Refilling a petrol or diesel car is a fast process and one that many of us will be familiar with, even factoring in the pre-selection of chocolate bars while waiting to pay – you’ll be in and out in five minutes.
Topping up an electric vehicle isn’t quite that brisk yet. But charging speeds are getting quicker all of the time. In case you thought we’d be able to give you a precise amount of time for how long it takes up to charge your car, then it’s a bit more nuanced than that because it depends on the speed of your charger.
To determine how long it takes to charge an electric car, you will need to do some math. But don’t worry, it’s just a very simple match as you will find out later on. So how long does it take to charge a hybrid electric car?
To answer that question, we must first know how hybrid cars work.
How Do Hybrid Electric Cars Work?
Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors, which use energy stored in batteries. A hybrid electric vehicle cannot be plugged in to charge the battery. Instead, the battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine. The extra power provided by the electric motor can potentially allow for a smaller engine. The battery can also power auxiliary loads and reduce engine idling when stopped. Together, these features result in better fuel economy without sacrificing performance.
Help from an Electric Motor
In an HEV, the extra power provided by the electric motor may allow for a smaller combustion engine. The battery can also power auxiliary loads and reduce engine idling when the vehicle is stopped. Together, these features result in better fuel economy without sacrificing performance.
An HEV cannot plug in to off-board sources of electricity to charge the battery. Instead, the vehicle uses regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine to charge. The vehicle captures energy normally lost during braking by using the electric motor as a generator and storing the captured energy in the battery.
Fuel-Efficient System Design
HEVs can be either mild or full hybrids, and full hybrids can be designed in series or parallel configurations.
Mild hybrids—also called micro hybrids—use a battery and electric motor to help power the vehicle and can allow the engine to shut off when the vehicle stops (such as at traffic lights or in stop-and-go traffic), further improving fuel economy. Mild hybrid systems cannot power the vehicle using electricity alone. These vehicles generally cost less than full hybrids but provide less fuel economy benefit than full hybrids.
Full hybrids have larger batteries and more powerful electric motors, which can power the vehicle for short distances and at low speeds. These vehicles cost more than mild hybrids but provide better fuel economy benefits.
There are different ways to combine the power from the electric motor and the engine. Parallel hybrids—the most common HEV design—connect the engine and the electric motor to the wheels through mechanical coupling. Both the electric motor and the internal combustion engine drive the wheels directly.
How Long does It Take to charge an Electric Car?
How long does an electric car take to charge? Electric car charging times vary by model, as it depends on the plug, port, and more. However, with available charging adapters, you will have access to a variety of charging methods, and you might be surprised at how quickly a battery typically reboots.
Electric Car Charging Time
Since different electric vehicles have their own unique battery packs, there is no one answer to the question: How long does it take to charge an electric car? However, you have three main options – domestic charging, rapid domestic charging, and public charging – and each one results in a different electric car charging time. Discover the details of each method below.
Domestic Outlet Home Charging (Regular Outlet)
- Relies on a normal grounded (3-Pin) 110V/120V charging outlet (Level 1 Charging)
- Doesn’t offer a fast electric car charging time
- Usually takes around 24 hours or more for a full charge
Installed Brand-Approved Rapid Domestic Charging
- Uses a professionally installed charging station (Level 2 Charging) that is specifically made for your brand of car
- Relies on 240V+ to speed up electric car charging time
- Can take 30 minutes for an 80% charge, but the remaining 20% will take longer because of a diminishing rate of charging speed
- Access public charging stations while out and about in Palmdale at parking garages, malls, hotels, and more
- Vary in type and speed, but typically provide Level 2 Charging for convenience
- Some stations offer emissions-free renewable energy charging with solar panels or wind turbines
Factors That Affect Charging Speed
There are 5 main factors that affect the time it takes to charge an electric vehicle.
- Your battery’s size: Level 1 outlets (like those you use at home) charge car batteries at the slowest rate. If your vehicle offers more battery capacity (measured in kWh), you’ll need more time to charge your car battery fully.
- Your vehicle’s maximum charging rate: How much of a charge can your vehicle accept at once? Your vehicle’s maximum charge rate is static, so you won’t save time by charging your battery at a more powerful charging station.
- The power of your charging station: Your charging time also depends on the maximum charging rate of the charging station you are using. Even if your car can charge at a higher rate, it will only charge at your charging station’s maximum power rate, which can adversely affect charging time.
- The weather in your area: Lower temperatures can affect vehicle efficiency and lengthen charging times, especially when using rapid chargers. Conversely, hot weather can also affect your electric car’s thermal management systems, affecting its efficiency. Hot conditions can also test an electric vehicle’s internal resistance, rising as battery charges increase.
- Is your battery empty or full?: Drivers rarely charge their vehicles from an empty battery. They usually “top up” their batteries instead to lengthen the time they can drive on a single charge, which generally saves drivers significant charging time. According to automotive expert Matt DeLorenzo, if you need to charge your car when it’s below 20% of charge or above 80%, it’s like a balloon.
Plug-In Hybrid Charging Time
Plug-in hybrid models like the Toyota RAV4 Prime and the Toyota Prius Prime typically take less time to charge. That’s because they do not rely only on electricity to get around Lancaster. They switch between gasoline and electric power, or a blend of both. So, it should only take 1 to 4 hours to fully charge a plug-in hybrid model.
How far can I drive on a charge?
How long does a fully charged electric car last? Plug-in hybrids may drive for 10-50 miles using only electricity before they start using gasoline, and can then drive for about 300 miles (depending on the size of the fuel tank, just like any other car).
Most early electric vehicles are capable of about 100 miles of driving before they need to be recharged. Current electric vehicles travel about 250 miles on a charge, though there are some, such as Teslas, that can do about 350 miles on a charge. Many automakers have announced plans to bring to market electric vehicles that promise longer ranges and even faster charging.
Charging Electric Vehicles at Home
Most drivers of electric vehicles (EVs)—which include all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)—charge their vehicles overnight at home using AC Level 1 or AC Level 2 charging equipment.
Residential equipment is frequently installed in garages, but outdoor installation and use are also safe, even if the vehicle is being charged in the rain. Outdoor installations require outdoor-rated equipment.
Charging at a multifamily housing requires additional considerations and may be more like public charging than charging at a single-family home.
Installing Charging Equipment in Your Home
EV owners may install Level 2 (240 V) charging equipment in their homes for a faster charge or opt for the Level 1 cord set provided with the vehicle as shown here.
Many EV owners are able to meet their daily driving range requirements by charging overnight with Level 1 equipment, requiring no additional cost or installation, provided that a power outlet on a dedicated branch circuit is available near their parking location.
Level 2 charging equipment can be installed for drivers with less regular schedules, longer commutes, or EVs with large batteries that require more than overnight (or the typical dwell time) to fully charge. State and utility incentives may be available to help offset the cost of charging equipment.
Most Level 2 products have standard safety features and status lights. More advanced, “smart” Level 2 products have features such as data collection, user interface systems, enhanced displays, charging timers, communications capabilities, and keypads.
Purchasing safety-certified equipment is recommended, such as products certified which are tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, along with having a certified electrical contractor.
Electricians can inform homeowners whether their home has adequate electrical capacity for vehicle charging. Some homes might have an insufficient electric capacity for Level 2 equipment. However, a qualified electrician can add circuits to accommodate the capacity needed for Level 2 charging.
Complying with Regulations
Charging equipment installations must comply with local and national codes and regulations. Appropriate permits may be required from the local building and permitting authorities.
If possible, consult vehicle manufacturer guidance for information about the required charging equipment and learn the specifications before purchasing equipment or electrical services.
In many areas, a site installation plan must be submitted to the permitting authority for approval before installation.
Electricity Costs for Charging
To compare the fueling costs of each model of conventional and electric vehicles, you can use the Vehicle Cost Calculator. For EV charging, the stability and planning benefits of household electricity rates offer an attractive alternative compared to traditional types of transportation.
Cost of Electric Car Charging At Home
Electric car charging at home costs at least £15.10 on average to fully charge in the most cost-effective and convenient manner. The majority of drivers charge their electric vehicles overnight and wake up to a fully charged battery in the morning.
- The average rate of home electricity in the UK is 28p per kWh
- To fully charge a 60kWh electric vehicle, you will need to spend around £15 and gain 200 miles of range.
EV Charging Cost At Work
The cost of electric car charging at work may vary among organizations with some providing free charging and others setting a paid tariff.
- There are employers who provide free charging to their staff
- Some provide time-based tariffs to make the most out of the charging stations
- Others provide free charging to their employees for a certain period and then set a fee so that the employees will vacate the charging spaces
Cost of Charging an Electric Vehicle at Public Chargepoints
Charging your electric vehicle while you’re out is a good way to make use of your battery.
- The majority of the charging networks allow you to download a mobile app to locate chargepoints and charge
- Other public charging stations identify an RFID card which you can order online before allowing you to charge.
- With app-enabled chargepoints where a tariff has been set, you can pay for charging in the app
Dive deeper into the topic and expand your knowledge. Read more here: Electric Car Charger Cost
- Is it possible to install a Level 3 charger station at home?
At present, it is too expensive and unsafe to install a Level 3 charger at home. If you’re looking to charge your vehicle at high levels, it is best to go to a public charging station.
- Is it possible to charge any electric vehicle at a Tesla charging network?
Yes, you can your any electric car at a Tesla charging network. But you will need an adaptor to do this. Tesla is planning to open its Superchargers to non-Tesla cars soon.
- Where can I charge an electric vehicle aside from home?
Aside from home, you can also charge at public charging stations near restaurants, malls, and other public areas.
- How long do electric cars stay charged?
It depends on the electric car’s battery. As batteries improve, so will the electric vehicle’s range. Generally how long an electric vehicle stays charged will depend on the EPA-estimated range, your driving speed, external temperature, and more.
- Is there top-up charging?
The majority of electric car drivers are plugging in to charge each time they park. They can charge overnight at home, or for a few hours at the workplace, gym or supermarket. This is top-up charging.
Instead of waiting for their batteries to go empty or waiting for them to recharge at home, drivers are making the most out of their charging opportunities to keep their batteries topped up.
Should I Charge My EV Every Night?
The answer to this question is varied, depending on your preferences and circumstances, but you can charge your electric vehicle overnight as most people do.
It is understandable that a lot of people are initially wondering whether it is alright to keep one’s EV plugged in throughout the night. Maybe you worry about fire risks or drawing more power than you need such that you pay more on your electricity bills.
Neither are concerns you should worry about. Fire risks are quite low. Once your vehicle reaches the battery level it was set to reach, it will stop getting electricity. It will shut off once the house is cool enough.
In terms of whether you should charge your battery every night, it also depends on your car’s driving range. If your car has 200 miles of range and you’re driving 100 plus miles per day, you should plug in your car every night.
But if you are doing top-up charging – you’re charging not just a home but in the workplace or any public station, then you can plug in every other day. There is no harm in not charging every day – in fact, there are a number of benefits to it.
If you’re plugging your car in every day, it can become a habit and you will likely do it even if there’s no need to. If you’re not doing it every day, there’s a better chance that you are not wasting any extra effort in doing unneeded charging.
The one benefit of charging your electric vehicle every day, though, is that in case of emergency situations where you need to drive quickly, your car will be ready for use. One disadvantage is that it can degrade your battery faster unless you control your charging levels.
Batteries degrade more as you charge closer to 100% from 0%, especially if the car has been plugged in for a very long time. Experienced EV drivers often recommend keeping your battery charged from 20% to 80%. If that’s too much, you can maintain it at 40% to 60%.
Charging an electric car can take as short as 30 minutes to 12 hours or more, depending on different factors such as battery size and charging point speed. The standard electric vehicle has a 60kWh battery and takes fewer than 8 hours to charge from empty to full using a 7kW charger.
The majority of drivers up their charging instead of waiting for the battery to become empty. For a lot of electric cars, you can add 100 miles of range in 15 minutes using a 50 kW rapid charger. The higher your car’s battery capacity is, the slower the charging process and the longer it will take to charge.
Rapid chargers are the fastest electric vehicle chargers, providing a range of 60-200 mile range in 30 mins. Home EV chargers generally have a power rate of 3.7kW – 7kW. All eclectic vehicles can charge on compatible chargers with a higher charge rate than they’re capable of.
Expand your understanding and explore further. Click here to learn more: How Much to Install an Electric Car Charger