Next to range anxiety (the fear of losing power midway through a journey), it’s worry about the length of time it takes to charge the battery that stops people leasing an electric car. We dispel the myths and give you the facts on:
- How long it takes to charge an electric vehicle at home
- How long it takes to charge an electric vehicle on the move
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
One of the most common barriers to leasing an electric car is range anxiety: the fear that you won’t make it to your destination before your vehicle runs out of juice. However, with real-world ranges now guaranteeing power for up to a weeks’ worth of average commutes, range anxiety is only really a factor on long journeys. But what happens when you do have to fill up halfway to your holiday destination—or forget to charge your electric car over the weekend? How long will you have to wait before you can get going again?
Charging from a standard three-pin plug is an overnight affair
When you lease an electric car, you can charge it straight from your home’s electricity supply. Home charging using a standard plug is the most time-consuming way to charge your electric car: to get a manufacturer’s recommended charge in this fashion, you’re looking at around 12 hours of charge time. It’s also one of the cheapest options. A recent What Car? article stated that a VW e-Golf costs just £2.50 to charge at home, if you’re charging at a discounted rate—and £5.01 if you’re charging at standard rates.
Charging from a home charge point is quicker
If you have a driveway or garage, you can install a home charging point (often called a ‘wall box’) for your electric vehicle. According to Kia, using a wall box instead of a three-pin supply can increase charging speed by up to three times. Unlike three-pin charging, wall boxes are weatherproof, so it doesn’t matter whether it’s raining or shining when your car needs a top-up.
When you lease an electric car, home charge points are usually sold as optional extras. The good news: you can get a government grant to cover the first £500 of installation cost. Wall-box installation figures vary. If you used the government grant and installed Kia’s highest-powered wall box, you’d pay £300 out of your own pocket.
Public charging points are faster still
Of course, when you’re out and about you have less time to stay tethered to a single charging point. Public chargers are split into the standard wall-box type (which the What Car? site states will take one to six hours to charge your car), and rapid or quick chargers. Rapid/quick chargers can recharge the latest electric cars in less than an hour, perfect for a lunch stop on a motorway journey.