Updated: Jan 4
One of the number one questions for many drivers looking at buying an electric car is how long will it take to charge. That applies to brand new EVs as well as converted electric cars. Here we discuss this in more detail to give you peace of mind and help you see whether an electric car is the right choice for you.
Charging Your Car: The Basics
The growing infrastructure of public rapid chargers, plus the lowering costs of at-home charging points is making EVs a more realistic option for many. Depending on which equipment you use, the car’s battery size, how full the battery is to begin with, and how far you are planning on driving, the charging time for cars can take all night or mere minutes.
There are three main ways to top up your electric car:
Standard chargers: 3kWh – 7kWh; usually found at home and take the longest to charge your car, sometimes up to 12 hours.
Fast chargers: 7kWh – 25kWh; commonly found in car parks and may take on average 8 hours to fully charge.
Rapid and ultra-rapid DC chargers: 50kW - 350kW; most often found at motorway service car parks allow drivers to reach 80% charge in 20-40 minutes
What Affects Electric Vehicle Charging Speeds?
Charging speed is not a one-size-fits-all equation. Rather, there are a number of factors to consider:
The larger the battery, the longer it will take to charge up
Naturally it will take less time to refill a half full battery compared to an empty battery
Each vehicle will have a maximum charging speed which it cannot go beyond, even when using a Fast Charger.
Similarly, charging points have their own maximum charging rate, with a standard home charger being considerably slower than the public Fast Chargers.
Very cold and very hot weather increase the charging time required, with a battery taking in 36% less power in 0 degrees centigrade weather compared to 25 degrees centigrade.
Extreme temperatures will also affect how long the battery will last as vehicles charged in the cold have fewer miles added during the charging time.
Public chargers tend to have 2 plugs coming from a single unit. If two cars are plugged in at the same time, they will not receive optimum charge and as such will take longer to top up.
When charging at home, the electricity demand in the area can affect the speed and efficiency of charging.
Public charge points offer the fasting way to charge an Electric Vehicle
Home Charger Vs Public Charger
While the charging varies depending on the electricity grid you’re connected to, the charger you’re using and the type of car you have, there are still 3 main levels of charging.
Level 1 uses a domestic voltage (230 V in the UK), three-pin plug making it the slowest form of charging up your car, potentially taking a day to charge the biggest battery!
To more effectively and safely charge your car at home, it is worth installing a dedicated charging point which can offer you around 10-30 miles of range per 60 minutes.
Public charge points, which can be found at motorway services, car parks, restaurants, and supermarkets to name a few, may either be fast or ultra-rapid charging points, though in some cases they will be similar to level 2.
This can offer full charge in around an hour, whilst the standard public charging points will typically offer 20-30 miles per hour.
The Cost of Charging Your EV
Charging points are scattered around the country which offer free, pay-per-use or subscription charging. The cost of these points will vary depending on the network being used, the operators own fees and the amount of time spent charging.
Level 1 & 2 at-home charge points: The cheapest option when considering how best to top up your EV is at home, overnight during off-peak hours.
Public Chargers: costs will vary from operator to operator but work similarly to purchasing petrol where you plug in the car for as long as required and pay as you go. In some cases, you can sign up to subscriptions for a discount with certain operators, whilst others, such as Tesla, will give Tesla owners 1000 free miles of charge.
Rapid Charge: The ability to top up your car up by 80% in 20 to 40 minutes is considered a convenience and as such is often the most expensive option, equating to £19 for a half hour of charge (source: Edf energy https://www.edfenergy.com/electric-cars/costs as of September 2022).
Comparison of 3 Electric Vehicle Charging Times from Empty To Full
(Source Pod Point https://pod-point.com/guides/driver/how-long-to-charge-an-electric-car)
Level 1 - 11 hours
Level 2 - (22kW) 6 hours
Level 3 - 1 hour
Tesla Model S:
Level 1 - 21 hours
Level 2 - (22kW) 5 hours
Level 3 - 2 hours
Level 1 - 4 hours
Level 2 - (22kW) 4 hours
Level 3 - 40 minutes
Charging a classic electric vehicle is essentially the same as a modern EV
Charging Time for Retroelectric Cars
It is clear that the charging time for electric cars is very much dependent on a wide variety of factors, but with Retro Electrics you can be sure your car will be fitted with the latest generation of battery and on-board charger technology as standard.
A smaller vehicle with a 7 kW charger, such as an Electric VW Beetle could charge in 4 hours for example.
Whereas a DC charging compatible Electric Land Rover Defender might be fully charged in 40-50 minutes using rapid charge.
About Retro Electrics: We have a simple concept at Retroelectric. Take what is truly great about classic cars and improve upon the parts that aren’t. We’ve kept the quintessential good looks, driving characteristics and timeless designs and upgraded the engine performance, braking and handling. The result is a fusion of modern and heritage.
To get in touch and start your journey to owning your own electric classic car, email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 488 4915