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How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Vehicle?

Electric vehicles are continuing to gain popularity in the UK, with figures showing that EV sales increased by 40% in 2022 compared to the previous year. But while we all know how long it takes to fill a car with fuel, there are still some questions surrounding EV charging times.

Charging time is a critical factor to consider when transitioning to an electric vehicle, as it impacts the overall convenience and practicality of EV ownership, so we have looked in more detail at charging times and what factors can affect them.

As a very quick overview, we’ve included some rough charging guides below based on a range of different chargers before diving into some more detail:

At home

  • 2.3kW wall socket charger: up to 8 miles in 60 minutes
  • 3.7kW wall box: up to 15 miles in 60 minutes
  • 7kW wall box: up to 30 miles in 60 minutes

On the road

  • 22kW public charger: up to 90 miles in 60 minutes
  • 43-50kW fast charger: up to 90 miles in 30 minutes
  • 150kW rapid chargers: up to 200 miles in 30 minutes

What Factors Affect EV Charging Time?

Battery Capacity:The size of the battery affects how much energy it can store, and, subsequently, how long it takes to charge. As a general rule, larger battery-capacity EVs take longer to charge compared to smaller battery-capacity EVs.

Charging Power: The charging power of the charger being used significantly impacts the charging time. Electric vehicle chargers are rated in kilowatts (kW), and higher kW chargers can charge an EV faster than lower kW chargers. It is also worth noting that the charging power of an EV is also limited by the vehicle's onboard charger, which has the maximum charging rate it can accept.

Charger Type: The type of charger being used also affects the charging time. There are various types of chargers, which we will touch upon in more detail later.

State of Charge (SOC): The current level of charge in the battery also affects the charging time. Charging from a low SOC to a high SOC generally takes longer compared to charging from a higher SOC to a full charge.

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Different Types of EV Chargers

Home Chargers: Home, or domestic chargers, are the most common type of charger for EVs. These chargers are typically installed in the garage or driveway of an owner's home and are connected to the electricity grid. Home chargers come in different power ratings, ranging from 3.7 kW to 22 kW, with the higher power chargers generally providing faster charging speeds.

Public Chargers: Public chargers are typically operated by third-party charging networks and can have varying charging speeds, ranging from 3.7 kW to 350 kW.

Fast Chargers: Fast, or rapid chargers, are designed to charge an EV much faster compared to home and public chargers. These chargers can provide charging speeds of 150 kW or higher, which can charge vehicles to 80% or more in under an hour, depending on the battery capacity and SOC.

Fast chargers are typically found at motorway service stations or other strategic locations and are ideal for long-distance travel where quick charging is needed.

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Tips for Optimising EV Charging Time

There are a few factors to consider when charging your vehicle to maximise your charging efficiency:

Plan Your Charging Schedule

Planning your EV charging schedule can help you optimise charging time. If you know you'll need your vehicle fully charged by a certain time, you can schedule your charging to start a few hours before that, allowing for any unexpected delays.

It’s also worth avoiding letting your battery level drop too low before charging, as charging from a low battery level can very often take longer. Regularly monitoring your EV's battery level and planning your charging schedule accordingly will ensure more efficient charging.

If you’re driving a Ford EV, you can take advantage of the FordPass app, which you can use to help optimise your charging, while also helping you find your nearest charging point when you’re on the road.

Take Advantage of Off-Peak Charging Rates

Many utility companies in the UK offer off-peak charging rates, which are lower-priced electricity rates during non-peak hours. By scheduling your EV charging during these off-peak hours, you can take advantage of lower electricity costs and save money on your overall charging expenses.

Utilise Smart Charging Features

These features may include scheduling charging sessions, setting charging limits, and monitoring charging progress remotely through a mobile app such as FordPass. Take advantage of these smart charging features to customize your charging experience.

Avoid Frequent Use of Rapid Charging

While rapid chargers can be convenient, they should be used sparingly. Frequent use of rapid charging can negatively impact your EV's battery health, reducing its overall lifespan. Rapid charging generates more heat, which can degrade the battery over time.

If you want to check on the health of your EV battery, you can book a service with us for peace of mind.

Maintain Your Charging Equipment

Proper maintenance of your EV charging equipment is crucial for optimising charging time. Make sure your charging cable, connectors, and charging station are clean and free from debris that may affect charging efficiency. Regularly inspect and clean your charging equipment, and promptly address any issues or malfunctions to ensure optimal charging performance.

Monitor Charging Speed and Adjust as Needed

EV charging speed can vary depending on various factors such as battery level, temperature, and charging station capacity. Keep an eye on your EV's charging speed during each charging session and adjust as needed. If you notice your charging speed is slower than usual, you may need to investigate and address any potential issues, such as a faulty charging station or a problem with your EV's battery.

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