Electric Car Charging Times

Electric car charging time is influenced by the capacity of the EV’s battery, which is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and the power output of the home charging unit, measured in kilowatts (kW). The interaction between these two factors determines the overall time it will take to charge the vehicle fully. This article aims to explore Electric Car charging times and the process of actually charging the EV, providing a clear overview of what EV owners and potential buyers can expect regarding home charging times.

From standard chargers that plug right into a household’s existing electrical system to high-powered dedicated home charging stations, the range of charging solutions available can accommodate various needs and preferences. However, each option affects electric car charging times.

Man charging a black ford mustang electric vehicle on his driveway

Electric Car Charging Times

Battery SizeGranny Charger7 kW Charger22 kW Charger50 kW Charger150 kW Charger
30 kWh battery15-20 hours4-5 hours1-2 hours30-40 minutes12-16 minutes
40 kWh battery20-27 hours5-7 hours2-3 hours40-50 minutes16-20 minutes
50 kWh battery25-33 hours6-8 hours2-4 hours50-60 minutes20-24 minutes
60 kWh battery30-40 hours8-10 hours3-5 hours60-70 minutes24-28 minutes
70 kWh battery35-47 hours9-11 hours3-6 hours70-80 minutes28-32 minutes
80 kWh battery40-53 hours10-13 hours4-7 hours80-90 minutes32-36 minutes
90 kWh battery45-60 hours11-14 hours4-8 hours90-100 minutes36-40 minutes
100 kWh battery50-67 hours13-16 hours5-9 hours100-110 minutes40-44 minutes
110 kWh battery55-73 hours14-18 hours6-10 hours110-120 minutes44-48 minutes
120 kWh battery56-74 hours14-18 hours6-10 hours120-131 minutes44-48 minute
130 kWh battery57-75 hours14-18 hours7-11 hours131-140 minutes45-49 minutes
140 kWh battery58-76 hours15-19 hours7-12 hours141-150 minutes45-49 minutes
150 kWh battery60-78 hours15-19 hours7-12 hours151-160 minutes46-50 minutes

*This table provides estimated average charging times based on the assumption of an average charging rate range, the battery size is divided by the charging power. How fast you can charge your EV will vary depending on the specific EV model and battery condition

How Fast Can You Charge an Electric Car at Home?

To work out how fast you can charge your electric car at home, simply divide the battery capacity of your EV by the power output of your charging unit.

EV battery capacity (measured in kWh) / Charging unit power (measured in kW)
= Approximate charging time

Factors Affecting EV Battery Charging Speed

EV batteries play a significant role in determining charging times. Here’s how EV batteries affect charging times:

  1. Your Home Charging Unit’s Power Output
    The power output of home charging units can vary significantly. The standard chargers which plug into a regular household outlet, typically offer a power output of about 2.3 kW. More advanced home charging stations, which require professional installation, can provide power from 3.7 kW to 22 kW or more. Knowing the power output of your charging unit is essential for calculating charging time.
  2. Battery Capacity
    The capacity of an EV battery, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), directly impacts charging times and range (mi/kWh). Not surprisingly, a larger battery will take longer to charge than a smaller one, for example, a Nissan Leaf might have a 40 kWh battery, while a Tesla Model S might offer a 100 kWh battery.

  3. Battery State of Charge (SOC)
    The current state of charge of the battery will have an impact on charging times. Generally, EVs charge faster when the battery’s SOC is lower and slow down as it reaches higher charge levels. This is because the charging process often follows a non-linear charging curve, with charging speeds tapering off as the battery nears full capacity.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)
    The BMS of an EV battery plays a crucial role in optimizing charging performance and ensuring battery health and safety. The BMS monitors various parameters such as temperature, voltage, and current during charging. It regulates the charging process, including adjusting the charging rate to protect the battery from overcharging, overheating, and other adverse conditions.

  5. The temperature of an EV battery can have an impact on the speed at which a battery charges. The optimum temperature of an EV battery is between 20-40 degrees, anything outside of this range (either too hot or cold) will impact the speed of charge.

  6. The condition of an EV battery will deteriorate over time and this will impact the ability to charge.
BMW hybrid EV dashboard display
The state of charge will be displayed on the EV dashboard

Charging Your EV at Home with a Standard Plug

Charging an electric vehicle at home using a standard 3-pin plug is by far the slowest charging option available, even if you use the best granny charger available. The charging speed primarily depends on the power rating of the plug, which is typically around 2-3 kilowatts (kW). Here’s an estimation of the charging speed and time using a 3-pin plug:

  • Charging Speed
    A 3-pin plug typically provides a charging speed of around 2-3 kW. This translates to approximately 2-5 miles of range per hour of charging, depending on the specific EV model and its efficiency.

  • Charging Time
    The charging time using a 3-pin plug can be significant, especially for larger battery sizes. For example, consider an EV with a 40 kWh battery: Assuming an average charging rate of 2-3 kW (based on a 3-pin plug), the charging time for a full charge would be around 20-27 hours.

Charging an EV with a 3-pin plug is often referred to as “trickle charging” due to the slower charging rate. While it is convenient for overnight or prolonged charging at home, it’s not great when you need to quickly charge the vehicle or when you have a larger battery size that requires faster charging.

Ford 3 pin plug granny charger plugged into the wall
3-pin granny chargers will charge at 2.3kW power

Speeding Up Home Charging with a 7kW Charger

Moving up in power from a 3-pin plug is a dedicated 7kW charging unit. If your property meets the requirements to install an EV charger, then this is a faster charging solution than a 3-pin plug.

Here’s an estimation of the charging speed and time using a 7 kW charger:

  • Charging Speed
    A 7 kW charger provides a charging speed of 7 kilowatts, which is significantly faster than a standard 3-pin plug. This translates to approximately 10-30 miles of range per hour of charging, depending on the specific EV model and its efficiency.

  • Charging Time The charging time using a 7 kW charger is much shorter compared to a 3-pin plug. Let’s consider an example of an EV equipped with a 40 kWh battery: Assuming an average charging rate of 7 kW, the charging time for a full charge would be approximately 5-7 hours.

The Benefits of a 22kW Charger for Home EV Charging

In order to install a 22kW charger, the property power supply needs to be 3-phase power (most UK homes are single-phase). You can read our guide on how to get 3-phase power at home for further information on how to upgrade your supply. Here’s an estimation of the charging speed and time using a 22 kW charger:

  • Charging Speed
    A 22 kW charger delivers a charging speed of 22 kilowatts, which is significantly faster than both a 3-pin plug and a 7 kW charger. This translates to approximately 30-90 miles of range per hour of charging, depending on the specific EV model and its efficiency.

  • Charging Time
    The charging time using a 22 kW charger is notably shorter compared to lower-power charging options. Let’s consider an example with an EV equipped with a 40 kWh battery: Assuming an average charging rate of 22 kW, the charging time for a full charge would be approximately 2-3 hours.

Can I Get a 50kW Rapid Charger at Home?

Rapid or ultra-rapid chargers are generally not suitable for home use, they are public charge points found in retail parks or supermarkets, capable of much faster charging times. These high-power chargers often require specific infrastructure and electrical connections, which are not typically found in residential settings.

For home charging, the most common options are 3-pin plugs (granny chargers, 7 kW, and 22 kW.

What Is the Fastest Way to Charge an EV at Home?

The fastest way to charge an EV at home is with a dedicated 22kW charging unit. You will need to upgrade your electricity in order to install this type of charger. By installing a high-power 22kW charger, you can significantly reduce charging times compared to using a standard 3-pin plug or 7kW.

The exact charging speeds will depend on the specific power rating of the charger, the EV’s onboard charger capacity, and other factors such as battery size and efficiency.

To get a 22kW charging station, homeowners must first ensure their domestic electrical system can handle the additional load. This often means upgrading your home’s electrical service to support the higher current required by the charger, which involves professional assessment and installation work by a certified electrician and your DNO. The upgrade might include enhancing the main electrical consumer unit, installing a dedicated circuit, and ensuring that the house’s wiring is up to current electrical codes.

How Often Should I Charge My EV at Home?

How often you should charge your EV at home is a decision that should be worked out alongside your personal driving needs, the specific recommendations of your vehicle’s manufacturer, and best practices for battery health.

The lithium-ion batteries used in EVs are subject to wear and degradation from two main factors: the number of charge-discharge cycles they undergo and their exposure to extreme states of charge. Charging your EV every night, regardless of how much you’ve driven, can lead to an increased number of cycles and time spent at a high state of charge, both of which can accelerate battery degradation.

Following the 30-80% Rule

According to a study by the University of Michigan, the optimum state of charge for an EV battery is between 30 and 80% full, so you should be aiming to keep the vehicle at this range to preserve the battery life. 

Charging within this window can help in reducing the stress on the battery and slowing down the degradation process. For EV owners, this might mean setting a charge limit on your vehicle’s charging system (if available) to stop charging automatically once the battery reaches around 80% capacity.

How to Optimise EV Home Charging?

Optimizing your electric car home charging setup is a good idea for owners looking to maximise efficiency and manage charging costs.

Smart Chargers

Smart chargers are revolutionary, offering dynamic control over the charging process. They connect to the internet, allowing you to monitor and manage charging through a smartphone app. This connectivity lets smart chargers access real-time EV electricity tariff information, charging your vehicle during off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper and demand on the grid is lower.

Use Renewable Energy Sources

Pairing your EV charging setup with renewable energy sources like solar panels can drastically increase the efficiency and sustainability of your home charging. If you generate more electricity than you use during the day, you can store the excess in your EV’s battery for later use.

Adjusting Charging Speed

Although charging your EV as quickly as possible might seem ideal, slower charging can be more efficient and gentler on the battery, extending its lifespan. Many smart chargers allow you to adjust the charging speed. Charging at a lower power level during times when the EV is not needed can reduce strain on the battery and the electrical grid.

Regular Firmware and Software Updates

Keeping your smart charger’s firmware and any associated apps up to date ensures that you benefit from the latest features and efficiency improvements. Manufacturers often release updates that improve how smart chargers manage charging based on new algorithms, enhanced grid interaction capabilities, and user feedback.

Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Technology

Looking to the future, Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology presents an exciting option for optimizing EV charging. V2G allows EVs to return electricity to the grid during peak demand times. While still emerging, this technology promises to turn EVs into mobile energy storage units that can help stabilize the grid and generate income for EV owners.

Understanding the Basics of ‘Top-Up’ EV Charging

‘Top-up’ charging, also known as partial charging or partial top-up, refers to the practice of charging an electric vehicle battery to a desired level below its maximum capacity. The University of Michigan research tells us that the optimum battery state of charge is between 30 and 80%, therefore instead of allowing the battery to drop below 30%, it may be more beneficial for drivers to continuously ‘top up’ when charging either at home or in public charge points at supermarkets or car parks.

This is a shift from the petrol car mindset of letting the tank run near empty and then filling completely, topping up is an efficient method to keep you ready for a journey whilst maintaining the life of the battery.

Cost Benefits of Home EV Charging

It is cheaper to charge an EV at home. You will be able to utilise your smart charger to secure the cheapest electricity rates overnight. Energy companies will combine EV chargers with overnight EV tariffs, which makes them one of the best EV charger installers for cheap charging rates. Public charge points will cost more especially if you use a rapid or an ultra-rapid charging station.

It is possible to find free EV charge stations in public car parks, retail parks and supermarkets across the UK. You will need to buy something from the business while you charge, so it may not necessarily be cheaper than charging your EV from home. However, if you are planning to make that purchase anyway then it’s worth topping up your EV at the same time.

BP Pulse EV charger at Asda car park
BP Pulse chargers are found in retail parks and supermarkets

Does an EV Lose Charge When Parked?

Batteries will deplete when EVs are parked but only at a minimal rate. Most EVs can remain parked for many months at a time without losing significant charge. Certain electric cars will have a power save mode which will reduce the drain on the battery when an EV is parked for a long period of time.

Can an EV Be Charged in 10 Minutes?

It is not yet possible to charge an EV within 10 minutes. According to this research by the American Chemical Society, a 10-minute charging time will be possible within 5 years. The American Chemical Society research demonstrates that they have found a method of maximising the power a battery can store in a short period of time, they hope to put it into practice by 2027 and beat the magic 10-minute charging time.

The Final Word on Electric Car Charging Times

How fast you can charge an EV from home will depend upon the battery power of your EV and the power output of the home charging station. There is a simple formula to work out the approximate time it will take to charge an EV:

EV Battery Power (measured in kWh) / Charging unit power (measured in kW)

= Approximate charging time

The larger the EV battery the longer it will take for a battery to fully charge.

The rate of charge will be increased if you choose to install a higher-power charger. Home charger options range from a 2.3kW 3-pin plug to a 22kW dedicated fast charger (this requires 3-phase electricity to be installed).

There are factors which can impact the charging time for an EV, including the condition and temperature of the battery and the current state of charge. Research suggests that EV owners should try to maintain between 30% and 80% charge in a vehicle in order to preserve the battery long-term. Top-up charging is a recommended method to look after your battery, if you are keeping your battery ‘topped up’ it should never deplete completely or charge above 80% capacity (unless you really need to for a longer journey).

MORE> How to Drive An Electric Car Efficiently
MORE> What to Do with Your EV Charger When You Move?
MORE> Can You Charge an EV in the Rain?

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