How long does it take to charge an EV?

018 Apr 2024

Explore our guide on how to calculate charging times and the factors that could impact speed

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular. Many people, however, have questions about charging times—particularly if you’re new to EV and used to refueling a petrol or diesel vehicle.

Charging times for EVs vary according to multiple factors: different EV models, for example, have different battery sizes which may have different charging speeds. Charging times can also differ depending on the specific EV and charging infrastructure you use, as well as factors such as battery health and temperature, and whether you're charging during cold weather.

How long do you need to charge an electric car?

The RAC states that charging can take as little as 15 minutes using a 350kW charger, to 24 hours if you’re relying on a three-pin plug. To calculate the approximate charging time for your EV, you can use a simple formula: battery size (kWh) / charger power (kW) = charging time (hours). For example, a 40kWh battery using a 150kW charger could take just under half an hour to charge to 80% of its full capacity. Below are the battery sizes for the five of the UK’s top-selling EVs in 2022; please consult the vehicle manufacturer to establish an accurate picture of charging times.

Car modelBattery size
Tesla Model Y60kWh
Kia e-Niro64.8kWh
Volkswagen ID.362 kWh
Nissan Leaf20kWh
MINI Electric32.6kW
A close up of a charger at the charging hub at the NEC Birmingham. On the screen you can see how full the car battery is.

How long does it take to charge an EV at a charging station?

In addition to being impacted by factors including battery size, temperature and the external environment, the speed at which your EV charges will vary according to the type of charging point you choose. The bp pulse network has charging points across the country. Speeds vary, for example:

  • bp pulse150 is capable of charging at speeds of up to 150kWh and is being rolled out on bp forecourts across the UK. A bp pulse 150kw charger is capable of charging up to 100 miles of range in around 15 minutes*

  • bp pulse50 is capable of charging up to 40 miles of range in around 15 minutes*—often found at motorway forecourts, perfect if you’re stopping for a break on the go

*depending on the vehicle, its charge management software, its battery, the weather and driving conditions

Use the bp pulse app’s live map function to find your nearest charging stations and to plan journeys—you can even save your favourites!

What factors effect charging time?

As the popularity of EVs continues to grow, it is important for drivers to view charging as a variable aspect of the EV experience. By considering factors such as battery size and charging speeds when choosing an EV or on-the-go charging solution, drivers could optimise convenience and their charging experience.

With the increasing availability of charging points and home charging solutions, charging an EV is becoming easier and more accessible every day. So, go ahead and choose the EV and charging solution that best fits your needs, budget, and lifestyle!

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