What factors affect electric car charge time?

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs, Technology on Saturday, October 10th, 2020 at 5:38 pm
EV charging station in a parking lot

Electric Vehicle Battery Charging Factors

Some prospective EV drivers find themselves scared of the charging process. How long will it take? When choosing EV, how important are charge speeds?

Find out below how to estimate the length of a particular EV charge!

A dude sticks a charger into a Chevy Bolt

The time it takes to charge an electric car depends on several main factors. These include the:

  • Size of the battery
  • Fullness of the battery
  • Maximum charging rate of the vehicle
  • Maximum charging rate of the chargepoint
  • Environmental factors

See charging in action on the Mustang Mach-E!

Maximum Charge Rate of the Vehicle Vs. Maximum Rate of the Chargepoint

One interesting element affecting charge time is the interplay between the maximum charging rate that the vehicle can handle and the maximum charging rate that a given chargepoint can spit out. If your vehicle’s maximum charge rate is 7kW, it’s perfectly acceptable to use a 22kW chargepoint, but your EV won’t charge any faster than 7kW.

Similarly, chargepoints are rated to charge at different speeds. If your vehicle can handle a charge rate of 11kW, but you’re using a chargepoint that outputs a max of 7kW, your vehicle will charge at 7kW.

You may have heard that EVs can’t do road trips. Is this true?

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can also impact EV charge speed. Colder temperatures can cause the battery to take slightly longer to charge. This effect is particularly noticeable if you’re using a rapid charger. Less miles are also added per time spent charging in the cold, as such temperatures make vehicles less efficient.

You’ll particularly notice an impact if your car regularly heats up and cools down after short journeys, because bringing the cabin space and battery up to a warm temperature takes energy.

Battery Size and Fullness

The size of the battery and level of fullness are fairly obvious in how they affect charge times; a bigger battery takes longer to charge than a smaller, and an emptier battery takes longer to charge than a fuller.

Do charge times matter?

After purchase, EV drivers may find the charge time of their vehicle to matter less than they initially expect. Many drivers simply charge they’re vehicles when they have them parked anyways, such as at home overnight or at work during the day. What may end up being of more importance is how many miles of range one’s EV can handle on a full charge.

Share this page