Electric Cars

How long does it take to charge an EV at home?

The electric vehicle public charging network has come a long way over the past few years with rapid and ultra-rapid chargers becoming more commonplace. However, the most convenient place to charge your car is at home while it’s parked and you’re sound asleep. But how long does that take?

There are many factors to take into account when charging with temperature, charger type and the car itself all part of the equation. Many electric cars allow you to precondition the battery for faster charging.

How are you charging at home?

The biggest thing that impacts how long it takes to charge at home, is what you’re using to charge the car. It is possible to charge via a three-pin household socket, however, this only serves around 2.4kW. The bigger your car battery, the longer charging takes, but a modern vehicle such as a Cupra Born going from 0-100% capacity would take nearly 30 hours via this method!

While charging via a three-pin socket might be the most convenient means of adding range to your EV at home, it is by far the slowest. Most EV owners with off street parking opt for a home charger, typically capable of charging at 7kW. At nearly three times more powerful, these wallboxes will get you the same charge in the Cupra in about 9 hours – perfect for an overnight charge taking advantage of cheaper electricity rates.

It is possible to get a 22kW charger installed at home, resulting in a charge three times quicker than regular 7kW home wallboxes. For comparison, a 20-80% charge in a Cupra Born would take 6 hours. However, to install a 22kW charger you need a three-phase electricity supply which is far from common in the UK. You can have your supply upgraded by contacting the Distribution Network Operator, but this is typically quite costly.

How much charge do you currently have?

Like all batteries, the unit in your EV charges at its fastest rate between 20% and 80%. The first and last 20% of the battery’s capacity is slow going, so what you start with will have a big impact on your overall charge time.

We’ve all become used to refuelling a car when it’s running low but optimising your EV charging requires a bit of a paradigm shift. Think of your car like a mobile phone, something you plug in at night regardless of battery state, starting each day with a full battery.

Can you precondition your EV?

Many electric cars allow you to precondition the battery for faster charging.

What is preconditioning?

Preconditioning warms or cools your battery to the ideal operating window allowing the car to charge at a faster rate.

Batteries charge and operate best at around 20-40 degrees Celsius, however in countries like the UK, we are used to cooler ambient temperatures therefore preconditioning may be useful.

On particularly cold days, users have reported up to 10% faster charging at home when preconditioning and using a home wallbox – or some 25% improvement using the same method with faster 120kW public chargers. Many EVs allow you to schedule your home charging and preconditioning via a native app, such as ‘My Cupra’ for a Cupra Born.

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