Charging Times for Electric Cars
Charging times are essential when it comes to switching to electric cars. You want to charge your car with the same efficiency as filling one up with fuel. Charging times highly depend on your electric car’s battery size and on the power of the charging point.
Simply put, the larger your battery, the longer it will take to charge. Charging can be sped up depending on what charging point you use. The fast and rapid charging points will recharge the battery much quicker. Chargers are given a power rating in kW, and the higher the kW, the faster the charger. These can range from a three-pin socket that you find in your home, to specific rapid chargers found at motorway services.
An average battery in an electric car is 60kWh, these have an average charge time between 3 hours and 12 hours. If you use a 7kW charging point though, a 60kWh battery will take roughly 8 hours to charge.
It's common for electric car owners to use the 'Top-up charging' method. When they go shopping or go to work, they will put their EV on charge and go on about their day. Top-up charging allows drivers to feel relaxed about not running out of power, it keeps the battery at a stable level so you can get from A to B comfortably. Always double check you have enough energy to get to your destination, you don't want to run out of charge whilst you’re on your way.
If you have access to a home charging point, take advantage of overnight charging as well as day charging. Typically, when an electric car reaches 80%, the charger will automatically reduce its power to help keep the battery from depreciating so, don’t worry about leaving your car on charge over a long period of time.
Slow, Fast, and Rapid Charging
All electric cars can be charged using compatible charge points with a higher maximum charge rate than the vehicle can handle. Even though the charger has a higher rate, it will fill the battery using the electric car’s maximum charging rate. Public and workplace charging points will have a rate of 7kW or 22kW, with most electric cars being compatible.
The power rating of slow chargers goes up to 3.5kW. These are less common now that the 7kW charger has become available. Slow charging is most common for home chargers and is great for charging your electric car overnight. Some home chargers provide 7kW if you want to have access to a higher power charger. The average time for a slow charger to charge the battery from empty to full can take between 13 to 26 hours.
The typical power rating for a fast charger is 7kW or 22kW. Fast chargers are mostly found in shopping car parks, workplaces, and other public spaces. From empty, a fast charger with a power rating of 7kW can take between 7 to 14 hours to charge the battery to full and a 22kW charger will take 2 to 4.5 hours.
Rapid chargers are the fastest electric chargers available. Their power ratings can be anywhere between 50kW and 350kW. and they can be found along motorway services. This is to make sure that EV owners can charge their car in an efficient amount of time so they can continue with their journey. Rapid chargers can provide a mile range between 60 to 200 in around 20 to 30 minutes; from empty, it will take 1 to 2 hours. Almost all fully electric cars can be charged at any rapid charging point, however, most plug-in hybrids won’t be compatible.
Top 5 Electric Cars Available at Perrys
This table shows battery capacity, total range, and the charging time from empty to full for each charging point. Follow the links here to the top 5 electric cars available at Perrys: Mustang Mach e GT, Kia EV6, MG 5 EV, Cupra Born, Vauxhall Mokka-e.
Factors That Affect Charging Speed and Efficiency
There is a combination of physical and environmental factors that can affect charging speed. Keeping the battery in good condition helps keeping it efficient. The battery management system is there to help regulate the batteries when charging and discharging to help prolong their life.
The power ratings of charging points can impact the depreciation of the battery. There is evidence of rapid charging points influencing the battery life. However, these effects are reduced significantly by the battery management system.
If a battery gets too cold, this will impact the charging speed and the capacity that the battery can hold therefore limiting the mile range. Manufacturers have implemented a heating system surrounding the battery to keep an efficient temperature.
The Future of EV Charging
The government has put aside £500 million to invest in the rapid charging infrastructure between 2020 to 2025. The aim is to have charging points available no further than 30 miles driving distance from a location and to have at least 6 to 12 high powered charge points at each motorway service by 2023. By 2035 they aim to have 6000 rapid charge points across England’s motorways and major A roads, incentivising the electrical revolution..