Whether you are new to EV ownership or looking to move from petrol-powered to electric, it is easy to be a little bewildered by EV charging speeds. After all, given the many decades that motorists have relied on petrol and diesel fuel, deciphering the difference between different EV charging speeds can be daunting.
Thankfully, the RAW Charging team are here to help. Their EV experts have broken down the ins and outs of EV charge speeds in some easy-to-digest steps.
Different types of EV charging stations.
First things first, what are the different types of EV charging stations you can expect to come across? There are three main types of EV chargers used across the UK:
- Slow charge – Slow charging is typically reserved for domestic charging facilities, where EV owners can charge their vehicles overnight at home.
- Fast charge – Fast charging relates to your typical AC charger. This Destination Charging is commonly provided at locations where drivers will dwell for two hours or more, e.g. shopping centres, retail parks, leisure centres, hotels, golf clubs and many other hospitality sites.
- Rapid & ultra-rapid charging – This means of alternative refuelling an EV is reserved for drivers taking advantage of En Route Charging, where they can quickly top-up their vehicle mid-trip to increase their range and get them safely from A to B.
Different EV charging speeds.
Now that you are aware of the different EV charging stations, how does their speed compare?
EV slow charging.
Slow EV chargers generate up to 7kW, generally fully recharging a vehicle between six and twelve hours. Given their low cost and long charge times, you will ordinarily find these chargers used primarily for residential installations, where power is limited, or in places where only overnight charging is needed.
EV fast charging.
Fast EV chargers typically have a power output of 7kW to 22kW, charging an EV from zero to near 100% in three to six hours, depending on the state of charge and size of the battery. You will usually find this type of fast charger in public and commercial areas, such as hotels, shopping centres and public car parks, where drivers will work a shift or enjoy a prolonged stay as their EV charges.
EV rapid charging.
Rapid and ultra-rapid EV chargers boast a power output ranging from 50kW to 350kW, the larger of which will top-up a vehicle in some cases to 80% charge in under 20 minutes. You will generally find these chargers at public sites where stays are shorter, such as motorway service stations and town or city centre ChargeYards.
How fast can an EV charge?
The charge speed ultimately depends on two main factors:
- The type of charger you use.
- The size of your EV’s battery.
As mentioned above, rapid chargers can achieve an 80% charge in as little as 20 minutes; comparatively, slow chargers can take up to 12 hours to reach a full charge. The key is to plan your journey and determine what type of charger you will need – and when.
Many EV drivers will have a home EV charger installed at their property, meaning vehicles will be adequately charged before hitting the road. Charging overnight and then topping up using public EV charging is the standard practice. However, with this said, a massive 45% of drivers do not have access to home charging, making destination charging even more critical.
What factors affect charging your EV?
Aside from the type of charge point you use, an increased number of factors can change the charge speed of an EV when compared to traditional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles. These factors include:
- EV battery – EV batteries have a capacity limit of kWh (kilowatt hour), which usually correlates with vehicle size and price. Smaller, cheaper EVs like the popular Citroen Ami and Nissan Leaf models have a lower battery capacity. In contrast, top-of-the-range vehicles such as Teslas, Jaguar I-Pace and the BMW iX boast increased capacities.
- EV charge rate – No matter what type of EV charger you use, each electric vehicle has a maximum charge rate you cannot exceed.
- Battery charge level – It may seem obvious, but it is worth pointing out nonetheless! Your current charge level will determine how long it takes to top up your EV, i.e. going from empty to full will take longer than topping up from 20% charge.
- Weather conditions – Unfortunately, the weather will play a part in charge times and your EVs range. You can experience a slower charge rate and reduced range in colder conditions, while extreme heat (temperatures above 35 Celsius) can also impact your EV battery over time.
- Number of EVs charging – You will probably only experience this issue in public places, usually relating to rapid chargers. In sites such as motorway services or car parks, an increased number of vehicles charging at one time may reduce charge speed.
Thankfully, with the aid, expertise and infrastructure of companies like RAW Charging, dependable rapid chargers are becoming more widely available, thus reducing such issues.
If you are interested in future-proofing your location and offering EV charging facilities, RAW Charging’s expert team and rapidly expanding infrastructure are here to help.
With vast experience installing and managing EV facilities for significant clientele, including the National Trust, McArthurGlen, Greene King, Exclusive Hotels and Merlin Entertainments, RAW is ideally placed to offer turnkey solutions and facilities that work for your site.
Contact the team today for your free site assessment.