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HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO CHARGE AN ELECTRIC CAR? IT DEPENDS.

#teltonikaenergy, #teltocharge, #evcharging

March 8, 2022
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If you’re considering buying an electric vehicle (EV), now is a great time. Because now switching to an EV is easier and more cost-effective than ever. Why?

First of all, gas prices are at an all-time high, and there is little chance they will ever get lower. Secondly, EVs are less harmful to the environment than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. Thirdly, the EV charging infrastructure constantly improves to satisfy the charging demand each year. Last but not least, automakers now offer a way broader range of EVs to choose from.

However, it’s pretty common to hear that charging time for EVs is too long to value the vehicle being a good investment. So, if something is holding you back from making the decision, it could be the idea of slow charging time. But worth a note is that charging technologies are advancing at the speed of light. EVs are pushed to become a commodity while recharging - a convenient and quick experience.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CHARGE AN EV?

Typically, an electric car with a 60kWh battery needs about eight hours to charge with a 7,4kW charging point (assuming that the battery was empty before charging). However, these numbers are not set in stone, and EV charging time depends on multiple factors. So, what aspects can help you estimate the charging time in your situation?

THE CAPACITY OF A CHARGING STATION

One of the main factors defining the charging speed is the charging capacity of the EV charger. In other words, it depends on the power rating the device uses. The more power it can give, the faster an EV will be full.

Usually, depending on the power capacity, the speed of EV charging is divided into three simple types: slow, fast, and rapid.

  • Slow charging is typically provided by the chargers rated at 3kw - 7kw with an AC supply while charging time averages around 10-14 hours.
  • Fast charging is the most popular way of topping up EV vehicles. The chargers falling under this category, including our TeltoCharge station, are rated at 7kw - 22kw with an AC supply. An EV could be refilled for a journey in around four to six hours by fast charging.
  • Rapid charging is the way of recharging an EV at the quickest time possible. A standard rapid charger is usually rated at 50kw with a DC supply; however, the range of rapid chargers passes even 100kw. Such devices will give a full charge in about an hour while charging to 80% can take as little as 20 to 30 minutes (with the final 20% usually taking another 20 minutes).

THE CAPACITY OF AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE AND SIZE OF THE BATTERY

No doubts that batteries play a crucial role here. The bigger battery is, the more power it can hold. However, with charging times, it might be a different story. A lot depends on the EV’s charging capacity.

For example, some EVs can take higher input of power (e.g., maximum Tesla Model 3 fast charge power - 250 kW). However, other electric car models support a significantly lower charging capacity (maximum Nissan Leaf fast charging power - 46 kW). So, in some cases, the size might play the wrong game, and a bigger battery with better charging capacity will be complete in a shorter time.

Here’s a simple way to calculate your average charging time for your EV vehicle:

If your battery has a capacity of 60kWh and you have a charging power of 4.4kWh, your charging time would be about 13.6 hours (considering your battery is entirely out of power).  However, increasing the charging power will decrease the time it will take you to charge your vehicle.

Let’s use the Renault Zoe with a battery capacity of 52 kWh as an example. Depending on the possible power delivery, the TeltoCharge charger can full this EV in the following time ranges:

STATE OF CHARGE

The state of charge (SoC) is the ratio of the available capacity and the maximum possible charge that a battery of an EV can store. To secure batteries and prolong their lifespan, automakers put systems that prevent batteries from draining below or charging above certain limits (usually over 80 percent and below 20 percent).

This is why sometimes it is even better to have a battery not fully charged but leave its power below 80 percent to avoid a longer charge to the maximum. At the same time, topping up the battery instead of filling it up to 100 percent and letting it drain also reduces charging time.

So again, the time necessary to charge an EV depends on many factors. Mainly it is defined by the size of the battery and the capacity of the charging station. The current preferred option is fast charging using the EV chargers rated at 11kW - 22kW.

However, EV technology is advancing quickly, so it will not take long for EV charging to become even faster.

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