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How longdoes it take to charge a car?

Charging Equipment

In North America, electrical vehicle connectors and stations are standardized and the equipment has been tested and approved to ensure user safety.

120 Volt Outlets

It is possible to charge an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid with a standard 120-volt outlet, which most residences have either somewhere outside or in the garage.

Charging an electric vehicle uses about as much electricity as a 1,400-watt air conditioner.

Approximate charging time

  • Plug-in hybrid: 6 to 8 hours
  • All-electric vehicle: 11 to 16 hours

240 Volt Stations

A 240-volt charging station cuts charging time in half when compared to a standard outlet.

These 240-volt stations can be installed outside or in your garage.

You must hire a master electrician to install a new 240-volt electrical circuit on a building. The type of outlet is similar to the one used to plug in a dryer or an oven inside a house or a welding machine in a garage.

It is also possible to use an existing 240-volt outlet (of welding machine type for example) to plug in a portable charging station.

There are many types of 240-volt stations: mobile or fixed, for indoor or outdoor use. It is easy for an individual to purchase one from a distributor, dealership or directly from the manufacturer.

One 240-volt station uses about as much electricity as a 151-litre (40-gallon) water heater.

Approximate charging time

  • Plug-in hybrid: 3 to 4 hours
  • All-electric vehicle: 6 to 8 hours

Notes

Stations of 400 Volts and More

DC quick chargers, usually referred to as DCQC, operate at a minimum of 400 volts. These stations are already on the market in the U.S. and are being accredited in Canada. The high purchase and installation cost of quick chargers explains why they are not as common as 240-volt stations.

Estimated charging time

  • It takes 30 minutes to charge a battery to 80% capacity (45 minutes in winter).
  • In 10 minutes, a quick charger can provide enough electricity to run an all-electric vehicle for 50 kilometres.

Limitations

Only vehicles equipped with a compatible charging port (CHAdeMO or Combined Charging System – CCS) can use a quick charging station. This is the case with the Nissan Leaf, the BMW i3, the Kia Soul EV and the Mitsubishi i-Miev. Teslas can use a special connector for these stations. Other all-electric vehicles do not offer this option at the moment.

Plug-in hybrid models such as the Chevrolet Volt or the Toyota Prius PHV cannot charge at these stations.

These limitations explain why it is common to find a complementary 240-volt charging station at a quick charging station location.

Discover the public fast-charging stations in operation in Québec!