How long does it take to charge an electric car?

by Steph Carty 2 months ago

The amount of time it takes to charge an electric car depends on a number of reasons such as which type of charging point you use, how often you charge and the time of year you charge your car. Find out more below...


Before we actually look at the time duration for charging your electric car, it’s worth quickly looking at how often you will need to charge it in the first place.

According to latest figures, if you use an electric vehicle for a Monday - Friday work commute in the UK, your general round journey is likely to be around 30 miles per day. Add in a couple of trips to the local shop and your Monday - Friday total mileage could be in the region of, say, 180 miles.

For many of the recently launched electric cars, this range is achievable on a single charge. In other words, plug your car into the charger when you go to bed on Sunday night and you’ll be fine for all your travelling needs until you come home on Friday.

Volkswagen e-Up on charge
Volkswagen e-Up on charge

So, how long does it take to charge the battery and what happens if I need to do a longer journey and do not have sufficient range to reach my destination?

If you follow the sort of routine as mentioned above, and if you are using a 3-pin domestic socket, your car will be fully charged in around 12 hours. If you are lucky enough to be able to use a plug at work, then the same applies. Plan ahead and this will work really well. It’s also the cheapest way to charge your car. Some homeowners have access to cheaper electricity rates at night which will reduce your charging bill even further. One minor point…you’ll need to have a socket fairly close to your car because most of the leads which are provided by the car manufacturers aren’t all that long.

Volkswagen e-Golf on charge in street
Volkswagen e-Golf on charge in street

However, we’d recommend the installation of a Wallbox because it makes life simpler. The Wallbox is generally next to where you park your car and it provides a higher charge in the region of 3kW if you go for the lowest power level. This means you will need around 8 hours to charge your car.

If you go for a more powerful Wallbox or use a public charging station, then most will use 7kW. This will charge your car in around 6 hours.

Lastly, more and more rapid chargers are available. These are around 10 times faster than using a domestic socket and can actually charge your battery up to 80 per cent in as little as 35 minutes. This is particularly useful for drivers who do longer journeys and can charge their car at a motorway service station whilst popping for a coffee. More and more cars are now capable of accepting rapid chargers.

Pod Point electric charging point
Pod Point electric charging point 

The best idea is to keep your battery topped up. Don’t let it drop to near zero. Most electric vehicle owners find that giving the car a full overnight charge on a Sunday for example, and then giving it a top-up midweek, can often extend things through the entire weekend. You’ll soon get into a routine and know, in a typical week, when you need to fully charge or top-up.

Will the weather effect my EV battery range?

It’s also worth remembering that charging times and the amount of power that the battery can store, will vary according to the time of year. Batteries don’t like cold weather. In the chilly autumn, winter and early spring months, you will find that your battery does not perform as well as in the warm summer months. It’s also obvious to mention that during the colder times of the year you will be using the heater, lights, rear screen element, wipers etc, along with your usual audio system, sat nav etc...

Volkswagen e-Golf on a winter's evening
Volkswagen e-Golf on a winter's evening

If you plan ahead, you’ll be able to keep your battery topped up. If you think you may need to use a public charging station, it’s a go idea to do some advance research. There’s a really good website called Zap-Map. It shows where all of the charging stations are and what sort of chargers and companies are available.

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