How long does it take to charge an electric car? It depends.
A BMW i3 electric hatchback is charged at a Volta charging station. Volta
Charging an electric car isn't quite as easy as filling a gas tank.
The charging times can vary greatly depending on the vehicle and power source.
It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several days to recharge an electric car's battery.
Refueling a conventional car only takes a few minutes, regardless of make, model or whether you drive into a Citgo, Shell or Sunoco.
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Charging an electric vehicle is a little more complicated.
There is a list of factors that can affect the time it takes to fill a car's battery. At the moment it definitely takes a lot longer than five minutes.
A larger battery generally takes more time to charge than a smaller one when all things are the same. Consider filling a bucket instead of a bathtub. Extra hot or cold temperatures can also extend charging times. Likewise, the current state of charge of the battery.
But by and large, the biggest factor influencing charging speed is your power source: where the energy for a vehicle's battery comes from. There are three categories of charging processes that potential EV owners should be aware of.
Level 1 loading: The slowest option
In an emergency, you can charge an electric car from a standard household socket. This is known as level 1 charging, and EVs usually come with a cord to make this possible.
But as you can imagine, it's painfully slow. It's like filling a car's gas tank with a pipette.
Connected to a 120-volt socket for one hour, an electric vehicle can reach a range of around 5 to 5 kilometers. It can take days to fully charge a car's battery, which is typically between 150 and 300 miles.
Level 2 loading: Much faster
The next charge level speeds things up a lot.
Level 2 chargers use a 240 volt connection, just like you would on a powerful device or power tool, and many EV owners have one installed in their garage. Level 2 plugs are also offered at most public charging stations. The rated outputs range from 6 kilowatts to around 20 kilowatts, many multiples of the 1.4 kilowatts that are generated by a household socket.
The speed you get will vary depending on the vehicle and charger, but level 2 charging can provide a range of 20-30 mph. It takes approximately 6-12 hours to fully charge an EV with a Level 2 charger. Also note that once you reach 80% of the battery, charging will slow down significantly.
Level 3 charging: Charge at lightning speed
Level 3 charging, commonly known as DC fast charging, is the next level. This is the closest you can get to gas station-like refueling times.
DC fast charging discharges significant amounts of energy into the car battery in minutes instead of hours or days. When connected to one of these plugs, some electric cars can charge 80% of the battery in half an hour or 45 minutes. Tesla claims the Model S Plaid can add 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes with one of the company's most powerful superchargers.
Your mileage ultimately depends on the power of the station (which ranges from 50 kilowatts to 350 kilowatts) and the power that a vehicle is supposed to absorb.
This charging method is great for long journeys when you want to plug in and be on the go quickly. However, it can put undue stress on a vehicle's battery, so it may be wise to rely on level 2 charging whenever possible.
This may all sound daunting, but keep in mind that most cars are parked most of the time. Can your gas-powered vehicle drink fuel while at work or having dinner? Nope.
Read the original article on Business Insider
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