Wait Times for Charging Electric Cars

Many residential electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA have a new project these days: installing charging stations at home for those who own electric cars. The common question that arises is how long these charging stations take to do their job—after all, we all have somewhere to be. Answering this question depends on the type of charger available. Here are your options for charging and how long they take to give your car a full battery:

  • Rapid chargers: These are exactly as their name implies—they’re charging systems designed to make your wait time shorter. Often part of the Tesla Supercharger Network, rapid chargers are normally located at service stations. They can fill a battery in 30 minutes, although sometimes they may take one hour on a standard 50 kW rapid charge point. The difference between 30 and 60 minutes is usually based on the model of the electric car. Many people who do not have home charging capabilities seek these out and plan occasional visits to top off their car’s charge.
  • Fast chargers: If you run into a fast charger, it will be quicker than a slow charger, but not as fast as a rapid charger. Rated at 7kW or 22kW, these are the precursors to the rapid chargers, and you will still find them in places where people are more likely to spend time, like stores and tourist sites. The 7kW requires around four to six hours to charge an electric vehicle with a 40kW battery, while a 22kW will take one or two hours for that same vehicle.
  • Slow chargers: You will find these at residential charging stations or hotels. Rated at 3kW or 6kW, these chargers require six to 12 hours to charge fully. Unless you are truly desperate, you want to find a better charger unless you plan to stay at the location overnight.
  • Home options: If you are looking to install a charger at home, your options are Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 charging occurs with the charger that comes with your car. They plug into a standard outlet and require up to 20 hours to fill a battery. Level 2 chargers are purchased separately from the car, but many people buy them at the same time they acquire the vehicle. This requires a dedicated 240V circuit installation in your garage. However, it will charge three to four times faster than a Level 1.

How do you know what to purchase for your in-home charging station? Anyone who needs to charge a car every day should consider installing the 240V and using the Level 2. If you work from home or do not drive often, Level 1 may be sufficient. However, you will need to supplement your charging by visiting rapid chargers that are not located at your home.
If you seek fast electric vehicle charging at home, we can help. Walsh Electric receives the best reviews among residential electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA. To start the installation process for a 240V charger, call us today to schedule an estimate.