Good Question: How long does it take to charge electric cars?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Without a doubt, this is one of the main things you’ll have to consider if you want to go electric — time.

Todd sent News10NBC’s Brennan Somers this message: I’ve been wanting to know how long does an electric car take to charge on a long trip versus filling your gas tank in 3 – 4 minutes?

We do know it’s going to be a significant difference. Somers went to AAA of Western and CNY’s electric vehicle guru Bryan Jajkowski to get some advice.

He took Somers through the three levels of charging setups.

We’ll start with level 1. Those are everyday outlets you have at home.

"That’s a 120v base charging system something you plug into your wall, plug into your car," Jajkowski explained. "It’ll probably take 8 to 10 hours to top off a battery from 75 to 85% drain."

Level 2 chargers can power you in about half the time.

"Something for that, you would need a special hookup, something like an electric dryer or electric range, so it’s not out of the question to get that in your home," Jajkowski added.

The strongest is level 3. It’s basically an industrial/commercial hookup.

But they aren’t everywhere and not all-electric vehicles can use fast chargers yet.

What if you’re not going for a full charge at once?

Here’s another good breakdown Somers found with the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Level 1: 2–5 miles per 1 hour of charging, probably doing that at your house
  • Level 2: 10-20 miles for every hour hooked up, you can find these at public charging stations.
  • Level 3: At least 60 miles per 20 minutes of charging, but again, not all drivers can use them and while they are showing up in more places, there’s limited availability

Besides going green, there’s another incentive to get electric cars.

New York state offers the Drive Clean Rebate, which is a discount of up to $2,000. There’s also a federal tax credit worth up to $7,500 for getting an electric car.


Watch previous Good Question segments here. If you have a question you’d like answered, email