How long does it take to charge an electric car?​

If you are thinking about buying an electric car, on question you will most certainly have thought about is how long does it take to charge an electric car. With traditional petrol and diesel vehicles vehicles taking a matter of minutes to fill up from empty, charging time is a concern amongst those interested in switching to electric.

Electric vehicle charging is slower than conventional fuel-filling because the power is transferred in a different way and at a slower rate. However, with recent developments in rapid charging technologies, charging an electric vehicle does not take as long as you might think!

Charging on the move

Public charging stations can be found across the UK, with nearly 24,000 public chargers in over 8,000 locations as of June 2019, meaning that finding a power source is easy!

Public charging points are split into two types; fast charging and rapid charging. Fast chargers work between 7kW and 22kW, while rapid chargers work between 43kW and 50kW for even faster charging on the go.

Rapid chargers are the fastest way to charge your electric vehicle, providing 60-200 miles of range in around half an hour, depending on the size of your battery and the exact speed of the charging point. Rapid charging is ideal for longer motorway journeys as you can quickly top up your vehicle whilst giving yourself a break too. The MG ZS EV battery is water-cooled specifically for enhanced rapid charging capabilities, and can be charged to 80% in as little as 40 minutes, meaning you'll be back on the road in no time.

Electric vehicle charging at home

Home charging is the most common way to charge an electric vehicle. How long to charge an electric vehicle at home depends on two factors: the speed of the charging unit and the amount of power you need.

In the UK, the maximum current from a standard plug is 3kW which is a lot smaller than the public charging points mentioned previously. It is also worth bearing in mind that not all home sockets can supply this, and some manufacturers advise not using main sockets for frequent charging as this can cause overheating. A typical 3 pin plug can supply up to 8 miles of range per hour, leaving you wit ha longer wait to charge fully. If you do plan to use your mains sockets for electric vehicle charging, please consult an electrician beforehand.

Due to the lower power output from home sockets, may electric vehicle owners often choose to install a faster home charging unit. These are usually around 7kW in power, the same as the minimum public charging points, but 22kW home charging units are available. Home charging points will tend to give around 15-30 miles of range per hour of charge, depending on the vehicle. Using a 7kW home charging unit, the MG ZS EV can be charged to full in around six and a half hours.

It is also worth bearing in mind that similarly to petrol or diesel vehicles, you will rarely need to fully charge your electric car. You should be able to plan journeys similarly to how you would in a traditional vehicle. Think of charging your car in a similar way to charging your phone; you top it up during the day if you need to and give it a full charge at home overnight.

A few things that affect charge times

There are a few main factors that can affect how long to charge an electric car for. The first of these would be the size of the battery. The bigger your vehicle's battery capacity, the longer it will take to charge - but also the longer the charge will last. The MG ZS EV has a 44.5kw/h battery, which is larger than some electric vehicle competitors and will ensure an improved range for your vehicle.

Similarly, the state of the battery will affect how long it takes to charge your electric vehicle. Naturally, if you are charging from near empty, this will take longer to charge than if you are topping up from 50%.

The maximum charging rate of the vehicle also affects charging seed. You can only charge an electric vehicle at the maximum charge rate that the vehicle can accept, meaning your car will not charge any faster by using a more powerful charging point. For example, if your vehicle's maximum charge rate is 7kW, the vehicle will not charge any faster by using a 22kW charge point.

This goes hand in hand with the maximum charging rate of the power source. Even if your vehicle can charge at a higher rate than the charging point, it will only charge as quick as the power source is capable of.

Lastly, environmental factors can affect how long an electric car takes to charge. Colder temperatures can lead to slightly increased charging times, particularly when using a rapid charger, and can also make vehicles less efficient.