How Long Does It Take to Charge an Electric Car? A Comprehensive Guide

Electric car at public DC charging station

Key Points

  • A typical electric car battery (60 kWh) can take anywhere from 30 hours (power socket) to 8 hours (wall charger) to fully charge at home.
  • Public fast charging will often provide the fastest charging times, taking as little as 20 minutes to reach 80%.
  • Key factors that determine charging time include: charger type, battery size, and car charging capabilities.

Electric cars have become increasingly popular in Australia, achieving record growth over the last few years. Fuelling this growth are generous government incentives, falling EV prices, and record high petrol costs. One of the most common questions potential EV owners have is, "how long does it take to charge an electric car?" In this guide, we'll delve deep into this topic, breaking down the factors that influence charging times and providing practical insights.

How Long Does it Take to Fully Charge an Electric Car

Fully charging an electric car can vary from as short as 20 minutes to more than 30 hours. Charging times are influenced by several factors, mainly: battery size, the charging input limits of the car and the charger output. For example, a typical electric car with a 60kWh battery (Tesla Model 3/Y RWD, BYD Atto 3) might take just under 8 hours to charge from empty to full using a 7kW charging point.

In the below table, we’ve listed the charging input limits for slow AC charging and fast DC charging for every electric car model. Charging times for DC fast charging are nearly always quoted by the manufacturers as between 10% to 80% for two main reasons:

  • You’re unlikely to reach a charge station at 0%, over 10% is recommended.
  • It is generally recommended to limit charging to 80% at DC fast charging stations to minimise battery degradation. The actual adverse impact of ultra-rapid charging on newer EV battery technology however is debatable.

Different Charging Speeds and Their Impact

There are various charging speeds available, from slow AC charging to ultra-rapid DC charging. Here's a quick breakdown:

  • Slow AC Charging (1.8kW to 7kW): Known as level 1 or 2 charging, is ideal for home use, these chargers can take anywhere from over night to a few nights to fully charge an EV. They're perfect for overnight charging.
  • Fast DC Charging (50kW to 350kW): Known as level 3 charging, these are found at public charging stations. They can recharge an EV's battery from 10% to 80% in 20 to 60 minutes, making them perfect for long road trips.
Different levels of EV charging: level 1, 2, 3

How Long Does it Take to Charge an Electric Car at Home?

When it comes to your EV charging options at home you have two main options.

Charging from a power socket

🚀 Charging speeds: ~2.0 kW

⏲ Charging times (0 to 100%): 20 hrs to 40 hrs

Level 1 chargers, also known as 'granny' or 'trickle' chargers, typically describe the slowest way but most basic and cheapest charging setup. It comprises a portable charger (which often comes with the car) plugged into an existing power socket. The average charge time using a standard 10 amps power socket will typically take between 20 hrs to 40hrs for a full charge, depending on the battery size.

Charging from a wall charger

🚀 Charging speeds: 7 kW

⏲ Charging times (0 to 100%): 7 hrs to 11 hrs

A Level 2 charger involves the installation of a fixed charging unit on the wall, connected to a dedicated power source. The installation of these units will need to be completed by a licensed electrician. These will generally provide a higher power output resulting in faster charge times. Wall chargers generally charge an EV three times faster than a standard power socket. The average charge time using a 7 kW charge point (single-phase, 32 amps) will typically take between 7 hrs to 11 hrs for a full charge, depending on the battery size.

▶ MORE: Electric Car Home Charging Guide


How Long Does it Take to Charge an Electric Car at Public Charging Stations

When it comes to public charging stations, they can be categorised into two main types; AC charging points and DC charging stations. The main distinction between them is the way energy is accepted into the car which determines the charging speed.

AC Public Charging Stations

Kerbside pole-mounted EV charging station

🚀 Charging speeds: 7 kW to 11 kW

⏲ Charging times (0 to 100%): 5 hrs to 7 hrs

Often these are found in hotels, car parks and increasingly public kerbsides with access to three-phase power, meaning they will support AC charging speeds of up to 22 kW. But as noted earlier most EV’s are limited to their onboard charging capabilities, with most limited to 7 kw to 11 kw. Check the capabilities in our EV database or refer to the table above.

DC Public Charging Stations

Tesla super charger network

🚀 Charging speeds: 50 kW to 350 kW

⏲ Charging times (10% to 80%): 20 minutes to 60 minutes

These are commonly found at highway rest stops, petrol stations (Ampol, BP) and shopping centres. Charging speeds range from 25 kW (Jolt) to 350 kW (Evie, Charge Fox). As noted earlier, most EVs are limited to their battery’s ability to take power, most are limited to between 50 kW and 250 kW. Check the capabilities in our EV database or refer to the table above.

It should be noted that for DC fast charging the maximum charge speed does not occur for the duration of the charge session. To protect the battery, the battery management system (BMS) limits the charge speed depending on several factors (battery type, state of charge, temperature) to minimise damage to the battery. By way of example, if a 2023 Polestar 2 Long Range was to maintain is max charge limit from 10% to 90% it would take only 32 minutes, however due to the way the BMS takes the charge to protect the battery it takes 51 minutes.

▶ MORE: Best EV Charging Networks in Australia

▶ MORE: How to use a public EV charging station (step-by-step guide)

Factors Influencing Charging Speed

Key factors affecting charge speed include the following:

  • Battery Size: Larger batteries naturally take longer to charge.
  • State of the Battery: Charging from 50% is faster than from empty.
  • Charging Rate of the Vehicle and Charging Point: Both the car and the charger have maximum rates they can handle.
  • Environmental Conditions: Cold weather can slow down the charging process.

EV Charging Calculator: Calculate Charging Times for Electric Cars

Calculate how long it will take to charge any electric car (EV) model.

➡️TRY: EV Charging Calculator

EV charging calculator

About the author

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Danny Thai

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Danny is a consultant and entrepreneur working at the cutting edge of the electric vehicle and energy transition. He is passionate about educating and helping consumers make better decisions through data. He is the founder of zecar and is currently the EV Innovation Manager at Endeavour Energy.

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