Charging Speeds, The Basics: How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car

woman enjoying coffee and mobile phone

Use The Time Charging Your EV To Call Your Mother. She Would Love To Hear From You!


Where Are Electric Cars Charged Mostly?


The constant headlines on public charging infrastructure for EVs would lead you to believe that plug-in electric vehicles are charged mostly at public charging points. However, the reality could not be further from this, in fact, the majority of EVs are charged at home.

Most electric cars are charged overnight, hence the reason why the National Grid has taken such a keen interest in the growth of the electric vehicle sector in the UK.  So far, the national grid had to only contend with kettles and TVs coming on across the UK in the evenings, but now it has to add EVs to the list! 

Despite the continued growth of public charging EV points in the UK, home charging will continue to be the dominant destination for EV charging.  It is blatantly obvious why this is and will continue to be the case. I have highlighted two key reason below:


Convenience

It could not get easier to charge an EV.  Plug it in and go to sleep.   Honestly, as easy as charging your smart phone. Ask any EV driver if they miss the numerous trips to filling stations?  NO will be the resounding response!


Cost effective

Home charging is more cost effective than public charging.  According to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), the average cost of electricity for households is 14.33 pence per kWh.  Public charging can be as high as 40 pence per kWh

In fact, the importance of home charging has also been recognised by the government.  As recently, as this week, it announced a consultation process to legislate as mandatory the installation of EV charging in new residential schemes. 

electric car charging
EV Charging

How Long Does It Take To Charge An EV ?


Short answer, it depends!  Three key factors that dictate charging speeds are:

  • Size of the electric car battery
  • Speed of the charging point 
  • EV model 

Home Charging For Dedicated Off-Street Parking 


  • Home charging points are usually 3.7 kW or 7 kW.  Higher power (22kW) is available but requires three phase power and is more expensive  
  • As a general rule, a 3.7 kW unit will achieve up to 15 miles range per hour of charging.  A 7 kW charger will achieve up to 25 miles range per hour.  A 22 kW home charger would achieve up to 80 miles per hour 
  • An EV with a battery capacity of 60 kWh will take approximately 8 hours to charge from empty to full using a 7 kW charger.  However, in reality you will not be charging an empty battery often, hence charging time is less than 8 hours
  • In the event you are using a 3.7 kW charger, charging time will increase up to 13 hours
  • Of course, the higher the power, the greater the cost! You can reduce the cost by taking advantage of the OLEV Home Charge Grant (£500).  Costs for home charging supply and installation start at £295 (including VAT and the OLEV grant).  Some EV manufacturers also offer free supply and installation as special offers. I would recommend installing a 7 kW charger at home
Nissan Leaf Hatch Electric
Nissan Leaf EV
  • I do not recommend using a regular 3-PIN outlet, for reasons of safety and convenience.  As an example if you charge a Nissan Leaf using a domestic socket, it could take up to 21 hours to charge. While a 7 kW charger could achieve that in nearly a third of the time (7 hours 30 minutes). Nissan offers the option of buying a dedicated charger at the time of purchasing the Leaf (Nissan WALLBOX)
  • EVBOX, one of the leading EV charging manufacturers globally, offers the following home charging solutions:
  • Homeline charging solution (available power: 3.7 kW, 7.4 kW, 11 kW and 22 kW)
  • Elvi charging solution (available power: 3.7 kW, 7.4 kW, 11 kW and 22 kW)
  • The type of BEV or PHEV model will influence the charging time.  All EVs have a ‘maximum charge rate’ and can be only charged to its permissible maximum.  For example, if the maximum charge rate is 7 kW, then charging at 22 kW will not speed up the charging process

How Long Does It Take To Charge An EV At A Public Charging Point?


Again, the answer is, it depends.  Rapid chargers are the fastest and can provide up to 200 miles of range in 30 to 40 minutes.  Enough time to enjoy a cup of coffee! 

coffee and cake

According to Zap-Map, as of July 2019 there are:

  • 24,358 connectors
  • 14,324 devices 
  • 8,981 locations 

The EV public charging infrastructure is still evolving, with a mix of slow, fast and rapid charging options.  However, network operators are moving towards the installation and operation of rapid charging infrastructure, which can charge up to 80% within 30 minutes.  Rapid chargers come in various power options from 50 kW to 150 kW.  In general, with a rapid charger, 100 miles of range can be achieved in 30 minutes, while a 150 kW rapid charger can achieve up to 200 miles in the same time.

In regards to rapid chargers, according to Zap-Map, as of July 2019 there are:

  • 5,348 connectors 
  • 2,313 devices 
  • 1,548 locations

Tips For Electric Car Charging


  • Charge on a regular basis overnight (cheaper electricity costs)
  • When making longer distance trips, plan ahead.  Using Charge Map to identify charging stations and the type of chargers
  • When you do need to charge at a public charging station, use the time to catch up with loved ones.  Nothing like a refreshing cup of tea and a familiar loving voice on the other end of the phone.  Your mother would love to hear from you! 


Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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