EV charging time

How long does it take to charge an EV?

With continuously-improving ranges, lower prices, and incentives, more and more people are making the switch to electric vehicles (EVs). Just this year, EV registrations in the U.S. rose by 60 percent in the first quarter of 2022. But, some drivers are still worried about range and how long it takes to charge before they go electric with their driving. So how long does it take to charge an electric vehicle? 

Put simply, a typical EV (60 kilowatt-hour, kWh battery) takes about eight hours to charge from empty to full with a 7 kilowatt (kW) Level 2 charger (in a best-case scenario). How full the battery is to begin with, battery size, the weather, the charging rate of the vehicle, and the charging rate of the charger all play a role in your EV’s charge time. In this article, we’ll break down these factors to offer a better understanding of EV charge times. 

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Key takeaways


  • A typical electric vehicle (60 kWh battery) takes just under 8 hours to charge from empty to full with a 7 kW Level 2 charger.
  • The battery charge status, battery size, weather, the charging rate of the vehicle, and the charging rate of the charger all contribute to your EV charging speed and how long it will take to reach a full battery. 
  • Electric vehicle chargers differ by levels – Level 1 chargers take the longest to reach a full battery, while Level 3 chargers are rapid. 
  • Power your EV with the sun! Use the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar quotes from local installers and charge your car with emission-free electricity. 

What’s in this article?

EV charge time factors

For a seemingly simple question, “how long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?” is often met with convoluted answers. That’s because more goes into EV charge times than just the vehicle and the charger. The best way to understand how long it will take to charge an EV is to consider the different factors that affect charge times: 

Battery

There are a few components of the battery that impact charging speed:

  • Battery size: not surprisingly, the larger the battery of your EV, the longer time it will take to reach a full charge. A larger capacity translates to a longer battery life, but it also means there is more to “fill.” 
  • Battery charge: an empty battery will take longer to fully charge than a battery already at 50 percent charge. However, the rate at which electricity is accepted declines as the battery gets more full. In other words, a depleted battery typically adds more miles in 20 minutes of EV charge time than a half full battery. This “slowdown” in charging as the battery gets close to full is much more noticeable with Level 3 (fast charging).
  • Maximum charging rate: the maximum charging rate, or the rate at which electricity is accepted, of both an EV’s battery and the EV charger contribute to the time it takes to charge an EV. The charge time is limited to whichever rate is lower. 

Level of charging and your specific EV charger

EV chargers range from Level 1 to Level 3. We’ll cover these in more detail below, but the most important takeaway is that Level 1 chargers are the slowest and Level 3 chargers are the fastest. The tables below give you an idea of charge times for popular EVs and Tesla models. These examples use the assumption that you have the car model with the largest battery and a battery that is completely depleted. 

Average charge time for popular EVs

EV & battery sizeLevel 1 charger (regular outlet), approx. 1 kW outputLevel 2 charger (40 Amps; 240-volt outlet), approx. 9.6 kW output*Level 3 charger (DC fast charging), approx. 150 kW output**
Nissan Leaf S (40 kWh battery)26 hours 39 minutes2 hours 46 minutes10 minutes
Ford Mustang Mach-E (70 kWh battery)46 hours 40 minutes4 hours 51 minutes18 minutes
Chevrolet Bolt (65 kWh battery)43 hours 20 minutes4 hours 30 minutes17 minutes
Volkswagen ID.4 (82 kWh battery)54 hours 40 minutes5 hours 41 minutes21 minutes
Audi e-tron (95 kWh)63 hours 20 minutes6 hours 35 minutes25 minutes

Note: we estimated charging speed when going from 20 percent full to 80 percent full to mirror what you might experience with everyday driving.
*The Level 2 charger we used for this example is the JuiceBox 40, currently the best selling home EV charger in the U.S., which charges up to 9.6 kW. Different Level 2 EV chargers will have varying outputs, usually between 7 kW and 19 kW according to the Department of Transportation (DOT), depending on the charger’s make and model.
**Level 3 chargers vary greatly in output, often ranging from approximately 50 kW to 350 kW, so we used 150 kW for this example.

Average charge time for Teslas by model

Tesla Model & battery sizeLevel 1 charger (regular outlet), approx. 1 kW outputTesla Wall Connector, Level 2 charger, approx. 11.5 kW output*Tesla Supercharger, Level 3 DC fast charger, approx. 150 kW output**
Tesla Model 3 (60 kWh battery)40 hours2 hours 19 minutes10 minutes
Tesla Model Y (82 kWh battery)54 hours 40 minutes4 hours 45 minutes21 minutes
Tesla Model S (100 kWh battery)66 hours 40 minutes5 hours 47 minutes26 minutes
Tesla Model X (100 kWh battery)66 hours 40 minutes5 hours 47 minutes26 minutes

Note: we estimated charging speed when going from 20 percent full to 80 percent full to mirror what you might experience with everyday driving.
*The Level 2 charger we used for this example is the Tesla Wall Connector, which charges up to 11.5 kW with a 60A circuit breaker and 48A of output. Different Level 2 EV chargers will have varying outputs, usually between 7 kW and 19 kW according to the Department of Transportation (DOT), depending on the charger’s make and model.
**Superchargers vary greatly in output, ranging from approximately 60 kW to 350 kW, so we used 150 kW for this example.

Weather

Colder temperatures make for longer EV charge times. Temperature affects the chemical reactions inside the battery, and cold temperatures slow things down. People also tend to turn on the heat when it’s cold out (understandably) which increases charge times and decreases range. 

Levels of EV charging

As you can see from the Tesla examples, there is a stark contrast in the time to charge depending on the level of the charger. While not all chargers are created equal, this is true across the board with all makes and models of EVs. As mentioned previously, EV chargers are classified in three distinct levels: 

Level 1: the slowest EV charge time

A Level 1 charger uses a 120-volt outlet, otherwise known as a regular wall outlet. This is convenient in the sense that your home is undoubtedly equipped with outlets that can handle this charger. However, Level 1 chargers work slowly and only add up to five miles of range per hour of charge.  

Level 2: most common EV charging

With a charge time of up to ten times faster than a Level 1 charger, Level 2 chargers use a 208-volt to 240-volt outlet. Despite the need for special equipment, the considerable amount of charge time saved coupled with their relative affordability make Level 2 chargers the most common type of home EV charger. Also, different Level 2 chargers will vary slightly in charging speed.

Level 3: DC fast chargers and Tesla Superchargers

Level 3 chargers, or direct current (DC) chargers, require 400-volts and are expensive to install – so you won’t have one at your home, but they’re great for filling your battery rapidly on the go! Level 3 chargers exist at public EV charging stations and can reach a full charge in as low as thirty minutes or less. Tesla Superchargers are one Level 3 charging network only available for Teslas currently, but Tesla has announced they’ll start making Superchargers available to non-Tesla EVs sometime in the future.

EV charging stations: home vs. public

As previously mentioned, Level 3 chargers are by far the fastest EV chargers available and are commonly found at public charging stations. While these chargers will rapidly add miles to your range, wait time is also a factor to consider. Public charging stations are, of course, open to anyone and you may have to wait in line for a charger from time to time. Depending on the battery status of each car ahead of you, the time you spend waiting for a charger could potentially be longer than the time it takes to actually “fill up” your electric vehicle. 

Luckily, there are apps like Plugshare and others for various charging networks like Chargepoint, EV Connect, and EVgo to help find nearby chargers and see availability. Or if you have a Tesla, your app and main screen both show you nearby Superchargers and destination chargers as well as cost and how many Supercharger stalls are available. Learn more here about this in our complete Tesla charging stations guide.

Charging your EV while you sleep


Another consideration of charging your EV that has less to do with the actual time it takes to reach a full charge is when you choose to charge your electric vehicle. Home charging stations offer convenience – you are able to charge your EV while watching TV on the couch, making dinner, or even sleeping! Many Level 2 chargers are capable of charging a full battery overnight (when electricity rates tend to be lower anyways!), which saves you time during waking hours to go about your business without stopping to charge up. 

Install an EV charger at home at home with Qmerit

EnergySage partners with Qmerit, a home EV charging installation leader who works with a trusted network of certified installers. They can help you quickly and easily install your home EV charger.

Find local EV charger installers and get a quote.

Charge your EV with the sun! 

Home charging stations are not only convenient – they can also run on solar! The EnergySage Marketplace provides qualified quote comparisons from local installers to help you find a solar system that fits both your energy and budget needs. Learn more about the benefits of combining solar energy with your EV from an Energy Advisor on the Marketplace today. For more information on EV charging, check out how to install a home EV charging station


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