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What are Different EV Charging Speeds and What Do They Mean?

Published on
June 17, 2022
What are Different EV Charging Speeds and What Do They Mean?

When you fill up with petrol or diesel, you are aware that your vehicle will typically be refuelled and ready to go in a short period of time. The length of time it will take to charge an electric automobile is tougher to predict, but it doesn't have to be as prohibitive as it was ten years ago. Public charging is more frequently available and faster every day. We should soon get to a position where recharging an EV vehicle is equivalent to refuelling with petrol.

In the meanwhile, charging times must be taken into account when deciding whether to operate an electric vehicle. With a 350kW charger, charging may be completed in as little as 15 minutes, or it might take as long as 18 hours with a domestic three-pin outlet and these are things that need to be taken into consideration.

Electric Car Charging Speed Calculator

The size of the battery and the charger's power output determine how long it takes to charge an electric vehicle. So, if you're wondering how to calculate the time it will take your EV to charge, don't worry; we've got a handy charging calculator for you right here.

These numbers can be used to determine how long it will take to charge your EV.

Battery size (kWh) ÷ Charger power (kW) = Charging time (hours)

Trickle Charging

The slowest charging method for EV vehicles is trickle charging. For prolonged overnight charging at home, a trickle charge works ideal. Typically, a conventional three-pin plug is used for this, which is less secure than a charger made especially for charging electric vehicles.

Why use trickle charging?

Convenience. It is incredibly simple to get started as nothing needs to be mounted or installed; just plug it in. However, unless absolutely necessary, you should avoid utilising trickle charging.

How long does it take to charge?

Depending on the size of your battery, this may change. With an hour of charging, you may foresee a range of up to 15 miles. Consequently, it may take up to 14 hours for certain car batteries to fully charge.

Is it cheaper than using a charging point?

No. Despite not having to pay for a charger or the installation, your power costs will go up. It is suggested that you use this charging method only in emergency situations due to the fact that it must be put directly into your 3-pin plug socket and the length of time it takes to charge.

Slow Charging

This is a slightly more convenient option for home charging, as this does allow both top ups and long overnight charging with a specifically designed electric vehicle charger.

Why use Slow Charging?

The majority of public charging stations used slow chargers up until about 2012. Nowadays, when vehicles may be left to charge for extended periods of time, you're more likely to see them at homes or workplaces.

How long does it take to charge?

Most slow charging stations have a 3kW (3.6kW) rating and can fully charge an electric vehicle in eight to twelve hours. They are therefore ideal for charging overnight or while you are at work. A charge time of up to 12 hours makes slow charging unsuitable for anything other than home, workplace or hotel use.

Although an electric vehicle may be slowly charged using a residential three-pin plug outlet, we strongly advise installing an EV charge point. You'll notice that this not only makes charging a lot faster, but also safer.

Fast Charging

Fast chargers make up more than half of the charging network in the UK, making them the most popular connections. While 22kW chargers are also available, the bulk of rapid chargers have a 7kW rating.

Why use Fast Charging?

This is ideal for top up charging and can generally provide up to 30 miles of range per hour of charging. It can also provide a full charge in just a few hours. Fast chargers are ideal for keeping your vehicle topped up with charge, whilst you’re out and about.

Where are these EV chargers found?

These are typically found in places where cars are parked for prolonged periods of time, such as car parks, food shops, recreation areas, and retail stores. A 22kW charger will be 10 times quicker than a domestic socket, while a 7kW charger would give charging speeds that are three times faster.

How long does it take to charge?

Depending on the device and electric vehicle in question, charging periods might vary, but a 7kW charger should be able to fully charge an average EV battery in four to six hours. A 22kW unit will do the job in one to two hours. Both tethered (cable attached) and untethered (use your own cable) devices are available on the network.

Rapid Charging

Vehicles or chargers that have a charging range of 43kW to 150kW are said to be capable of rapid charging. Although quick chargers at fuel stations are anticipated to become popular, they are mostly found at service stations, cities, and supermarkets and are not accessible in household premises.

How long does it take to charge?

Depending on the size of the battery and the level of charge when the vehicle arrives at the charging station, a 43kW quick AC charger may fully charge an electric vehicle in 20 to 40 minutes. A 50kW quick DC charger works similarly, recharging a battery to 80% capacity in 20 to 60 minutes.

Where are these EV chargers found?

Rapid chargers are available at motorway service areas and other places where top-up charges are necessary. While costs vary, using the BP Pulse network will cost you around 15p per kWh.

There you have it, the different EV charging speeds. With home charging, there is the significant benefit of always having a "full tank" when leaving the house. Given some time, you might discover that operating an EV is more convenient than operating a vehicle with an internal combustion engine with some forward preparation and home charging.

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