How long does it take to charge an electric car?

The speed of charging your electric vehicle (EV) depends on the size of its battery and the type of charger you use. 

Here are three example battery sizes and the time it could take to charge from empty to full on five common types of charging point:

Slow Fast Rapid
Power Rating 3-7kW 7-22kW Up to 50kW
Electrical supply type AC Usually AC, DC available Usually DC, AC also available
Charge time 4 to 8 hours 2 to 4 hours 25-40 minutes (80% charge)
Vehicle range added in 15 minutes 3-6 miles 6-20 miles 35-40 miles
Connector Type-1 & Type-2 Type-1 (Max 7kW) & Type-2 CHAdeMO, CCS & Type-2
Best use Work/home Home/work/on-the-go On-the-go/long journeys
EV compatibility All All, some vehicles may charge slower than others Dependent on connector type. Not all BEVs and very few PHEVs are capable of accepting a rapid charge


Remember, it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself charging an EV’s battery from empty very often. More likely, you’ll be charging overnight at your home charging point or topping up during the day at a public station.

Based on that, it helps to think of how many miles your EV will gain per hour of charging. For an average EV:

  • 3.7kW slow chargers: up to 15 miles
  • 7kW fast chargers: up to 30 miles
  • 22kW fast chargers: up to 90 miles
  • 43-50kW rapid chargers: up to 180 miles
  • 150kW rapid chargers: up to 400 miles

What affects the speed of charging an electric vehicle?

A number of factors make charging your EV faster or slower, like:

  • Battery size. Bigger batteries have more kWh capacity so they take longer to fully charge
  • Existing charge. Charging a half-full battery is obviously going to be quicker than charging one that’s nearly empty
  • Vehicle charging rate. Different EVs have different maximum charge rates. If yours is capped at 7kW, for example, it would still charge at that rate even if you use a 22kW charging point
  • Charing point rate. Each charging station will charge at a certain speed. If you take your 11kW EV to a 7kW station, it’ll charge at 7kW
  • The environment. EV batteries lose a bit of efficiency in cold weather, meaning they take slightly longer to charge

Tips for charging electric cars

  • Home charging points are typically 3.7kW or 7kW, leaving your EV to charge overnight is usually a good idea
  • Most fully electric cars can make use of rapid charging stations, fewer hybrid models are compatible
  • In cold weather, you may need to plan more top-up charges if you’re doing multiple short trips. This is because heating up the car for each trip consumes more energy
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