How long does it take to charge an electric car?

A guide to how long it takes to charge an electric car, the factors that influence charging time and the concept of top-up charging.


Time to charge an electric car can take as little as 30 minutes or up to 12 hours. The time it takes to charge depends on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point.

  • A typical electric car (Nissan LEAF 30kWh) takes 4 hours to charge from empty with a 7kW home charging point.
  • 3.7kW home charger provides about 15 miles per hour of charge.
  • 7kW home charger provides about 30 miles per hour of charge.
  • A rapid charger at motorway service stations can charge your car to full in about 30 minutes and is ideal for long distance journeys.
  • Charging rates can differ based on the ambient temperature, the state of the battery (e.g. empty or half full) and the maximum charging rate of the vehicle.

How long does it takes to charge an electric car.

Time to Charge with Different Charging Points:
3.7kW Charger 7kW Charger 22kW Charger
Charging Speed (up to): 15 miles of range per hour 30 miles of range per hour 80 miles of range per hour
Required Power Supply: Single phase Single phase Three phase
Typically Found in: Homes Homes, Workplaces, Public Places Public Places

  • Home charging points have a power rating of 3.7kW or 7kW (22kW chargers not available unless you have three phase power).
  • Not all electric cars can charge at 22kW but most can still use them to charge at a lower speed.

Tip: You can charge your electric car from a standard 3-pin plug which provides 3kW of power. This is slower than a home chargepoint and is known as Trickle Charging.

How long does it takes to charge with a rapid charger.

Rapid charging points are the fastest way to charge your electric vehicle, providing up to 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, even electric cars that can't charge at 22kW can often charge at rapid speeds.

  • Rapid chargers use one of two special connector types (known as CCS and CHAdeMO) that are found on most full electric vehicles.
  • They are typically installed at motorway service stations for quick charging on longer distance journeys.
  • While their faster charging speed is ideal for a quick charge on a long journey, most drivers don't use them day to day because of their cost.

Rapid Charger Speeds:
Typical power rating 50kW 50kW
Examples of compatible models BMW i3 Nissan LEAF, Mitsubishi Outlander

What is top up charging?

Most electric car drivers don't worry about how long it takes to charge because they top up charge throughout the day. Rather than letting their battery run empty, they top it up whenever their car is sitting idle, at places like their supermarket, gym or workplace.

  • Public and workplace charging points typically range from 7kW to 22kW, making them ideal for top up charging.
  • A 7kW public charging point provides up to 30 miles of range per hour of charge.
  • Combine top-up charging with overnight charging at home for the best experience.

Tip: Charging an electric car is similar to charging a mobile phone; you top it up during the day if you need to and give it a full charge at home overnight.