How Fast Do Electric Cars Charge?

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How Fast Do Electric Cars Charge?

Ever dreamt of the good old days when your phone battery would last ages and wouldn’t take too long to recharge? Think about your old Nokia brick phone. That bad boy would last about two solid weeks before it needed to be charged. And even then, the charge only took a couple hours.

Fast-forward to today, when you need to charge your smartphone twice a day, and you might be thinking that we’re actually getting less out of our phone batteries (which isn’t true when you consider how much more we use our phones these days).

Electric car batteries have come a long way, too. Here’s some info on how fast some electric car batteries can charge, brought to by the EV specialists at

Electric vehicle batteries: then and now

Whereas they all used to take a whole 12 hours to charge fully, we’ve made plenty of advancements in this field and can actually achieve a full battery charge in far less time than that.

Charging speeds with different chargers

The speed at which your electric vehicle charges depends less on the car model these days than it does on the charger. Electric vehicle chargers range from amperages of 3.7kW (which is slow) to 150kW (which is super-fast). A 3.7kW charger can charge a Nissan Leaf in about 11 hours, whereas a 43kW rapid charger can achieve a full charge in an hour.

Battery size

Just like it takes longer to fill up a car with a larger petrol tank, it takes longer to charge a car with a bigger battery. The Nissan Leaf has a small battery of 40kWh, so a 3.7kW charger is appropriate for an overnight (11-hour) charge.

But what about a bigger car with a bigger battery, like the Tesla Model S? This car has a battery size of 75kWh – twice the size of the Leaf. Therefore, a 3.7kW slow charger is going to take double the amount of time (22 hours) to charge a Model S than a Nissan Leaf. To make owning a Tesla Model S practical, you’d want a faster charger.

Factors that influence charge time:

  • Size of battery: The bigger your vehicle’s battery capacity (measured in kWh), the longer it will take to charge.
  • Max charging rate of vehicle: You can only charge a vehicle’s battery at the maximum charge rate the vehicle can accept. For example; if your vehicle’s max charge rate is 7kW, the car won’t charge any faster by using a 22kW charger.
  • Max charging rate of charger: The time it takes to charge will also be limited by the max charging rate of the charger you are using. For example; even if your vehicle can charge at 11kW, it will only charge at 7kW on a 7kW charger.
  • Environmental factors: A colder temperature can make it take slightly longer to charge, particularly when using a rapid charger. Colder temperatures also mean vehicles are less efficient, so fewer miles are added by each hour.