How Often Should You Charge Your Electric Car
Most electric car manufacturers recommend that you charge your car’s battery every night. This ensures that the battery is always full and ready to go. However, some people may not have the time or ability to charge their car every night. In this case, it’s important to understand how much range you need and how to maximize it.
If you only need to drive a short distance each day, you may be able to get by with charging your car once every few days. However, if you need to drive a long distance, you may need to charge your car more often.
One of the best ways to maximize your electric car’s range is to charge it whenever you can. If you’re going to be home for a few hours, plug it in and let it charge. If you’re going to be out all day, find a public charger and top off your battery.
Charging An Ev With Level 3 Charging
Not all, but the majority of electric vehicles on the market today are capable of Level 3 Charging. Some call this rapid charging, DC Fast Charging, fast charging, etc.
This isnt a charging process you do at your home, but rather at a charging station that you pay to use and are frequently located along major highways.
Whenever anyone researches EVs, one of the most common questions is what is the absolute fastest method to charge their car.
Level 3 charging is the fastest method of charging an electric vehicle and can recharge a battery up to80% in 15-45 minutes. Level 3 charging takes place in commercial locations and supplies 50-350kw of direct current power directly to the battery and bypasses the EVs limited onboard charger.
Level 3 charging is not done at home, but rather at specially built locations. You can locate your nearest station with the plugshare website.
How Long Will My Electric Car Take To Charge At Home
The table below shows some examples of electric cars and their home charging times.
|Total battery size/usable battery size||Maximum car charging rate||Charging time|
|Type 2||11 hours 45 mins|
NB: The Porsche Taycan GTS and Mercedes EQS 450+ charging times assume the property has a 3-phase grid connection, which most homes do not possess. In that case, the maximum charging power will be 7.4 kW, allowing for a charge time of 13 hours 30 minutes for the Porsche and 17 hours 15 minutes for the Mercedes.
Figures taken from https://ev-database.uk/
In this table, we see how the four factors listed above come into play and help determine an electric cars charging time. The quickest charger is the Renault, with a mid-to-low range battery size but a high charging rate. The Porsche and Mercedes have giant battery capacities, but effectively charging them requires a power infrastructure most homes cant yet access – however, given their battery size and capacity to drive more miles, they may never need to charge fully.
This table may be useful as a guide, but always double-check the battery capacity and maximum charging rate with the manufacturer or dealer, who will be able to give you an accurate charging time estimate for the model youre thinking of buying.
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How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Vehicle
There is no simple answer, but knowing the variables will help you better estimate the time it takes for an EV fill-up.
Figuring precisely how long it takes to charge an electric car is akin to asking, “how long does it take to cross the country? It depends whether youre in a plane or on foot. Recharge time is dependent on a host of variables, many of them nuancedeven the length of the charging cable can influence itthat make providing a precise answer impossible. But we can give you some reliable guidelines.
Ignoring some of the lesser variables, the charging time of a vehicle comes down to two primary factors: power source and the vehicle’s charger capacity. Ambient conditions play a smaller part, with both cold- and hot-weather extremes adding to charge time.
Your Power Source For Charging
Start with your home power source to get a sense of how long it will take to charge your car. A Level 1 power outlet charges at the least amount of power, while Level 2 chargers can plug into outlets like the ones dryers use and charge at twice the power.
Unlike Level 1 chargers, however, youll need an electrician and a compatible circuit to install a Level 2 charger at home. Companies like California-based startup Splitvolt have also developed splitters that let EV drivers use a standard household garage outlet without unique installations.
Level 3 chargers use a high-voltage direct current that goes straight to the cars battery. However, these chargers arent compatible with every electric vehicle.
Also, they are both expensive and hard to find beyond public spaces like malls and parking garages. Automakers like Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Tesla offer Level 3 charging systems for their vehicles.
At the same time, third-party manufacturers like Electrify America and SparkCharge have also produced DCFCs for cars that can use them. Beyond that, many drivers who cant use DCFCs opt for the combined charging system . CCS supercharges its power sources by conjoining Level 1 and Level 2 chargers.
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What Is Top Up Charging
Most electric car drivers plug-in to charge whenever they park, be it at home overnight or during the day at the supermarket, gym or their workplace. This is called top up charging.
- Instead of letting the battery run empty and waiting while it fully recharges, drivers make use of the time their car is parked to keep the battery topped up.
- Public and workplace charging points typically range from 7kW to 22kW, making them ideal for top up charging. Find out how to access public charging in our guide.
- Combining daytime top-up charging with overnight charging at home is an effective way to keep your electric car charged and ready to go.
Tip: Electric car drivers dont worry much about how long it takes to charge from empty-to-full. Its more useful for them to know how many miles of range theyll get when they plug-in to top up.
Types Of Battery Chargers
Depending on what type of charger you use for recharging your car battery and the type of battery your car has, the charging time varies greatly until full charge is reached.
Below are the different types of chargers available.
Linear Charger: The linear charger is the most straightforward car battery charger available. It charges the battery through a wall socket and is a plug-in charger. While it may be the simplest way, it isn’t the fastest. A linear charger requires minimal set-up and power however, it has a slow charging rate since it operates at low amperage.
A linear battery charger can take up to twelve hours to fully recharge a 12-volt lead-acid battery. This charging option charges on a continuous charge, which means it does not have a controller to stop charging the battery once it’s full. Overcharging occurs if you don’t carefully monitor the charging levels and can result in overheating and shorten your car’s battery life. Overcharging can also cause a car’s battery to fail or even explode.
Multi-stage Charger: A multi-stage charger carries a higher price tag compared to a linear charger. It may be more expensive, but the risk for overcharging is lower because it recharges the battery in bursts instead of continuously. There is less chance of long-term damage with a multi-stage charger.
Multi-stage battery chargers are also known as intelligent chargers because of their staged charging method at higher amperes.
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How Does An Electric Car Battery Charger Work
Before you decide on an ideal charging method for your EV, it’s imperative to understand how electric car battery chargers work. So, let’s dive in.
Electric cars are becoming more and more popular as people become increasingly aware of their benefits. One of the best things about electric vehicles is being able to charge them at home using an electric car battery charger.
Here, we’ll explain how electric car battery chargers work so that you can understand how to use yours safely and effectively.
The Future Of Ev Charging
Right now, there are about 40,000 public EV charging stations in the U.S., providing about 100,000 power outlets.
At the same time, automakers are rolling out more new EVs, fueling demand for more charging stations. Many newer parking garages for offices, apartments, and retail spaces are also including provisions for electric vehicle charging. That should make it easier for you to find Level 2 and Level 3 chargers in the coming years.
As EVs have grown more popular, weve seen advances in their battery capacities and maximum charging speeds. How much room is left for growth remains to be seen. Still, EV charging speeds are already fast enough for most uses, especially if you have access to Level 2 or Level 3 equipment.
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What Are The Factors That Affect An Electric Cars Charging Speed
There are several factors that will influence the time it takes an electric car to charge.
The size of the battery – the bigger the battery, the longer it will take to charge. Manufacturers may also promote the total battery size rather than the usable battery size. The usable size is the one to take note of, because that will be the batterys maximum charging capacity.
How empty the battery is – the emptier the battery, the longer it will take to charge
The vehicles maximum charging rate – you cant charge the vehicle any faster by using a charging point with a higher charging rate than the vehicle can accept. If the vehicles maximum charging rate is 50 kW, a 200 kW rate charger wont charge it any faster than that 50 kW rate.
The charging points maximum charging rate – similarly, a charging point will only charge at its maximum rate, even if your vehicle can charge at a higher rate
The type of connector will also have an effect on an EVs charging time. You can charge your car using a standard three-pin household plug, which will take a long time, or you can use a specific EV charging connector like a Type 2, which is designed to work with the cars onboard charging system and will reduce the time it takes to charge.
All of these factors are variable, so there isnt a one-size-fits-all answer to an EV charging speed question.
How Long Does It Take To Charge An Electric Car Battery
Everything depends on the charging point used and the battery capacity of your electric car.In practice, the charging time for an electric car battery may vary between 10 hours to half an hour. Sure, it’s longer than filling up a conventional car. But in the future, with the development of new solutions, it may be just a few minutes!
Good to know : after circa 50% of charging time, the battery will be for 80% full.
What To Know About Rapid Charging
Rapid charging seems easy and convenient, but that speed comes with a caveat. Even the fastest charging time can decrease significantly when the battery falls under 20% or above 80% complete.
This keeps the battery from overcharging and keeps it at optimum condition. Many manufacturers gauge charging times by how long DCFCs can get your battery charge to 80%.
Rapid charging is also becoming easier to access thanks to initiatives like the EV Charging Network, a coalition of six electric utility giants that plan to build DCFCs across 17 interconnected states. Volkswagen is mulling using mobile charging robots to fill up batteries without investing in new charging infrastructure.
How Much Range You Get Per Hour Of Charging
As an electric vehicle driver, its useful to know how many miles of range you are getting during the time your vehicle is charging so you know you can get to your next destination.
|Miles of range added per hour of charging|
|Up to 90 miles in 30 mins||Up to 200 miles in 30 mins|
- Range per hour varies depending on how efficient your car is. Small full battery electric cars are the most efficient and get 30 miles of range per hour charging at 7kW.
- The biggest full battery electric cars are heavier and get ~20 miles of range per hour at 7kW. .
- How efficient a car is also depends on environmental factors like temperature. This means electric cars are more efficient and get slightly better range per hour in summer than they do in winter.
Why Is My Electric Car Charging Slowly
Most new electric cars charge very quickly until they charge your battery to 80%. They then slow down to protect the batteries and prolong their life.
Batteries are under the greatest strain when they are either completely fully charged, or completely empty. Software controls the speed of charging to make sure the battery is protected.
Taking It To The Next Level
Many EVs offer a fast charge feature, usually as an option at the time of car purchase, allowing the battery to be charged at Level 3, or 440 volts much faster than home charging. Only 20 minutes of charging adds at least 50 miles of range, according to fueleconomy.gov, a resource provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. However, few of these fast chargers are available now.
Using ChargePoint, I searched Long Beach, California, where I live, and found only two available fast chargers while there are 77 Level 2 chargers.
If you buy a Tesla, however, you get access to a nationwide network of 20,000 superchargers that can add 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes.
Electric Car Battery Recycling
Many manufacturers are researching how EV batteries can be repurposed once they’ve hit retirement age. One idea that’s proving to work well is repurposing EV batteries to power homes and buildings. However, there are no definitive answers as to what will happen to EV batteries once theyre no longer recyclable.
The time that batteries spend in an EV is often just the beginning of their useful life. Once removed from a car, most batteries will still be fit for other demanding jobs like energy storage in the electricity network, or in the home a growing area of demand.
When batteries do reach the end of their working life, they’ll be recycled, which typically involves separating out valuable materials such as cobalt and lithium salts, stainless steel, copper, aluminium and plastic. At the moment, only about half of the materials in an EV battery pack are recycled, but with EVs expected to undergo an explosion in popularity over the next decade or so, car manufacturers are looking to improve this.
VW recently announced a pilot plant for battery recycling which will work towards a target of recycling 97% of battery components. In this process, batteries will be shredded, dried, then sieved to recover valuable materials that can be used to make new batteries.
Frequently Asked Ev Questions
Can you take an EV on a road trip?
You can take an EV on a road trip as long as you plan ahead: Look for charging stations along your route ahead of time, especially in places you already plan to stop combine charging with food stops or supply runs, and always have a plan B.
How far can you drive with an electric car?
How far you can drive an electric car on a single charge varies widely between makes and models. Most EVs get between 100 and 300 miles per charge, but some newer and higher-end vehicles on the market are starting to push the envelope on this. One example is the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition Range, which reportedly gets up to 520 miles of range.
Can you take a Tesla on a road trip?
Thanks to Teslas widespread and fast charging network, Teslas are some of the most popular and convenient electric cars for road trips. They can also be used for camping and towing.
Can you drive an EV across the country?
You can drive an EV across the country, but be mindful of finding charging stations in less populated areas. While chargers are typically easy to find in larger cities, they can be sparse in remote areas and along less-trafficked roads. As long as you plan ahead and budget enough time, you should be fine.
Can I sit in my electric car while it is charging?How long does it take to charge an EV car?
How Long Does It Take To Jump Start A Car Battery
If your car has died completely and you need to get it to a mechanic, then jump-starting the battery may be the only way to charge it and get it started again. Jump-starting your car is the best solution for a temporary fix.
It takes about 5 minutes to connect the jumper cables to the battery terminals and recharge the battery. As a rule of thumb, it is always a good idea to wait about 2 minutes after jump-starting the car to let it idle a bit and allow the power to flow through.
A jump-started car can usually run for about 10-15 minutes, but limit your driving time if you want to avoid damage to the alternator.
If you are caught on the side of the road with a dead battery, then contact roadside assistance for help jump-starting your vehicle again.