but it's better to be prepared so that you don't end up getting caught off-guard.

So, how long does it take to charge an electric car? In order to determine the estimated total charge time, you need to divide the electric car's battery pack rating by whichever value is lower: the car’s acceptance rate, or the charging station’s output rate. Most of the cars will provide such information through the dashboard interface when you plug into an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment).

Of course, there is also a bit of math involved to determine the estimated charge up time once you have received the necessary information (battery pack rating, acceptance rate, charging station's output rate):

  1. Divide the load power by 1,000 for a value in kilowatts (kW). For example, 3,680 W = 3.7 kilowatts.
  2. Divide the battery's power/pack (also in kW) rating by the figure obtained to get the charging time. For example, 24 kW/ 3.7 kW = 6.5 hours.
  3. Then, calculate the load power (P) by multiplying the voltage (V) by the current (I). As a result, you will get a value in watts.

Typically, when all of the factors have been taken into consideration, to fully charge an electric car, the process can take as little as 30 minutes or as long as 12 hours.

Here's also a useful tip to know about charging an electric car. After circa 50 percent of charging time, the battery will be for 80 percent full. If that is something you can be comfortable with, it's best to keep the number and percentage in the back of your head.

charging point

Types of Charging Points

Previously, we have talked about charging points and how they can be similar to batteries in terms of vehicle model and charging time. However, there isn't just one type of charging point. Believe it or not, but there are many types of charging points, each one being more powerful or less powerful than the other one.

Domestic/Home Charging Points

Typically, charging points pertaining to one's home can provide a 3.7 kW charger and a charging speed of up to 15 mph. Such charging points are usually slow and can take quite a while to charge the vehicle. To be more precise, if the electric car is charged with a domestic cable through a home charging point, it can take anywhere between eight and 10 hours to fully charge, which is why it's best to charge the car overnight (unless you have solar panels).

Similarly, regarding charging points, you can have your electricity provider install a system that allows for electric vehicles to be charged right away. Although the price for such a system can be as much as $1,100, charging time will be reduced by half.

charging point

Workplace/Corporate Charging Points

As the name suggests, these charging points can be found at certain corporate or workplace locations. Being more powerful than home charging points, corporate charging points offer a 7 kW charger and a charging speed of up to 30 mph. Aside from having more powerful charging points, corporate versions of charging points usually have three-phase circuits, which greatly reduces the charging time.

If an electric car was to be charged through a corporate charging point, it would take approximately 1.25 hours to fully charge.

Petrol Charging Points

To quickly charge an electric car, the best possible option in today's market would be a petrol charging point. Having three-phase circuits just like corporate charging points, while also having far more power, petrol charging points can provide a whopping 22 kW charger and a charging speed of up to 80 mph. As for how fast will an electric car charge? It will only take half an hour!

While most electric cars can use petrol charging points, not all of them will be able to charge at 22 kW. Most can still use the charging points to charge, but at a slower speed.

Even though the capabilities of petrol charging stations are fast and impressive, the time can be further reduced in the coming years. Currently, Tesla is working on developing an electrical terminal capable of fully charging a zero percent battery in a matter of minutes. For that feat, the electrical power will be enormous, being at around 600 kW, which is the equivalent of the connecting power of 70 houses!

charging points

Conclusion

With this guide, hopefully, your question of "How long does it take to charge an electric car?" has been answered. To sum it all up, "How long does it take to charge an electric car," requires you to know a few things.

Battery

The bigger the battery, the longer the charging process will take. FInd out what kind of battery your electric car uses and what model it is.

Charging Point

There are three main different charging points: home, corporate and patrol. A home charging point can either be installed by your electricity provider or used somewhere within your home with a domestic cable.  A corporate charging point is usually available on company grounds or somewhere within the area, and it is stronger than a home charging point. Finally, there's the petrol charging point, which is the best and fastest way to recharge your electric car.

Charging Time

Calculate the estimated time by dividing the battery power by either the car’s acceptance rate or the charging station output rate.

When to Charge

If it takes a long time (eight to 12 hours) to charge your vehicle, it's best to charge it overnight. Again, it depends on the charging point and vehicle model.

If you are a proud owner of an electric car and want to find out the time to fully charge it, you can now use this information to your advantage.              

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