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Electric Vehicle Charging Speeds

Electric vehicles can be charged using three charging speeds. 

Level 1

The slowest, Level 1 equipment, provides charging through a common residential 120-volt (120V) AC outlet. Level 1 chargers can take 40-50 hours to charge a battery electric vehicle (BEV) from empty and 5-6 hours to charge a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) from empty.

Level 2

Level 2 equipment offers charging through 240V (in residential applications) or 208V (in commercial applications) electrical service, and is common for home, workplace, and public charging. Level 2 chargers can charge a BEV from empty in 4-10 hours and a PHEV from empty in 1-2 hours.

Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC)

The fastest speed, direct current fast charging (DCFC) equipment, enables rapid charging along heavy-traffic corridors at installed stations. DCFC equipment can charge a BEV to 80 percent in just 20 minutes to 1 hour. Most PHEVs currently on the market do not work with fast chargers.

Shown below are typical Level 2 and DCFC charging stations. 

At left: An electric vehicle plugged into a Level 2 charger. At right: An electric vehicle plugged into a direct current fast charger in a mall parking lot.
Level 2 chargers (left) are common in home, workplace, and public settings and can charge a BEV from empty in 4-10 hours. Direct current fast chargers (right) are common as public chargers and along highway corridors and can charge a BEV to 80 percent in under an hour. (123RF and Washington State Department of Transportation photos)

Overview of EV Chargers

The below table summarizes the typical power output, charging time, and locations for PHEVs and BEVs for the different charger types. (Note: Because the last 10 percent of charging an EV battery can take as long as the first 90 percent, for longer trips, it can save time to charge part-way [e.g., 20 to 60 percent] and drive fewer miles between charges rather than recharge fully and drive more miles between charges.) For more information on the power requirements of different chargers, see the Utility Planning section of the toolkit.

Overview of EV chargers: power output, plug type, and charge time for light-duty vehicles. (Adapted from the Alternative Fuels Data Center)
  Level 1 Level 2 DC Fast Charging
Connector Type1

J1772 connector

An SAE J1772 plug, also known as a Type 1 plug or a J plug, has 5 pins.

J1772 connector

An SAE J1772 plug, also known as a Type 1 plug or a J plug, has 5 pins.

CCS connector

A Combined Charging System (CCS) connector uses the J1772 charging inlet, which has 5 pins, and combines it with 2 larger high-speed charging pins below it.

CHAdeMO connector

Schematic of a CHAdeMO connector plug.

Tesla connector

Schematic of a Tesla connector plug.

Typical Power Output 1 kW 7 kW - 19 kW 50 - 350 kW
Estimated PHEV Charge Time from Empty2 5 - 6 hours  1 - 2 hours  N/A
Estimated BEV Charge Time from Empty3 40 - 50 hours 4 - 10 hours 20 minutes - 1 hour4
Estimated Electric Range per Hour of Charging 2 - 5 miles 10 - 20 miles 180 - 240 miles
Typical Locations Home Home, Workplace, and Public Public

1 Different vehicles have different charge ports. For DCFC, the Combined Charging System (CCS) connector is based on an open international standard and is common on vehicles manufactured in North America and Europe; the CHArge de Move (CHAdeMO) connector is most common for Japanese manufactured vehicles. Tesla vehicles have a unique connector that works for all charging speeds, including at Tesla’s “Supercharger” DCFC stations, while non-Tesla vehicles require adapters at these stations.

2Assuming an 8-kWh battery; most plug-in hybrids do not work with fast chargers.

3Assuming a 60-kWh battery.

4 To 80 percent charge. Charging speed slows as the battery gets closer to full to prevent damage to the battery. Therefore, it is more cost- and time-efficient for EV drivers to use direct current (DC) fast charging until the battery reaches 80 percent, and then continue on their trip. It can take about as long to charge the last 10 percent of an EV battery as the first 90 percent.

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Last updated: Wednesday, February 2, 2022