How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?

Let’s get the negatives straight out of the way: There is no unambiguous answer to the question about electric car charging times.

First of all, both the maximum power of electric vehicle chargers and car battery sizes can vary considerably. This means that the time it takes to charge an electric vehicle can range from 20 minutes to dozens of hours. Larger batteries naturally take a longer time to fill up. EV chargers can be roughly divided into regular AC chargers and fast DC chargers with charging power ranging usually from 3.7 kW to even 300 kW.

In addition to these two variables, all EVs have an on-board charger that transforms the electricity coming from a charger into a form that suits the car battery. The car batteries can only be charged with direct current, DC in short. In practice, this means that the maximum charging power that AC chargers provide is in usually slowed down by the vehicle on-board charger.

Below, we have gathered examples from the Electric Vehicle Database of some of the most popular EVs, battery sizes, and charging times.

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How to choose the right charger – 4 rules to get you started

Price, quality, guarantee, country-specific requirements, smart features, logistics processes, maintenance – quite a list, yet these are only a few of the things to consider when purchasing a charging device.

1 Kick off the process by gathering information about the intended use of the chargers, and vehicles that would be charged at the station.

Charging needs at a residential building parking space are dissimilar with the needs of the users at a busy service station along the highway. People spend hours at their homes, offices, or hobby places, therefore chargers with lower maximum charging power are usually more than enough to fulfill the charging needs there. Fast chargers are more suitable at locations where EV drivers wish to fill the car batteries quickly and continue their journeys – such as petrol stations by the highway or grocery stores at traffic hubs.

 

2 Second, two simple rules of thumb to remember:

For regular charging, choose a device with a Type 2 socket.
For fast charging, choose a device with CCS Combo and CHAdeMO sockets.

Type 2 socket is an EU standardized one, thus it fits together with all the vehicles on the market. If you wish to provide an effortless AC charging experience, simply choose a device with a Type 2 socket.

Fast charging stations, also referred to as DC charging stations, have different socket types. The most convenient solution is to choose a device that includes both two of the most common socket types: CCS Combo and CHAdeMO. This way your device can be used by most EV drivers regardless of their vehicle. Some DC stations also include a Type 2 socket for slower charging.

 

3 Ever heard about OCPP?

If not and purchasing a charging station is on your mind, it’s about time.
Open Charge Point Protocol is the de facto standard in the EV charging industry. The standard enables hardware and software to communicate together. One of the most important aspects to consider when selecting a charging service is to double-check that your chosen devices and service follow the same version of the OCPP standard.

 

4 Smartness

Smartness is a word being thrown in the conversation here and there. In the EV charging business, smartness can be defined with clear characteristics that enable devices to be fully applicable to future-proof features.

Smart charging stations make your life easier: providing a charging service is cost-efficient, flexible, safe, sustainable, and effortless.

What smart charging has to do with charging speed?

All electric vehicles are compatible with smart charging devices but not all charging devices are smart. Hence, pay attention to choosing a truly smart service that follows the same version of the OCPP as the chosen devices, or your brand-new charging service is in danger to become a historical relic already in the near future.

Maximum charging power should be restricted by the car or the electrical system of a building – not by the charging device. This is self-evident when a smart charging service is in use.

Flexibility and possibility to control stations in groups enable the maximum charging power to be shifted based on how many cars are charging at once. This smart feature, called Dynamic Load Management, charges the vehicles at full power when possible, simultaneously making sure the maximum power capacity of the main connection or local grid is not overloaded. The charging loads are divided dynamically, feeding more power to those vehicles that can take it.

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The big sister of DLM is called Adaptive Load Management. With this feature, you can even monitor all the loads of nearby buildings, facilities, and chargers, and optimize the available charging power based on this available capacity. ALM includes a hardware unit that measures the whole site’s real-time consumption and communicates it to the charging service.

Let's make sure your chargers are not the ones left behind as the car battery development takes its next big leap. Charge fast and charge smart.

Download our guide and learn all you need to know about smart charging.

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