How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?
EVSE Australia evaluates the time required to charge an electric car, and breaks down the influencing factors that dictate the charging speed of your electric car.
Charging an electric car can take as little as 8 minutes with an ultrarapid 350kW Charger or more than 48 hours with a portable charger supplied with the vehicle. This depends on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point.
- A standard electric car (70kWh battery) requires 10 hours to fully charge from empty-to-full using a 7kW charging point.
- Charging an electric car is different to petrol as you constantly top up your charge as opposed to waiting for the battery to be empty
- Newer electric cars are being fitted with larger batteries that can also be serviced by more powerful ultrarapid EV Charging Stations.
Tip: Think of an electric car as a mobile phone with a much larger battery, when your return back to the office or home you just plug the car back in. Ideally as batteries get bigger range anxiety will disappear.
Tip: 95% of electric cars are charged at home or work. Only 5% utilise DC charging stations. So make sure you have convenient access to a charging station.
How long it takes to fully charge an electric car
Data indicates a 0-100% charging time across different charging speeds.
|Vehicle||Empty to full charging time|
|3.7kW slow||7kW fast||22kW fast||43-50kW rapid||150kW rapid|
|Nissan LEAF (2018)||40kWh||230 km||11 hrs||6 hrs||6 hrs||1 hr||Unavailable|
|Tesla Model S (2019)||75kWh||383 km||21 hrs||11 hrs||5 hrs||2 hrs||1 hr for 300 miles|
|Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2018)||13.8kWh||39 km||4 hrs||4 hrs||4 hrs||40 mins||Unavailable|
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- DC chargers provide the fastest charging speeds for electric cars, providing 50-350 kW of power, which has the ability to provide 600km of range in under 8 mins.
- Charging stations installed at home typically have a power rating 7kW (40km/hour) or 22kW (120km /hour). Most home installations utilise a 7kW charger due to limitations on the electricity supply in Australian homes.
- Electric cars can utilise either 7kW or 22kW charging stations, however they will be limited by their own capability. So you may not get 22kW. check with your cars manufacturer or consult our guide.
Tip: Most full electric cars can utilise DC Charging while most plug-in hybrid electric cars can not.
What is destination charging?
Most electric car drivers plug-in to charge whenever they park, ie at the supermarket, gym or at their workplace. This is called destination charging and helps to maintain your battery charge.
Destination charging works by drivers plugging in when the car is parked (which is about 95% of the time) to charge their car, Charging stations installed at workplaces and publically across Australia typically provide a charging speed of either 7kW to 22kW,
When combined with charging at home it’s easy to see how switching over to electric from a petrol vehicle is achievable.
Tip: Most electric cars in Australia are driven between 20-150km / day. Analyse your own driving and see how much you drive per day. This makes choosing an EV easier as any fleet or commercial vehicle will need to consider longer range vehicles, however urban drivers may not need the extended ranges offered by some models.
Range per hour of charging for an electric car
As an electric car driver you need to know how fast your car is charging and the speeds available to you.
|Km of range added per hour of charging|
|3.7kW slow||7kW fast||22kW fast||50kW rapid||150kW rapid|
|Up to 20 km||Up to 40 km||Up to 120 km||Up to 300 km||Up to 900 km|
- Range is dependent on the electric cars battery size, efficiency and importantly weight. Smaller EV’s ie Renault Zoe are more efficient than a heavier EV such as the Tesla Model X because of the large difference in weight.
- The same issue occurs with many plug in hybrids which are usually less efficient due to the requirements to host both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. Remember if you drive a plug in without charging it you’re actually emitting more green house gases.
- Finally efficiency is also determined by the environment and weather. As a rule you get more range in summer than winter. So if you live in colder climates expect to stop for a refuel a little more often.
- Finally EV’s only make sense when using renewable clean energy. Use solar and energy companies that have a high mix of renewables to power your EV.
Factors that affect charging speed
There are 5 main factors that affect the time it takes to charge an electric vehicle.
- Size of battery: The bigger your vehicle’s battery capacity (measured in kWh), the longer it will take to charge.
- State of battery (empty vs. full): If you are charging from empty, it will take longer to charge than if you are topping up from 50%.
- Max charging rate of vehicle: You can only charge a vehicle’s battery at the maximum charge rate the vehicle can accept. For example; if your vehicle’s max charge rate is 7kW, you won’t charge any faster by using a 22kW chargepoint.
- Max charging rate of chargepoint: The time it takes to charge will also be limited by the max charging rate of the chargepoint you are using. For example; even if your vehicle can charge at 11kW, it will only charge at 7kW on a 7kW chargepoint.
- Environmental factors: A colder ambient temperature can make it take slightly longer to charge, particularly when using a rapid charger. Colder temperatures also mean vehicles are less efficient, so less miles are added per time charging.
Tip: In cold weather, bringing the cabin space (and battery) up to temperature takes energy not used to drive the car. If the car regularly heats then cools down after short journeys, you use much more energy and your range significantly reduces. This means it’s a good idea to use regular top up charges. On longer trips the effects of cold weather are less pronounced, though still noticeable.