How Long Does It Take To Charge an Electric Car?
The main inconvenience with EVs is the time it takes to charge them, but this can be solved by using a high-power home charging point that fully charges the vehicle overnight, or by using a public charger. In this article, we will be explaining the different charging levels for EV chargers, the estimated charging times for different EVs, and more!
Understanding EV Charging Levels
The charging level and its power rate are important factors to consider when estimating the empty to full charging time for an electric car.
EV chargers are categorised into 3 levels: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 or DC Fast Charger (DCFC). A higher charging level also means a high-rated power for the EV charger, but it also means a more complex and expensive electrical infrastructure.
Level 1 EV chargers feature a simple yet slow technology that plugs into regular 230V AC single-phase outlets, working like any other electrical appliance. The rated power for these types of chargers can go from 1.8kW up to 2.4 kW for the highest capacity models. Level 1 EV chargers take more than a day to charge EVs, on average.
Level 2 charging is slightly more complex and requires dedicated wiring; these chargers can be used for residential or commercial applications. The level 2 charging options can feature a rated power of 3.6 kW up to 9.6 kW for single-phase residential applications or up to 22 kW for three-phase applications. A level 2 home charging point can fully charge an EV battery overnight, on average. Most people opt for these when installing home chargers as they balance EV charger cost with charging speed.
Level 3 chargers deliver DC power directly to the EV, rapidly charging the battery. Rated power for DCFC goes from 25 kW up to 350 kW. Most Level 3 chargers can fill the battery of an EV in an hour or less. Level 3 chargers require a highly complex electrical infrastructure and have a very expensive cost, which is why they are mainly used for large commercial or public charging applications. Almost all houses in Australia will never have the electrical infrastructure to withstand DC charging.
Estimated Charging Time for Different EVs in Australia
Estimating the empty to full charging time for an EV requires knowing the power of the EV charger in kilowatts (kW) and the EV battery capacity in kilowatt-hours (kWh). To give an easy-to-understand case study, we will explain how to estimate this charging time using several cases based on popular EVs and EV chargers in the Australian market.
To estimate the charging time for an EV, you need the following equation (Equation 1):
In real-life scenarios, AC chargers start at a slow pace and steadily increase until the rated power is achieved. The EV then keeps on charging until the battery is almost full and then it starts to slow down once again. You’ll notice this happens when you charge your smartphone; it charges quickly at first but as it approaches 100% the charge rate slows down. A similar case occurs with Level 3 chargers but power varies differently as shown in figure 3, with the maximum DC power being limited by the EV.
For our study case, we will calculate using Equation 1 which provides a decent approximation for the real charging time. For our study case, we will use the following EVs and EV chargers:
EVs & Battery Capacity:
- Nissan LEAF – 40kWh
- Hyundai Kona – 64kWh
- Tesla Model 3 – 50kWh
- Lexus UX – 54.3kWh
- Mazda MX-30 - 35.5kWh
- 7.8 Amps Generic Level 1 EV Charger (1.8kW)
- 31 Amps Level 2 Ocular LTE (7.2kW)
- 55 Amps Level 2 Wallbox Pulsar Plus (22kW @ 400V)
You’ll notice that a level 2 charger at home is more than enough time to charge your EV, while a level 1 charger is a bit too slow, on average.
Top-up Charging: What Is It And What Are Its Benefits?
EV charging stations are starting to show up all over the country in places like supermarkets, retail stores, gyms, shopping centres, workplaces, and more. This opens the possibility for EV drivers to top up the battery of their EVs with very quick charging times. Some benefits of Top-up Charging include:
- Extending vehicle range during long trips.
- Being action-ready in case of any emergency.
- Making up for only having a Level 1 charger at home (i.e. a slow charger).
What Driving Range Will You Get by Charging Your EV for an Hour?
If you want to top up your EV, it is important to know how much driving range you get by charging the EV for an hour. To calculate this you need to know the EV charger power (kW) and the efficiency of the EV in Watt-hours per kilometre (Wh/km). To do the calculation you will need Equation 2:
In Table 2 you can see this calculation for the EVs and EV Chargers listed before in this article:
To give an example, let’s take the Tesla Model 3 and assume we’ll charge this with the 7.2kW Ocular LTE level 2 charger. So we’d take 7.2kw x 1000 = 7200. We’d then divide this by 242Wh/km = 29.75km per hour of charge.
Level 2 Charging can easily fill up the battery of an EV overnight, especially with a home charger like the Ocular LTE or a similar option like the Zappi EV charger. Using Top up charge is a great strategy to extend the driving range of your EV, especially during road trips or busy days where you will be driving long distances. Knowing the added kilometres by charging the EV for an hour will also let you estimate your additional range in case you have an hour or two to spend before going back on the road.
revcharge is an end-to-end EV charging service provider. We take the stress and guesswork out of not only finding an EV charger that meets your needs, but that too of organising a trained technician to install and activate your system. Every EV charger on offer has been carefully evaluated for its performance and features by our specialised team.
Our goal is to save you time and money, while ensuring a quality install that will last you for years to come. All you have to do is answer some quick questions about your home and electric car and send us photos of your switchboard and preferred charger location. We’ll take care of the rest!
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