How long does it take to charge a plug-in car?


How long does it take to charge your cell phone? Think about charging your car just like you think about charging your cell phone. Most people charge their cars at home or work, just like a cell phone. Plug it in when you arrive and it will be ready for you in the morning, or the end of the work day.

The actual charging time depends on the size of your battery, how far you have driven, and the amperage of the charging system. Keep in mind that most of the time, the battery will not be empty when you plug in, just like your cell phone.

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  • Sean Dick
    commented 2018-05-02 11:59:45 +1200
    Hi Ross, thanks for your comment.

    The point I was wanting to make is that the charging time is not as big an issue, day to day. But yes on a trip the maths is handy.

    A 24kwh Leaf has something like 20kwh of usable battery. So charging at home on a 10 amp circuit you can put in 2kw per hour (at 8 amps which is all that is permitted by NZ law for that type of plug). So from empty it will take 10 hours to charge.

    if you put in a 16 amp circuit and caravan plug you can then charge at 3.3kw. And a full charge takes about 6 hours.

    At a fast charger you can get 50kw. Now here it gets more complicated. The fast charger can only go fast up to about 80% battery capacity. So from empty to 80% takes 20 minutes. Getting to 95% can take another 20 min and the last 5% might take yet another 20 min. I am guessing a bit for these last two but they are approximately correct. That is why most manufacturers talk about charging time to 80%.
  • Ross Manning
    commented 2018-05-02 11:27:17 +1200
    Great answer there “” but for those of us who clicked this link because we actually want to know “How long does it take to charge a plug-in car?”, could you please give an answer using common terms like hours or minutes, e.g. “you should allow between 2 to 3 hours for 100% charging a small car such as a Nissan Leaf from 15% charge”.