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How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?

Monday, October 25, 2021

By: Ehren Korshus, Program Manager, Pilot Programs Strategy and Paula Arango, Corporate Marketing

Knowing how long it takes to charge your electric vehicle (EV) is essential for route planning and productivity. You can increase fleet productivity by having employees charge their EVs during strategic times throughout the workday, based on their job function. As vehicle specifications are released, you can gain confidence in having more accurate charging times to ensure your vehicle choices align with the job’s intended purpose.

The time it takes to charge an EV can range from as little as 30 min to more than 12 hours. This depends on several factors including the size of the battery, state of charge, max charging rates, charging type and other environmental factors.

Five factors impacting the time it takes to charge your EV

Electric vehicle being charged
  1. Battery capacity: The larger your vehicle's battery capacity, the longer it will take to charge. Battery capacity is usually measured in kWh.
  2. State of charge (empty vs. full): If your drivers are charging an empty battery, it will take longer to charge than if they are topping up from say, 20% to 80%. Keep in mind that an extremely low or high state of charge (0% or 100%) creates stress for batteries and shortens their life. It is recommended for drivers to "top up" their batteries rather than draining to zero. This can save significant charging time and prevent battery degradation.
  3. Max charging rate of vehicle: How much power can your electric vehicle handle at once? Keep in mind that your maximum charge rate is a given, so you won't save time by charging your battery at a more powerful charging station. This is usually measured in terms of Kilowatts (kW).
  4. Max charging rate of charger: The time it takes to charge your vehicle will also be limited by the max rate of the type of charger being used. For example, even if your vehicle can charge at 22 kW, it will only charge at 11.5 kW on a 11.5 kW charger. Similarly, if the charger you're using is capable of charging at 22 kW but your vehicle can only accept 11.5 kW, your vehicle will only draw at most, 11.5 kW.
  5. Environmental factors: Colder temperatures can lengthen charging times, especially when using rapid chargers. This can also make the vehicles less efficient which means less miles are added per charging time. For this reason, some manufacturers have in-vehicle technology to heat the battery (if needed) and prepare it for optimal fast-charging.

Ten popular EV models and how long it takes to charge them

Wondering how long it takes to charge different EV models using a level 2 charger from the recommended 20% to 80%? Here are some examples using ten of the most popular fleet EV models. Level 2 chargers are the most common and versatile chargers for light and some medium duty electric fleet vehicles.

Year

Make

Model

Battery capacity

Max charge L2 rate

Approx. time to L2 charge 20%-80%

Approx. Range added

2021

VW

ID.4 Pro

82 kWh

11.0 kW

4.5 hours

156 miles

2021

Tesla

Model 3 SR+

54 kWh

7.6 kW

4.2 hours

157 miles

2021

Tesla

Model 3 LR

82 kWh

11.5 kW

4.3 hours

212 miles

2021

Ford

Mustang Mach e Select RWD

68 kWh

10.5 kW

3.9 hours

138 miles

2021

Chevrolet

Bolt

66 kWh

11.0 kW

3.6 hours

155 miles

2021

Nissan

Leaf

40 kWh

6.6 kW

3.6 hours

90 miles

2022

Ford

E Transit

67 kWh

11.3 kW

3.6 hours

76 miles

2022

Rivian

R1T

135 kWh

11.5 kW

7.0 hours

188 miles

2021

Polestar

2 FWD

64 kWh

11.0 kW

3.5 hours

159 miles

2021

Polestar

2 AWD

78 kWh

11.0 kW

4.2 hours

149 miles

Calculate how long it takes to charge your EV in four easy steps

You can determine how long it takes to charge your EVs in four easy steps.

  • Step 1: Battery capacity (kWh)
  • Step 2: Max charging rate of vehicle (kW)
  • Step 3: Max charging rate of charger (kW)
  • Step 4: Battery capacity / The lesser number of Step 2 and 3 = Time to Charge

Example: Tesla Model 3 LR

  • Step 1: Battery capacity (82 kWh) 

  • Step 2: Max charging rate of vehicle (22 kW) 

  • Step 3: Max charging rate of charger (11.5 kW) 

  • Step 4: 82kWh / 11.5kW = 7.13 hours 

This means that it will take approximately 7 hours to charge the vehicle from empty to full if the vehicle’s charger allows energy to flow at a constant rate of 11.5kW the entire time. Keep in mind that this is approximate and does not consider the reduced rate of charge that would flow from the first 0-10% and the last 20%.

For more information about how Element can complement your EV strategy, get in touch with us.

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