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Last updated: Feb 2020

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Introduction

The time for charging an EV battery is a prime factor that determines its adoption. There have been and are many research and developments enabling the battery to charge faster.  There are various reasons that affect the charging time owing to various technologies. These problems are being solved by effective innovations or unique business models for infrastructure optimization.

In conventional fuel filling systems, it will take less than 10 minutes to fill up a tank and pay for gasoline at the average fuel pump, whereas EV drivers face longer charging times, no matter which speed you have at your disposal. To make things clearer for prospective electric car owners, we break down typical charging times for popular vehicles on the various power sources..

The time it takes to charge an electric car can be as little as 30 minutes or more than 12 hours. This depends on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point.

  • A typical electric car (60kWh battery) takes just under 8 hours to charge from empty-to-full with a 7kW charging point.
  • For many electric cars, you can add up to 100 miles of range in ~35 minutes with a 50kW rapid charger.
  • The bigger your car’s battery and the slower the charging point, the longer it takes to charge from empty to full.

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.

Level 1 charging times don’t get better than four miles an hour for cars, which makes standard outlet charging only viable for low range plug-in hybrids or a minor top-off for EVs when stopping somewhere for several hours.

Depending on the single battery capacity and different electric car charging station features, time taken to recharge an electric vehicle may also change.

The length of time for the recharge of an electric car depends on how many kilowatts the charging station can provide and how many kilowatts the vehicle can accept.

Generally, the greater is the wattage, the faster is the recharge.

Three different charging times can be considered:

  • Slow charging: using 3 kW, the full recharge of battery takes about 8 hours
  • Fast charging: with a 7/22 kW charging station, a battery can be recharged from zero in just three or four hours
  • Rapid charging: having available 43/50 kW allows to replenish the 80% of a car battery in less than an hour.

Determining the Estimated Total Charge Time for  Electric Vehicle

  • Divide your electric vehicle’s battery pack rating by whichever number is lower: the vehicle’s acceptance rate, or the EV charging station’s output rate. This will give the total hours to charge from “empty.”
  • Most vehicles will provide this information through the dashboard interface once you plug into an EVSE.
  • A chart is also created to help determine a vehicle’s charge time using a Level 1 charging station (like the cord set that came in the electric vehicle) and an HCS-40PR, 32Amp Level 2 charging station for comparison.
Miles of range added per hour of charging
3.7 kW slow 7 kW fast 22 kW fast 43-50 kW rapid 150 kW rapid
Up to 15 miles Up to 30 miles Up to 90 miles Up to 90 miles in 30 mins Up to 200 miles in 30 mins


On-board chargers are limited by cost, size and thermal issues. With the availability of three-phase AC power in most European residences, on-board chargers can be made smaller than with a two-phase system. Renault offers compact on-board chargers that range from 3–43 kW.

The hookup to charge an EV is called the Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE). Except for Level 1, all must be installed by an electrician if not already available. There are three categories of charging.

Level 1: 1.5 kW typical

Cord-set connects to a regular household outlet of 115VAC, 15A (230VAC, ~6A in Europe). This single-phase hookup produces about 1.5kW, and the charge time is 7 to 30 hours depending on battery size. Level 1 meets overnight charging needs for e-bikes, scooters, electric wheelchairs and PHEVs not exceeding 12kWh.

EV driving range per minute charge: 130m (426 feet)

Level 2: 7 kW typical

Wall-mount; 230VAC, 30A two pole, charges a mid-sized EV in 4 to 5 hours. This is the most common home and public charging station for EVs. It produces about 7kW to feed the 6.6kW on-board EV charger. The cost to install a Level 2 EVSE is about $750 in materials and labor. Households with a 100A service should charge the EV after cooking and clothes-drying to prevent exceeding the allotted household power.

EV driving range per minute charge: 670m (2,200 feet)

Level 3: 50 kW typical (Tesla V2 stations charge at 120kW)

DC Fast Charger; 400–600 V DC, up to 300 A; serves as ultra-fast charging by bypassing the on-board charger and feeding the power directly to the battery. Level 3 chargers deliver 50 kW of power then can go up to 120 kW to fill a Li-ion battery to 80 percent in about 30 minutes. The power demand at 120 kW is equal to five households.

EV driving range per minute charge at 50 kW: 4.6 km (2.9 miles)

Extra Fast Charge: 150 kW; up to 400 kW (Tesla V3 stations charge at 250 kW)

400 kW charging stations will charge at a voltage of up to 800 V DC. This results in high component costs and high power demand equal to 16 households. The stress factor of ultra-fast charging on the battery also plays a role. If possible, charge at a more regular rate.  

EV range per minute charge at 400 kW: 37 km (23 miles) (30 km Tesla)

charging-times-for-different-chargers-chart-small

(https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/bu_1004_charging_an_electric_vehicle)

==

Looking for expert advice on EVs in India? Talk to EAI’s EVNext team for market & strategic inputs. Know more

Wish to know everything about India’s EV market from one place? Check out the India EV Expert Guide, a 900 page comprehensive guide to the Indian EV market. Know more

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