How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car at Home?
So, you’re ready to save the world and trade in that old gas-guzzler for a sleek new environmentally-friendly electric vehicle (EV). Good for you, Captain Planet! There are many benefits associated with owning an EV, but while they might have zero emissions, fewer operating costs, and faster acceleration, they also take a while to charge.
Charging an EV at home can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 48 hours. Helpful, right? You can narrow the estimate down based on two key factors: the type of charger you use, and the size of your car’s battery.
Types of Home Car Chargers
An EV charger works just like your phone charger (except it’s a bit more expensive if you lose this one). They come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the brand and model of your car along with your charging capabilities/desires.
There are two types of chargers you can have at home:
Level 1 Chargers: All electric cars come with a level 1 charger you can use at home. On one end, they plug into your car’s unique charging port. On the other, they go into a standard 120-volt outlet. As you might have guessed, charging an EV from a wall outlet is going to take some time. Afterall, your phone takes an hour to charge! If your car’s charge is completely empty, it’ll take about 20 hours to fill on a level 1 charger. Most EV owners with level 1 chargers simply top up their car overnight and don’t ever let it reach empty.
Level 2 Chargers: These chargers are sold separately and need to be professionally installed in your garage by an electrician. They operate on a dedicated 240-volt circuit, so they can pump more power through the charger at a faster rate. Level 2 chargers can recharge your EV up to seven times faster than a level 1 charger, depending on your car and the charger you choose. Some level 2 chargers can cut recharge times down to about an hour!
How Big Is the Electric Car's Battery?
Even if you use a firehose, it’s going to take a while to fill a lake. The size of your car’s battery plays a major role in recharge times. EV batteries are measured in Kilowatt-hours (kWh). Generally, the more kWh you have, the farther your range. It also means the longer the battery will take to recharge.
Here are three of the most popular EVs on the market and their approximate recharge times from empty:
Nissan Leaf: 40kWh battery, 149-mile range
Level 1 charger: 11-hour recharge
Level 2 charger: 6-hour recharge
Chevy Bolt: 66kWh, 259-mile range
Level 1 charger: 48 hours
Level 2 charger: 8.5 hours
Tesla Model S: 100kWh, 402-mile range
Level 1 charger: 53 hours
Level 2 charger: 12 hours
Of course, all these numbers are approximate. Some brands and models of level 2 chargers might be able to fill certain batteries faster than others, especially if they’re specifically made for that brand of EV.
Which Type of Home EV Charger Is Right for You?
If you plan on driving your EV for everyday use, a level 2 charger is the only way to go, especially if you choose an EV with a large battery capacity. Most EV owners find that level 1 chargers simply don’t go fast enough to keep up with their needs. A few hours overnight on a level 2 charger is typically enough to get you through the next day’s activities.
Ready to leave gas stations behind? Contact the car-charger pros at IES to answer all your questions about EV ownership. When you’re ready for your level 2 charger, we can install a dedicated 240-volt circuit in your garage for fast charging, so you’re always ready to go!
IES Home Electrical Services is a McKinney-based electrical company dedicated to providing area homeowners with the best quality of work and unparalleled customer service, backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Proudly serving McKinney, Frisco, Prosper, Celina, Gunter, Anna, Aubrey, Bonham, Crossroads, Melissa, Sherman, Farmersville, Little Elm, Princeton, Prosper, Van Alstyne, Hackberry, and Denison.
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