How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?

How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?

The time it takes can vary from 30 minutes to 30 hours, depending on various factors:

  • Level of charge (1, 2 or 3)
  • Charging rate of vehicle
  • Battery capacity
  • Battery state
  • Environmental factors

What You Need to Know

The level of charge used (level 1, 2 or 3) to replenish a battery will generally determine the speed at which an electric car can charge, but that's not the only deciding factor. It's important to note, too, that overall charging speed is limited by a vehicle's maximum charging rate. Different makes and models have different maximum charging rates. For instance, if a vehicle has a maximum charging rate of 20kW per hour, and the charging station being used has a maximum charging rate of 40kW per hour, the vehicle will only charge at a maximum speed of 20kW per hour.

A battery's capacity is the limit for how much power a battery can physically store. Electric cars outfitted with large batteries can hold more power and go further between charges but require more time to recharge from zero than batteries designed to hold less power. Similarly, a battery's state of charge will impact how long it takes to recharge. It will take longer for a depleted battery to recharge than if that same battery already had a partial charge. Freezing temperatures will also slow down how fast an electric car charges and reduce its efficiency. Drivers may experience an overall reduction in electric driving range during extreme temperatures.

Charging on Road Trips

The fear of being stranded during a long road trip is known as Range Anxiety. However, there are many private and public efforts to add more charging stations. Private companies such as Electrify America, EVgo and ChargePoint continue to expand their charger networks.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are about 21,876 charging stations with 65,003 individual charging outlets across the United States and that is growing every day. Plus, roughly 80% of EV drivers charge at home and use their EV locally. If traveling a long distance, many opt to use their gasoline-powered car. A roundtrip that might take eight hours in a gas-powered vehicle can easily take over 10 hours in an EV when you factor in charging time. There is also the possibility of having to wait for an available charging station. However, automakers continue to add more range to their cars, and the charging infrastructure continues to expand so that range anxiety will soon be a thing of the past. To find a free charging station near you, use our interactive Charging Station Map.

Next, let's look at how much it costs to charge an electric car.