Just how long does it take to charge an electric vehicle? Unfortunately, there’s really no definitive answer to that question. Battery recharging time depends on a variety of factors, including the type of charger you’re using, the amount of range your battery has left, the number of kWh your battery can accept, the length of the charging cable — the list goes on.
What if you’re considering electric car charger installation for your Twin Cities home? If there’s no clear-cut way to determine how long a charge will take, how do you decide what level of charger you should get?
Below, we’ve outlined average recharging times for various levels of chargers to help you choose the device that’s best suited to your needs.
Level 1 Electric Car Chargers
A Level 1 electric car charger connects to a standard, grounded, 120-volt, 15-amp receptacle, which is the type of electrical outlet you likely have throughout your home. All electric vehicles can, theoretically, charge their batteries using this type of standard outlet. However, because the amount of current running to the outlet is fairly low, the time required to achieve a full battery charge is pretty high.
A 120-volt charger can add about 50 miles of driving range to your vehicle’s battery in around 10 hours. Depending on your battery’s range, it will likely take longer than a full day to charge your electric car.
Level 2 Electric Car Chargers
A Level 2 electric car charger connects to a 240-volt receptacle, which is the same type of outlet you use to power major appliances, such as your electric clothes dryer. Using a 40-amp circuit is highly recommended with this type of EV charger to maximize its efficiency. You can, however, use a Level 2 charger with fewer amps, but doing so will only lengthen the amount of time required to charge your electric car.
Depending on the charging capacity of your EV’s battery, a Level 2 charger can usually deliver an 80% charge in four to five hours, but that timeframe can vary. To estimate the amount of time required to reach a full charge, here’s a simple formula you can use:
● Find the EV’s battery capacity’s kWh number, if you don’t already know what it is.
● Take that number and divide it by the onboard charger’s power rating.
● Calculate 10% of that number and add it to the total to account for inevitable power loss while charging.
● If the power source you’re using can’t maximize the charger’s charging capacity, it may take longer to achieve a full charge, so keep that in mind. For example, if you use a 240-volt charger with fewer than 40 amps, your EV’s battery will need more time to achieve a full charge than the number you get from performing the calculation above.
DC Electric Vehicle Chargers
A DC charger is the most efficient way to charge your EV’s battery, but not every EV has a battery that can accept such a powerful charge. Generally, DC chargers churn out 250 kW–350kW, which can get your vehicle’s battery to about 80% in around 30 minutes. Once the battery reaches an 80% charge, the DC charger will throttle current flow to reduce the risk of overcharging and optimize long-term battery life.
This type of charger requires special wiring that must be integrated into your home’s existing electrical system. Since this type of charger uses DC current rather than AC current (the type of current the rest of your home uses), only a licensed electrician should ever perform this type of electric car charger installation.
Schedule Electric Car Charger Installation in Minneapolis With Harrison Electric
Ready to enjoy the convenience of an at-home electric car charger? Let our team at Harrison Electric install your EV charger to ensure it meets electrical code. Whether you’re looking to get a Level 1, Level 2, or DC charger, our licensed residential electricians can safely integrate and configure the charging station with your home’s existing electrical system.
To get started or learn more about how electric car charger installation works, call our Minneapolis office today at 763-544-3300 or request a quote, and we’ll be in touch!