January 4, 2024

How Long Does It Take to Charge an EV at Home?


10 Min. Read

This article was originally published March 22, 2022 and was updated January 4, 2024.

How long do EVs take to charge? If you’re considering an EV purchase, charging time is a key consideration that should guide your electric vehicle purchasing choice and determine whether investing in an at-home charging station makes sense for you.

At-home charging gives EV owners a convenient way of keeping their vehicle’s battery full without regularly requiring them to stop at a public charging station as part of their daily commute. While it may seem like a common sense decision, installing a charging station in your home is an important choice that requires careful consideration and evaluation. A majority of EV drivers prefer Level 2 EV charging at home, but that doesn’t mean it will be the best fit for you, your charging needs, or current home infrastructure.

Practical considerations include the type of charger needed and how long it takes to charge your EV, as well as any additional upgrades your home may need to support installing an EV charger. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of installing a Level 2 EV charger, how to determine if a Level 2 EV charger installation is best for your driving needs, and how long it takes to charge an EV at home depending on the type of charging you use for your at-home charging needs.

Exploring At-Home EV Charging Stations

How long does it take to charge an EV battery? The answer depends on the level of charging used. There are two levels of charging available for at-home charging:

  • Level 1 charging. When you purchase a new EV, the manufacturer will include a power cord to plug the vehicle into a standard 120V outlet. Level 1 charging is the slowest way of charging an EV, with the power output ranging from 1.3-2.4kWh.
  • Level 2 charging. A level 2 charger is a faster alternative since it runs on a dedicated 240V circuit and can deliver up to 19.2 kWh. However, the power output can vary based on the installation method, the vehicle, and the charging equipment used.

Depending on the EV model and charging equipment, Level 1 charging can take as much as five times longer than Level 2 EV charging, making Level 2 charging the preferred option for most EV owners.

While a third level of charging exists, it’s not a practical option for residential users. Level 3 or DC Fast charging stations (DCFC) run on 480V to 1,000V and deliver between 50 and 400 kWh, making them the highest-performing option. However, the upfront cost and high voltage requirements mean that Level 3 charging is not a viable solution for at-home charging.

Faster at-home charging could become more accessible in the near future. Many EV automakers have committed to adopting the North American Charging Standard, a standard that supports Level 2 charging at up to 80 amps, with this change expected to take place as early as 2025.

While EV owners will still be able to use legacy charging equipment via an adapter, combining a NACS EV with a NACS Level 2 EV charging station could result in higher at-home charging speeds.

At-Home Vs Public Charging: Fastest Way to Charge an EV

How long does it take to charge an electric car at home and in public? Public charging can be faster, but at-home charging remains the most convenient option for most EV drivers.

At-home charging can take as little as four hours with a Level 2 station and as much as 40+ hours with Level 1 charging. Compared to Level 1 charging, a permanently mounted Level 2 charger increases satisfaction among EV owners and makes overnight charging in four to ten hours a convenient option for daily driving needs.

Public charging is potentially faster because EV owners have access to a national network of approximately 32,000 DC Fast chargers that can fill a battery in an hour or less. However, studies have found that relying on Fast DC charging accelerates EV battery degradation at a rate of around 5%. Additionally, DCFC costs per kWh are typically the most expensive charging option for EV drivers. While the high-speed charging rates DCFC provides can offer great convenience, they are generally best used for long-distance travel, topping up, or fuelling your EV when you’re running short on time, but are not recommended for regular use to satisfy daily driving needs.

Level 2 EV charging is a more popular option when it comes to using public charging stations, with more than 126,000 chargers available nationally. Charging times are comparable to at-home charging with Level 2 equipment, but EV owners have to account for waiting in line and dealing with equipment downtime, and prices per kWh of charge are often significantly more expensive. During Q1 2023, 20% of EV drivers said they ran into equipment malfunctions and other issues at public charging stations.

How to Install a Level 2 Charging Station at Home

Upgrading your home with a Level 2 charging station is an affordable and accessible electrification project, but it’s best to work with a qualified electrician to ensure the charging equipment meets safety standards and performs as expected.

A professional either needs to install a 240V GFCI NEMA 14-50 outlet to plug in the charging equipment or hardwire the charging station directly to your panel. A qualified electrician will review your unique situation, recommend the best approach, and take safety and compliance into consideration when installing your Level 2 charging station.

Electrical Upgrades

In some cases, your installation project will entail some electrical upgrades that can result in a higher cost. Most homes run on a 100- or 200-amp system, but some older homes still have a 60-amp electrical panel.

The role of a panel is to distribute power to individual circuits or appliances. The combined loads of the different circuits can’t exceed 80% of the main circuit breaker’s capacity without creating a severe risk of arcing or even fire.

An EV charges anywhere from 30 to 50 amps, which means a 60-amp panel will quickly become overloaded and unable to manage the load from the other circuits in your home when the EV is charging. Charging an EV on a 100-amp panel may not be possible, depending on the existing electrical loads being powered.

A licensed electrician can perform an EV charger load calculation to determine whether a panel upgrade is justified based on your typical energy usage and existing electrical infrastructure. You should also consider future electrification projects, such as purchasing a second EV, installing a smart electrical panel, or adding battery storage to your home. Upgrading your electrical panel now can help you save in the future.

Optimizing Your EV Charger Installation

How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle? The charging equipment and installation method can affect the charging time.

There are two options to consider when installing a Level 2 EV charger at home:

  1. You can plug the charging equipment into a dedicated 240V outlet, similar to an outlet for your dryer. Keep in mind that because EVs have a continuous, high-powered energy draw for 4-10 hours on a regular basis, specialized equipment will need to be used to avoid component malfunction, melted wires, electrical outlets, and other avoidable hazards. This method can limit the total power draw since heavy-duty outlets typically have a rating of 30 to 50 amps.
  2. Hardwiring the charger directly into the electrical panel is often the recommended option. This approach will eliminate the risk of failure at the outlet, and the outlet won’t limit the amount of power the EV battery can draw, allowing you take take full advantage of higher-rated EV chargers that offer faster charges but require more energy.

A licensed electrician can also optimize your EV charger installation with a smart charger regardless of whether you select a dedicated outlet or a hardwired connection. These products can maximize charging speeds and lower costs by scheduling charging when other circuits won’t draw power or when your electricity provider offers off-peak rates, helping you to take advantage of lower charging costs per kWh. Additionally, a smart panel can also be utilized to similarly control your EV charger and connect your charging routine with any other energy transition technologies your have in your home, such as solar panels or battery storage.


EV charger installation cost can range from $799 for a very simple installation to $1,999 for more complicated installation. If your home requires a panel upgrade, the project could cost another $1,300 to $3,000.

However, you can offset the total cost of the project by taking advantage of incentives available to new EV owners. You can qualify for a federal tax credit that covers up to 30% of the installation cost of a Level 2 charging station at home. You can also explore additional EV charging rebates and incentives offered at the state, municipal, and utility levels.

So, How Long Does It Take to Charge an EV at Home?

Level 1 charging is a convenient option since it doesn’t require any modifications to your breaker panel. Unfortunately, it’s also the slowest method of charging an EV, only adding around three to five miles of range for each hour of charging.

The median driving range of EVs now exceeds 290 miles, which means that a battery can need as long as 50 to 90 hours of charging at Level 1 for a full charge. Level 1 charging can make sense for plug-in hybrid vehicles that rely on a mix of fuel and battery power. It can also be a viable option for topping up the battery and maximizing EV driving range by a few miles in an emergency to extend your EV’s range and make it to a faster Level 2 or DCFC charger further down the road.

Topping up is common among EV owners because it prevents the battery charge from dropping below 20%. While this practice won’t replace public stations that allow for faster charging, it’s a convenient way of supplementing the battery charge while the vehicle sits at home.

How long does it take to charge an electric car with a Level 2 charger?

Depending on the capacity of the charger, you can expect an average of 15 to 40 miles of range per hour of charging with a Level 2 charger. The charging speed can vary since not all batteries have the same power rating. 

What Factors Affect How Long It Takes to Charge an EV?

Battery technology is a crucial factor in determining the charging speed and capacity of an EV. The usable battery capacity of an EV currently averages 69 kWh, but it can exceed 100 kWh on some models. As battery technology continues to evolve, we’ll see more makes and models with high-capacity batteries that support faster charging speeds.

Most EVs come with charging restrictions designed to protect the longevity of the lithium-ion battery. Since these batteries perform better with a charge that stays in the 20% to 80% range, built-in features usually prevent overcharging. In this case, charging typically slows down once the battery charge reaches the 80% mark. This feature can translate to slower charging speeds if you’re topping up a battery that is nearly full.

Lastly, there are safety features designed to protect the battery from overheating. For example, lithium-ion batteries perform better in a temperature range of 68 to 77°F, which means charging will slow down to protect the battery if temperatures drop or climb outside that range. Researchers are exploring cooling technologies that could protect EV batteries and eliminate the need to slow down charging when the battery heats up.

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Explore At-Home EV Charging Options with Qmerit

How long will it take to charge your EV? Ultimately that will depend on your EV and EV charger, but no matter which EV model you drive, installing a Level 2 charging station in your home will speed up your charging and help you make the most of your EV by unlocking the added convenience of charging overnight when your EV is idle at home.

When it comes to EV charger installations, no one is more trusted or recommended than Qmerit.

As North America’s largest network of certified EV charger installers, every Qmerit electrician is fully licensed, background-checked, insured, and properly trained in EV charging station installation so you can rest easy in knowing your installation is done right and backed by the Qmerit Peace of Mind Guarantee.

Recommended by automakers, EV charger manufacturers, utilities, businesses, and homeowners alike, and with over 450,000 EV charging stations installed across the U.S. and Canada, no one is more experienced in energy transition technologies than Qmerit.

Contact Qmerit today and complete our online EV assessment for your customer EV charger installation estimate and to learn more about how Qmerit can help make your next electrification project easy.

Author: Greg Sowder

Greg Sowder

President, Qmerit Network