How long does it take to charge an electric car?

Tom Barnard

20 Jul 2023

Drivers who are new to electric cars will inevitably have some questions about how the whole process works and will usually raise an eyebrow when they are told how long it takes to top up the battery - especially if they compare it to filling with petrol or diesel. The advantage of the EV is that it can be left to do its thing while you get on with your life. 

On occasions though you might need to top up or ensure you have enough charge for a long journey in the morning. In these cases you might need to do some sums - and we are here to help with your workings!

How long it takes to charge your car will depend on lots of factors, but it is easy enough to work out a rough estimate. That means you can be sure you have enough in your battery for a long journey when you wake up in the morning, or if you should have a more leisurely lunch when you are out and about.

Rapids are the fastest way to juice up, but these vary in power

So, first of all, you need to work out how powerful the charger is. The least powerful will be a granny charger like this, which will deliver 2 kilowatts at best. If you have a 50kWh battery and it is at 20% on the gauge, that means you need 40kW of power to get up to 100%. So you’ll need about 20 hours. We’d add a bit longer too, as the last bit of charge always takes longer.

If you are on a wallbox at home or a public AC charger, it will usually deliver 7kW. So it’ll take about 6-7 hours to get your 40kW into the battery.

The really rapid chargers can supply between 50 and 350kW. You’ll need to make sure your car is capable of accepting it though, so check its maximum charging rate in the specifications. A car like a Kia Niro EV will take 75kW, so on a suitable charger they will zap that 40kW in just over half an hour.

2022 Kia Niro EV, front static, white car The Niro EV will charge in around 30 mins, on a good day and the right charger

If you’ve got something that charges really quickly, like a Porsche Taycan or Kia EV6, that 40kW could only take around 10 minutes.

These are very approximate figures though, and it will depend on factors like the outside temperature and how full the battery is when you start charging. So leave yourself a buffer if it’s a crucial journey. We also suggest you connect to the dedicated app which comes with most electric cars so you can keep an eye on your charge level without actually going out to look at the gauge.

Remember you don’t have to hang around while it’s charging though, so find yourself something nice to do while your car is plugged in. Spot of lunch maybe? Or catch up on those emails?

You can do something else once you are plugged in, so go shopping!

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