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How long does it take to charge an electric car?

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

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Does it take a long time to charge an electric car?

This is a classic ‘How long’s a piece of string?’ question. You’ve got to factor in the age and model of your electric car, where you charge and what type of charger you’re using. 

In super-simple terms, there are three levels of charging: plugging into a normal plug socket (which isn’t recommended – as we’ll explain later), home charging with a proper charger set-up, and public charging (either at standard or rapid speeds) away from home.

It really does vary from vehicle to vehicle. Some are renowned for how quickly they can charge. Others are notorious for how slowly they charge. The ballpark range for an average home charger is anything from 5 hours to 12 hours for a 100% charge, although people rarely charge from a very low state of charge. But some cars can charge from 5-80% in a speedy 18 minutes on the most rapid public chargers. 


How long will it take to charge from low to 100% at home? 

Using the Hyundai KONA Electric 64kWh as an example. This is Hyundai’s electric answer to its ICE equivalent. According to the Electric Vehicle Database it has a WLTP range of about 240 miles when it’s fully charged.   

To charge a Hyundai KONA Electric 65kWh from 0-100% using a 7kW standard charge point would take 10h 15m. Based on these figures, a one hour charge at the supermarket would give your battery a 10% charge, and seven hours at your workplace would give your battery about a 70% charge.

Find out how one electric car driver thinks it’s even less…  

“I love the fact that it takes me ten seconds to charge my car at home! This is the time it takes for me to get out of my car on the driveway, plug the car in and go inside. Then I let the smart charger do its stuff, and wake up the next day to a car full of electrons. I tend to top up regularly, to take best advantage of off-peak hours.”

Ben Afia, September 2022

Home charging

Let’s take home charging first. Most electric car drivers do most of their charging at home, overnight. It’s relatively cheap if you can charge at home, even with rising energy prices – as long as you’re on the right electric car-friendly energy tariff. 

But what do you use to actually charge your car? If you’re charging it at home, there are three main ways.

  • Smart charger (tethered) – a charger with a cable attached to it, that you simply plug into the car
  • Smart charger (untethered) – a dedicated charger where you connect your charging cable
  • Three-pin plug – a standard three-pin plug that you connect to a 13-amp socket

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How accessible are electric car chargers?

How accessible are electric car chargers?


Are electric car chargers accessible? 

Just like everyone else, lots of drivers with disabilities are keen to embrace electric car – but at the moment public chargers can be an obstacle. Unfortunately, some electric car chargers across the UK aren’t accessible for drivers with disabilities right now. However, the good news is that there are now plans in place to make things more inclusive to help more drivers with disabilities to make the switch.   

Driving disability charity Motability estimates that by 2035 there’ll be 2.7 million drivers with disabilities on the road. And around 50% of them won’t be able to charge at home so it’s vital that public chargers are accessible before they can go electric.


What are the problems with electric car chargers? 

One of the main barriers to public charging is that wheelchair users can’t always access them, for example kerb heights are sometimes a problem, charging bays aren’t always wide enough for wheelchair access, also cables can be too heavy to lift and surfaces often get slippery because there’s no cover. Also it’s tricky to find information on how accessible public chargers are – and makes it hard for drivers with disabilities to plan journeys.  

Not surprisingly, this is putting off some drivers with disabilities from swapping to electric cars.  

What’s changing? 

The government has worked with Motability and the British Standards Institution to improve things. Firstly, they’ve developed consistent accessibility standards so that public chargers can be labelled as either fully, partially or not accessible, just like they did with tube stations in London. Also they are now working with charge point manufacturers to boost standards for those that aren’t accessible or only partially accessible. 

The new standard for accessible electric car charging (PAS 1899:2022) can be found here


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Electric cars can do a long road trip

Can electric cars do a long road trip?

The simple answer is yes. Like all trips it’s a good idea to do a bit of planning beforehand but you can do a long road trip in an electric car.  

How do I plan a road trip in an electric car?   

There’s nothing better than a road trip, getting away from it all and exploring new places. But can you do a long road trip in an electric car?  The simple answer is yes.  

Like all trips it’s a good idea to do a bit of planning beforehand.  

Before you go

  • Plan where you’ll stop on the way and if you’ll need to charge. Depending on where you’re going you may be able to get there without stopping. But if you’re driving a few hundred miles for a staycation in the UK, you’ll probably want to stretch your legs and get a bite to eat. This is usually a good chance to get a charge at one of over 45,000 public charge points across the UK (last updated August 2023). A charge point app or map will show you the charge points along your route and at your destination and you can usually filter by plug type, charger speed and charging network.
  • Check you have your cables in the car and if the place where you’re staying doesn’t have a home charge point, you’ll need to find somewhere to charge when you’re out and about. 
  • Does your accommodation have charge points or is there one close by? Lots of tourist attractions and hotels now have charge points so check them out before you hit the road. 
  • Don’t forget the essentials you need in your car for any road trip.
  • Do you have breakdown cover? If so, check what you’re covered for as some companies take you to your nearest charge point for free, while some ask you to pay.

Electric car apps can help

  • Download what3words onto your phone. If you break down this will help recovery companies find you and you can also use it to spot charge points.  
  • Charge points are owned by lots of different companies and there are a number of different ways to pay, but most now accept contactless payment but by downloading an app you can also plan your stops and navigate to a charge point if needed whilst driving. Also more public charging points are being added to the UK network all the time so check your charge point app before your journey so you can get what you need before you hit the road. 

While you’re away in your electric car

  • You can check the live status of lots of charge points using your charge point app and you can often report if they’re not working.  
  • If you need a rapid charge you’ll find them at motorway services, or at many other places along the UK road network. You can usually pay using contactless, and it’s best to check your charge point app to find your nearest one.  

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Do I need an electric car charger fitted at home?

Do I need an electric car charger fitted at home?

The simple answer is no as there are loads of public charging points across the UK. But it is easier to charge an electric car at home with a charger.

Do I need a charger installed at home to charge my car? 

The simple answer is no – but it’s not quite as straightforward as that. 

For example our home sockets are designed for kettles and toasters, not to charge an electric car for hours so it’s much safer to have a home charger installed for your electric car.

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But I’m renting – so what can I do to charge an electric car?

If you’re renting, you’ll need to speak to your landlord, hopefully they’ll be keen to do it, it’s a great selling point to have a charge point fitted, especially if you offer to pay or contribute to the cost of the installation. Also the Government’s EV charge point grant has a £350 cap for installing a charge point in a flat or rented accommodation so it’s definitely worth asking the question.

I don’t have off-street parking – so where can I charge my car?

As you can see from the density map there are already a lot of public charging points in the UK – over 45,000 as at September 2023, so don’t worry if you don’t have off-street parking. Furthermore, if there isn’t one handy for you, it’s worth a chat with your local council. They can get a government grant to cover 75% of the cost for installing charge points on your street or in a council-owned public car park.

To find the nearest charge point to you in the UK, visit our interactive charger map.

It’s worth mentioning that if you have an electric car energy tariff, it’s normally cheaper to charge at home than to use a public charge point, unless you can get a free charge at your workplace or local supermarket car park.

Electric car drivers may be wondering if now’s the time to change tariffs, switch to smart chargers or change where they charge. But before you make any decisions, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons, and to make sure any changes suit your lifestyle and EV usage.

This article contains links to other sites. ElectriX is not responsible for the contents of any of these websites.


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When’s the best time to charge an electric car?

When’s the best time to charge an electric car?


Should I charge my car at night or during the day?

If you know the cheapest time to charge at home, you’ll save money. You could even earn a few quid.

Using the sun

If you have solar panels (or you’re thinking about getting them) then you have a cheap and greener way to charge. Some home charge points can work out how much extra power you’ve got coming from the panels.

And after you’ve used what you need at home, they transfer the power to your car. Clever and environmentally friendly, too.
Go on an EV-friendly energy tariff

If you have an electric car, it can be cheaper, and greener, to charge it overnight. As most people are asleep, there’s less demand for electricity. 

And being on an EV (electric vehicle) friendly tariff is often the best value when it comes to charging your car at home. Check with your energy supplier to see if you’re getting the best deal.

nissan leaf in the sun

Time for midnight

If you wait until midnight to charge, it’s better for the environment, and often cheaper for you too.

If it’s a windy night, you might even be paid to charge your car, because there’s an excess of renewable energy on the system (generated by wind turbines). It’s worth checking if you can take advantage of this with your energy supplier.

Electric car charging in the rain

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How far can an electric car go?

How far can an electric car go?


How far I can drive in an electric car

You might worry your electric car could run out of charge and you’ll be stranded in the middle of nowhere. But the truth is many new electric cars can do more than 200 miles on a full charge. Giving you enough miles across a week to do your average daily commute (23 miles), pop to the shops and even visit your friends. And because you can charge at home overnight it means the end of the last-minute dash to the petrol station.    
Most of us don’t drive hundreds of miles a day and even when you do a cross country trek, you always need to stop and stretch your legs, and that’s the perfect chance to stick your car on charge. 

Here are five examples of how far different types of electric cars can go:

five examples of electric car range on a single charge

What about second-hand electric cars?

Even the oldest, second hand, bargain bucket electric cars do around 60-80 miles on a full charge.  
And with the average UK commute of 23 miles a day, you can juice it up overnight and get to and from work.   
If you do need to top up during the day you can stop off at a rapid charger, which you’ll find at places like motorway services, park and rides and petrol stations. You can zap it in the time it takes you to stretch your legs and get a bite to eat. 


Are electric cars a good match for me? 

Electric cars aren’t just for toddling around town or for fans of eco-friendly options. But right now, an electric car will work best for you if:   

  • you have a private drive or garage  
  • your parking is on-street, but you have access to a charging hub nearby or your local council is fitting a charge point nearby. 
  • there are charge points at a place you visit regularly, like work or the supermarket.   

There’s a make and model for just about everyone from families to sports car lovers. If you regularly tow a tonne or more, say a horse box or building materials, you’ll only find a handful of electric car options right now. Only tow occasionally?  Use an electric car to save money and hire a petrol or diesel when you need it. And keep your eye out as new vehicles are coming to market all the time.

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How does your driving style affect electric car range?

How does your driving style affect electric car range?

How you drive affects the miles, or range your electric car can do.

We breakdown the factors…


How fast you drive affects electric car range

Driving quickly doesn’t mean driving fewer miles. So, while driving along the motorway in the fast lane might get you there quicker, you’ll also need to visit a charge point sooner. 
If you have an older electric car that has a shorter range on a full charge, then you’ll go further by flicking the speed limiter to 60mph on the motorway. You can creep up to 70mph in newer electric cars because they can do 200 or so miles. 

How you brake too

Use your brakes properly and you’ll save money and travel further.  

When you brake, electric cars cleverly recycle power back into the battery, this is called regenerative braking. As soon as you ease your foot off the accelerator, you’ll feel the car slow much quicker than a petrol or diesel.  

You don’t need to stamp on the footbrake because the car helps you slow down. So, let it roll to almost a stop at traffic lights. There’s no need for aggressive braking, you’ll be rewarded with more range and your brake pads will last longer.

Also the weather affects electric car range

Electric cars usually do fewer miles in cold weather and like all cars you’re more likely to have a breakdown in winter. But it’s not a big problem – just ask the Norwegians, who own the most electric cars (per person) in the world.  
Here are a couple of top winter tips:  

  1. Set your car to finish charging just before you head out so the battery’s nice and warm, you’ll get more miles that way. 
  2. Defrost and heat your car while it’s plugged in – something you can do from the warmth of your bed using a smartphone app. No more scurrying around for something to use as an ice scraper and starting your day as an ice block.  

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How electric car charging works?

How electric car charging works?

Charging your electric car works a bit differently. Find out about all the ins and out of how to charge an electric car here… 

How does electric car charging work?

Electric is great because you just think about where you park up most of the time and pop it on charge when it suits you. For most people that’s at home or work. A bit like sipping water throughout the day instead of glugging down a litre when you’re desperately thirsty.  
Once you know how your car charges it’s easy.

  • You’ll need to plug into a charge point, you can do this at home, at work, at service stations and at over 55,000 public charging points across the UK (January 2024).  
  • You need to have your own charging cable – there are two types.  
  • Most people charge at home overnight but out and about you can park up and charge or use a rapid charger.  
  • Depending on where you charge you can just plug in, or you might need to use an app a plastic RFID tag, or a contactless card.  

Everyone’s a bit confused about charging at first. But don’t worry, once you know how your car charges it’s easy.  

Electric car charging

How do I charge an electric car at home?

You probably park at home or work most of the time. And the easiest option if you have a driveway or garage is to have a wall mounted charge point (wall box) fitted. Quite a lot of wall boxes have a cable attached so you can drive up, plug it in and you’re done. Most are about shoebox size but can be as tiny as a small saucepan and you’ll need a qualified person to install it. 

If you’re looking for an energy-efficient home charge point for your electric car, why not check out Indra’s smart home charger?
Don’t worry if you don’t have your own driveway, you can ask the council to install an on-street charge point (they can get a government grant for this). There are also more community charge points popping up, and you might even have one at work. Also think about where you park up during the week as you could get a decent charge while you do a bit of shopping.  
When you buy a new electric car, they usually come with the cable you need (public charging cable). But it’s worth checking as some manufacturers are more generous than others.  

Electric car charging with the Indra Smart Pro

How do I charge out and about or at work?

You’ll find two different types of charge points out and about and at work: Standard charger and Rapid chargers.

electric car charging at home graphic

Standard chargers

You’ll mostly find standard charge points, there are over 44,000 across the UK (January 2024). These are great if you want to charge while you pop into town or go to work as you’ll need to give your car a few hours to charge from empty. You might see them called destination charge points.

electric car charging at rapid charger graphic

Rapid chargers

If your car can handle rapid charging, using this speedy method takes minutes rather than hours.  Don’t leave your car plugged in a rapid charger for too long (above 80%), it doesn’t do your battery any favours and annoys other drivers who want to use the charger.

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All you need to know about chargers and plugs

All you need to know about chargers and plugs

Confused by all of the electric car charger lingo? Don’t worry we’ll help you learn your CCS from your CHAdeMO, your Type 1 from your Type 2 plugs and what the differences are between destination charge points and rapid chargers.

Indra smart pro home charger with electric bolt graphic

What are the differences between electric car chargers and plugs?

If you’re up-to-speed on the basics of how to charge an electric car and want to understand a bit more about the different types of chargers and plugs, you’re in the right place.

Electric car plugged in a rapid charge point

What’s destination charging?

A destination charge point is when you use your own cable, plug in, walk away and come back when you’re ready. That might be after a day at work or when you’ve finished shopping, for example.

While you can leave your car plugged in, it’s polite to move your car when it’s finished charging so other people can fill up. If you’re charging at a park-and-ride and you’re in the middle of town though, there’s no need to rush back. But watch out for any time limit on charging sessions. 

Find chargers near you!

What are Type 1 and Type 2 plugs?

Types 1 and 2 are kinds of charging plug. A few older cars have a Type 1 socket. But they also have a Type 1 to Type 2 cable for charging when you’re out and about, so you can plug in anywhere. 

Most UK public charge points have Type 2 sockets and you’ll usually use your own cable to connect your car, though some come with the cable already attached. This is known as a tethered cable.

Don’t worry too much about the differences, it’s a bit like using either petrol or diesel. Once you know what your car uses, you’ll know what you’re looking for.

Graphic of Type 1 (5-pin) charging plug and Type 2 (7-pin)

What’s rapid charging?

Most newer cars can rapid charge and it’s something you do when you’re out and about – similar to how you fill up with petrol or diesel. It’s a little more expensive than charging at home but it can be quick.

You plug your car in, pop for a coffee and by the time you come back you should have enough charge for the next bit of your journey.

With rapid charging, you won’t be leaving your car to power up for hours at a time.

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Osprey Public Charging stations lined-up in a row

CCS and CHAdeMO 

At DC rapid chargers you’ll find two kinds of cable, CCS and CHAdeMO, these cables are always attached to the charger so you’ll know it’s a rapid charge point.   

These chargers convert AC electricity to DC before it reaches your car, which means the juice goes straight into your battery so it can charge much faster.

You’ll find CHAdeMO on a handful of older cars like the Nissan LEAF. But CCS has won that format war and is what you’ll see on most electric cars.

Some rapid chargers also have a Type 2 cable for older models like the original Renault ZOE. But these won’t rapid charge most cars, unfortunately.

Graphic of rapid DC charging sockets CCS (9-pins) and CHADeMO (4-pins).

Charging to 80%

Once they’re 80% full, most cars slow their rapid charging down to protect the battery. That means 80-100% can take as long as 0-80%, which makes 80% the best time to unplug, especially if someone else is waiting to charge.

Rather than trying to reach 100% it can actually be quicker to stop for another rapid charge later on, because charging is so much faster up to 80%.

Using a public charger

To use a public charger, you’ll need a way to pay. That’ll mean either an app, contactless card or a plastic tag known as a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), depending on what network the charger is on. The key is to plan ahead – check your route and see where you’ll find chargers.

You’ll find it much less hassle to download the right apps and create accounts while you’re at home. That hassle will start to disappear, though.

The motorway rapid charger network, for example, is being replaced and all new chargers have to accept contactless payment.

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How much does installing an electric car charger cost?

How much does installing an electric car charger cost?

To really make the most of your electric car experience and get the best value and convenience, you need a home charger. But how do you get one? What’s the electric car charger installation cost? And what’s the cost of charging an electric car at home?

In this article we’ll answer all your questions and power up your understanding of EV home charging. 

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Charge up your knowledge

Before we get into the details of costs and how to get a home charger installed, here are a few facts to help you choose your charger.

Charger speed 

The overwhelming majority of UK homes today install the fast 7kW charger and have become the standard option as prices have reduced, and are replacing the slower 3.6kW charger. 7kW chargers are simple to install and have the benefit of being able to be used with a single-phase electricity connection, which is what most UK homes have. 

You may however see rapid 22kW installers advertised, providing around three times faster charging. However, at present these are incompatible with most UK homes since they require a three-phase power supply (found more commonly in commercial buildings).

The easiest way to find out about your home’s power connection is to look at your fuse board. If you have a single-phase connection, you’ll have one main fuse, while three-phase homes have three main fuses.

image of a women charging an electric car

Tethered or untethered?

What does tethered and untethered actually mean? In short, tethered comes with a cable and untethered without. 

Tethered (with cable)

  • Plug straight into the inbuilt charging cable
  • Cable wraps around charger for fast, convenient storage
  • No risk of losing or forgetting cable

Untethered (without cable)

  • Use your own connector cable
  • Choose the right cable length for maximum flexibility
  • Replace or upgrade your cable at any time

Smart charging

In 2021, the law changed and all private EV chargers needed to have smart charging functionality that enables scheduled charging and very often includes remote control via a smart device. Furthermore, other smart functions can include remote locking for when you are not at home, energy usage monitoring to provide real-time data and cost tracking to detail a summary of every charging session. 

Plug compatibility

Before you choose a charger, make sure it is compatible with your electric car, by checking the plug your charger comes with and matching it with the type of socket on your car. Thanks to standardisation, this is now quite straightforward, since the vast majority of cars have Type 2 sockets. 

Type 2

These sockets have been mandatory on all new electric vehicles in the EU since 2014. 

Type 1

These sockets are now only found on some older models of Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi PHEV Outlander. 

type 1 (5-pins) and type 2 (7-pins) electric car charger sockets

How much does it cost to install an electric car charger?

The cost of installation will vary depending on a few factors, including the location of your home and the complexity of the installation. So, let’s look at those in more detail.


There are lots of different chargers on the market, with different features and price-points. Which you choose will influence the cost. 


The location of your home will also affect the cost of installation. If your home is located in a difficult-to-access area, such as a narrow street or a gated community, the cost of installation could be higher.


The complexity of the installation will also affect the cost. If you have a dedicated electricity supply for your home charging point, the installation will be simpler and less expensive. However, if you need to upgrade your electricity supply, the cost of installation will be higher.

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