How Long Does it Take to Charge an EV Infographic 2
03Sep, 23 September 3, 2023
  • By evcharger

Electric cars are taking the world by storm! More and more people are becoming enthralled by these futuristic vehicles that don’t require a single drop of gas. However, many prospective buyers still have questions about how long it takes to charge the EVs. Unlike stopping at a gas station to refuel in just a few minutes, charging an EV battery takes more time. However, EV charging speeds have improved dramatically in recent years. 

In this blog post, we’ll look at the different levels of electric vehicle charging and the various charging speeds and demonstrate how long it typically takes to charge an EV from empty to full at each level with real-world examples. 

Whether you’re considering an EV purchase or are just curious about the logistics of EV charging, read on for a helpful overview of this important topic. By the end, the “how long” question shouldn’t be a concern anymore. 

Levels of EV Charging

The main levels of chargers available are:

1. Level 1 Charging 

Level 1 uses a basic 120-volt AC outlet, the same as any other household appliance. While convenient for occasional “top-ups”, it’s very slow at adding only 2-5 miles/hour of charging. Expect 40 hours or more with Level 1 alone for a full recharge. 

Most EVs come with a Level 1 charger that plugs into a standard wall outlet for overnight charging, but it’s not practical for daily use in many cases due to the lengthy charge times. 

2. Level 2 Charging

Level 2 is a big step up, using higher 240-volt power that’s still AC but faster at 3-19.2 kW in the US and up to 22kW in the UK. A dedicated home wall unit or public station can charge 6-20 times faster than Level 1. With Level 2, drivers can expect 10-30 miles/hour of charging and can even go up to 75 miles at 22kW output.

A full recharge of a typical EV battery from empty using Level 2 will take 4-10 hours, depending on capacity. This makes it ideal for charging your EV overnight or while you work in the office.

3. DC Fast Charging/ Level 3 

The quickest way to charge your EV is through direct current (DC) fast chargers, which can exceed 50kW power or higher. Located along major highways and busy areas, fast chargers get some EVs from 10-80% in around 30 minutes or less.

Levels of EV Charging

Levels of EV Charging


While fast chargers are convenient for topping off your EV’s battery during long road trips, they come with tradeoffs. Building enough ultra-fast charging stations nationwide to completely recharge electric vehicles quickly would require massive infrastructure investments. That’s why most fast charging stations are designed for a quick 20-30 minute charge to get you back on the road, not waiting around for a full recharge. Slower AC charging stations are more affordable and practical for day-to-day charging needs.

Charging LevelRange Added per Hour of ChargingAvailable for In-home UseWhen it Works Well at HomeAvailable on the RoadCharger Type
Level 1Approx 5 milesYesIf your daily commute is less than 40 miles, using a Level 1 home charger would be a great fit; for a quicker charge, use a public charger.Not available at public charging stations commonly.J1772
Level 2Approx 25 milesYesIf you drive more than 40 miles per day, you can get a Level 2 Home Charger.Yes (Commonly located at workplaces and parking garages)J1772 or Tesla
DC Fast ChargingApprox 200 miles or moreNoN/AYes (Commonly found on Interstate corridors for a quick charge.CCS, CHAdeMO, or Tesla

Factors Affecting The Charging Times

The type of charger itself determines the maximum charging speed, but the following key variables influence the exact charging time:

1. Battery Size

The size of an EV’s battery pack also affects charging time. EVs with larger battery packs that store more energy will take longer to recharge than EVs with smaller batteries. For example, an EV with a 50 kWh battery will take about half the time to charge as an EV with a 100 kWh battery. 

Battery capacities in EVs today range from around 20 kWh in smaller economy models to 100 kWh or more in high-end luxury EVs. So, if you want shorter charging times, you may opt for an EV with a smaller battery pack. But that will likely mean less driving range between charges. It’s a tradeoff between charge time and range that EV buyers have to consider.

2. Initial & Final Charge Levels  

The time it takes to charge an electric vehicle also depends on how depleted the battery is. Charging an empty battery to full takes the longest. On the flip side, “topping up” an EV’s charge from a half-full battery is much faster. That’s because charging slows down as the battery reaches full capacity. This is especially true for the final 10-20% of charge approaching full capacity.

Charging from 80% to 90% takes longer than charging from 10% to 20%. The charge rate decreases at the end to avoid overstressing the battery. So you will spend less time waiting if you charge more often and avoid dropping to very low states of charge. A little planning goes a long way to reduce charging time!

3. Maximum Charge Rate Allowed  

It’s important to note that an electric vehicle can only charge as fast as its built-in charging system supports. Even if it’s plugged into a super powerful charger, the vehicle itself limits the rate. Charging speeds vary widely between different EV models. Most electric cars today have onboard charging systems rated from 6-19 kilowatts. That determines their maximum charging rate. 

So a 19 kW EV can charge faster than a 6 kW EV, even when using the same charging station. When shopping for an EV, look at its maximum charging rate to understand how fast it can fill up. Faster charging times are an appealing feature for drivers who value convenience.

4. Charging Infrastructure Power Output

The speed of an EV charge depends on the power rating of the charging station. Home charging stations typically provide lower power levels, which means longer charge times. But public fast charging stations can deliver much faster charges. That’s because they have beefier power ratings, ranging from 50 kW all the way up to 350 kW for the newest ultra-fast chargers. With these high-powered public stations, drivers can “top up” their EV battery’s charge in a fraction of the time, often in 20-30 minutes.

5. Temperature Effects

Cold temperatures can slow down EV charging speeds. In very cold weather, the chemical reactions that charge the battery happen more slowly. The EV systems that capture energy through braking (called regeneration) also work less efficiently. So, drivers may see slower charge times and fewer miles of range added per hour of charging in winter. 

The impacts are modest but noticeable. Expect it to take a bit longer to fully recharge or top off your EV battery when temperatures really plummet. But for the rest of the year, cold weather won’t have much effect on charging speeds. Only severe cold reduces the maximum charging rate by a small amount.

Extreme Temperature Drop Can Slow Down EV Charging

Extreme Temperature Drop Can Slow Down EV Charging

With these factors in mind, here are some common EV charging scenarios drivers can expect:

Level 1 Charging Speed Times

Using a standard 120V outlet capable of ~1.3-2.4 kW charging:

  • Small 20 kWh battery EV:
    • At 1.3 kW, the exact time is 15.4 hours
    • At 2.4 kW, the exact time is 8.3 hours
  • Average 40 kWh battery:
    • At 1.3 kW, the exact time is 30.8 hours
    • At 2.4 kW, the exact time is 16.7 hours
  • Large 75+ kWh battery:
    • At 1.3 kW, the exact time is 57.7 hours
    • At 2.4 kW, the exact time is 31.3 hours

Level 2 Home Charging Speed Times  

Typical 240V wall mount unit at 6-7 kW:

  • 20 kWh battery at 6 kW: 3.3 hours
  • 40 kWh battery at 6 kW: 6.7 hours
  • 60 kWh battery at 6 kW: 10 hours
  • 75+ kWh battery at 7 kW: 10.7 hours

Estimated Home Charging Times

One of the most common questions for new EV drivers is how long it will take to charge at home overnight. Here are some estimates based on average battery sizes:

  • Nissan Leaf (40-60kWh): 6-9 hours for a full charge using a standard 240V/7kW Level 2 charger.
  • Chevy Bolt (60 kWh): 9-10 hours for a full charge at 240V/7kW.
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E (68 kWh): 10-11 hours using the 240V/7kW Mobile Connect charger included with the vehicle.
  • Tesla Model 3 (60-75 kWh): 6-7 hours to fully replenish the battery pack from empty using a 240V/11kW Wall Connector charger.

Most EV owners don’t fully deplete their batteries daily, so top-up charging overnight is usually enough to start with a full “tank” each morning. The estimated times provide a sense of how long a completely empty recharge takes.

Level 2 Public Charging Times

Higher powered stations at 10-19 kW:

  • Small 20 kWh battery EV:
    • At 10 kW, the exact time is 2 hours
    • At 19kW, the exact time is 1.05  hours
  • Average 40 kWh battery:
    • At 10 kW, the exact time is 4 hours
    • At 19 kW, the exact time is 2.10 hours
  • Large 75+ kWh battery:
    • At 10 kW, the exact time is 7.5 hours
    • At 19 kW, the exact time is 3.95 hours

Charging on the go uses similar Level 2 equipment rated from 6-11kW. Here are examples (approximates, the real-life mileage gained per hour of charging will vary based on the conditions and specific EV variant) of charging for 1-2 hours at these rates:

  • Nissan Leaf: Can expect to regain 60-90 miles of range from a 30-60% charge level over 1-2 hours, depending on initial battery percentage.
  • Chevy Bolt: Up to 75-115 miles added in 1-2 hours by topping up from around 30-60% state of charge.
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E: Approximate range boost of 65-100 miles after 1-2 hours of charging from 30-60% starting charge.
  • Tesla vehicles: Regain 60-110 miles in an hour at most Supercharger stations providing up to 150kW power compared to 7.2kW home charging.

Most public Level 2 chargers replenish 10-30 miles of range per hour, making them convenient for topping up during errands without waiting long between activities.

DC Fast Charging Times

50-350 kW public fast chargers: 

  • 20-60 kWh battery: 10-80% in 30-45 minutes
  • 60-75 kWh battery: 10-80% in 40-60 minutes   
  • 75-100+ kWh battery: 10-80% in 60-90 minutes

With a DC fast charge pause of 30 minutes every few hours, drivers can easily complete very long road trips even in EVs with lower maximum driving ranges. The fast refueling keeps travel very convenient.

In summary – Level 1 takes a day, Level 2 takes hours, and DC fast charging gives around 80% or full in under an hour. However, real-world times will vary based on battery and infrastructure factors.

Does Charging Degrade the Battery?

One major concern of early EV adopters was that frequent charging might cause faster deterioration of the car’s battery over time. However, EV battery technology and charging methods have improved to address this issue. Now, lithium-ion battery packs can maintain over 80% of their capacity even after driving 200,000+ miles. They are designed to last the lifetime of most EVs.

Here’s how automakers have developed effective battery management for longevity:

  • Batteries have internal cooling systems that carefully control temperature during charging to prevent heat damage.
  • Onboard computers monitor individual battery cells and balance their workload to prevent uneven wear.
  • Charging is slowed, nearing full capacity to avoid overstressing the battery.
  • Even ultra-fast DC charging is now engineered to prevent overheating, reducing the chances of thermal damage to the battery.

By sticking to the charging guidelines and staying within the recommended range of battery percentage, EV owners can be confident that today’s batteries will go the distance. And battery technology keeps improving for an even longer usable lifespan per battery.

Lithium-ion battery packs can maintain over 80% of their capacity even after driving 200,000+ miles


Electric vehicle charging may seem daunting at first, but as we’ve seen, today’s EVs can charge up quickly and conveniently for daily driving needs. With a combination of overnight home charging and occasional fast charging stops while out and about, range anxiety and long wait times can become a thing of the past. 

Improved battery technology also means you can charge frequently without excessive battery degradation. So, whether you already own an EV or are shopping for one, keep these charging basics in mind. With the right charging tools and habits, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of driving electric with maximum convenience.