Dick Lovett

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

Posted 13th February 2023

Electric cars are surging in popularity – and so are questions around exactly how they work. One of the most frequently asked questions is “How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car?”

Charging is one of the biggest differences compared to traditional petrol or diesel-powered cars, so it’s completely understandable that this is a main consideration for potential new owners and drivers. So, if you’re looking to make the change to an EV and are wondering whether you should buy an electric car, or are just curious as to how it all works, read our specialist guide below to find out how long it takes to charge an electric car.

Electric car charging summary

Although the exact charging times might differ depending on the brand and model, this is a useful summary of the approximate electric car charging time using different charging sources and power outlets:

  • 2.3kW wall socket charger: up to 8 miles of range per hour
  • 3.7kW wall box: up to 15 miles of range per hour
  • 7kW wall box: up to 30 miles of range per hour
  • 22kW public charger: up to 90 miles of range per hour
  • 43-50kW fast charger: up to 90 miles of range per 30 minutes
  • 150kW rapid chargers: up to 200 miles of range in 30 minutes

What affects electric car charging times?

Before we delve into the details and look at how long it takes to charge an electric car, it’s important to know exactly what affects your charge times. This includes your battery size, its maximum charge rating, the state of the battery and the charger type that you’re using.

Porsche Taycan Charging

Battery size

The size of your EV’s battery will have a direct effect on how long it takes to charge. Batteries are measured in kWh with larger numbers meaning a larger capacity and longer charge times. For example, a 91kWh battery will typically take longer to charge than a 60kWh battery.

Maximum charge rate

Every EV has a maximum charging rate. This rating limits the types of chargers you can use. If your car has a maximum charge limit of 7kW, the maximum charge output you will receive is 7kW. This means that while you can plug your 7kWh car into a 50kW charger, you will only receive 7kW.

Battery charge level

One of the key factors to consider when answering how long does it take to charge an electric car is how empty or full your battery is when you begin charging. This also affects how long it takes to charge.

Charging from 0-100% takes the longest as you’re filling the battery to full capacity. Charging from 50% will therefore be quicker. Also, charging speed slows down a considerable amount after 80%. Charging from 80-100% takes longer than charging from 60-80% so this is something to always keep in mind. From 80%, charging slows to protect the battery.

Porsche Taycan Battery

“On my car, you can charge to 80% on a DC unit in just over half an hour but the last 20% takes a similar amount of time,” explains Scott Martin, Group Electric Vehicle Specialist at Dick Lovett. “That’s why you see lots of figures for charging at 0-80%. That’s also good to know if you’re on a long trip – don’t hang around for a 100% DC charge.”

Top-up charging is the most effective way to charge your battery. This is where you charge from 20-80% but we’ll touch more on this later.

Charger type

The charger itself will have a maximum output. E.g. 7kW home chargers add around 30 miles of range per hour, while 150kW rapid chargers offer up to 200 miles in 30 minutes.

Home charger outputs are usually 2.3kW, 3.7kW or 7kWPublic chargers typically vary from 7kW to 150kW.


Charging speed can be affected by temperature. “A cold battery will charge more slowly than a warm battery and many EVs will heat the battery to above its normal operating temperature to get the fastest DC charge,” says Scott. 

BMW iX Infotainment

“You can sometimes start this process manually or it will do it if you put the destination of the charge point into the sat nav. It then knows where it’s going, when it’s going to arrive, and that it’s going to have a fast charge.”

How long does it take to charge an EV?

So, how long does it actually take to charge an EV?

Electric car charging time varies based on the above factors, with the most important being the size of your battery and the type of charger you’re using.

How long does it take to charge an electric car at home?

There are three options when it comes to home charging.

The standard 2.3kW charger plugs straight into your wall socket, and offers around 8 miles of range per hour of charging. You can get quicker charging if you get a wall box installed.

The smaller 3.7kW wall box gives around 15 miles of range for every hour of charging. Or there are 7kW wall boxes which give you nearly double, at around 30 miles of range per hour of charge. If you don’t have a driveway at your home, here’s how you can still charge an electric car.

MINI PodPoint Home Charging

How long does it take to charge an electric car at a charging station?

Charging stations will typically offer higher rates so you can get on the roads quicker. Some will offer lower 7kW chargers as well. But for the most part, they’re made up of more powerful chargers. A normal 22kW charger offers around 90 miles of range per hour. Use a 43-50kW fast charger for up to 90 miles of range for every 30 minutes of charging. Or there are 150kW rapid chargers which add up to 200 miles of driving range in around 30 minutes.

Charging Station BMW iX

Top up charging

Top up charging is the most effective way to run your EV with both charge times and battery health in mind.

What is top up charging? It’s simple.

Instead of draining the battery to near-empty then recharging to 100%, you charge from around 20% to 80%.This reduces your down time quite considerably. Charging the final 20% always takes longer than any other portion of charging. So stopping at 80% means you’ll get back on the roads quicker. 

This also helps with journeys that are longer than your EV’s range. If you plan in regular charging stops to keep you between 20%-80%, you’ll complete the journey much quicker compared to if you fully drained and fully charged your battery.

Top up charging also prolongs your EV’s battery health. Completing a full charging cycle ever-so slightly reduces your battery’s overall capacity. So after 5 years of depleting and fully charging your battery, the overall level can diminish quickly - resulting in less miles per charge.

Discover a great range of both new and used electric cars at Dick Lovett – including BMW, MINI, Jaguar and Porsche. Dick Lovett dealerships are located in Bristol, Cardiff, Hungerford, Melksham - near Bath - Swindon and Tewkesbury. To find the Dick Lovett dealership closest to you, click here.

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