EV Charging Types and Speeds Explained

There are three main categories of EV charging units – slow, rapid and fast chargers.

Each type of charger is best suited to a different use case.

Each charger type has an associated set of connectors which are designed for low- or high-power use, and for either AC or DC charging. 

Charger TypePower RatingApprox Range per Hour ChargedSuitable Applications
SlowUp to 3.6 kW12.5 MilesOvernight home charging, workplace charging
Fast7kW or 22 kW25 Miles at 7 kW
75 Miles at 22kW
On street charging
Destination charging
Rapid43kW +150 + MilesMotorway and main route charging

Slow Chargers

EV chargers rated as slow are single phase, use alternating current (AC) and deliver a maximum of 3.6 kW. They typically take 6-12 hours to fully recharge an EV.  

Slow charging is ideal for overnight use at homes with off street parking.  

Due to longer charging times, public use slow chargers are less common. Those that are found tend to be older units. 

Slow charging units are untethered. This means users will need to use their own cable to connect to the charge point.  

Whilst slow charging can be carried out using a regular three-pin socket, due to the higher current demands of EVs and the amount of time spent charging, it’s always recommended that a dedicated EV charging unit is installed. 

Fast Chargers

Fast chargers, can be single or three phase and are rated at either 7 or 22kW. The majority of fast chargers use AC, however some networks are now installing 25kW DC chargers.

A 7kW charger will take from 4-6 hours to recharge a battery. A 22kW charger will take 1-2 hours. 

Fast chargers are usually found at destinations such as car parks, super markets or leisure centres where visitors will be parked for an hour or more. Increasingly, fast chargers are used for on-street residential parking. Fast chargers are also mostly untethered. 

Charging rates when using a fast charger depend on a cars on-board charger. Not all models are able to accept 7kW or more. 

Rapid Chargers

Rapid chargers are the fastest way to charge and EV.

Rated from 43kw to 100kw, rapid charges supply high power direct or alternation current to recharge a vehicle as often as possible.

Rapid chargers are only compatible with certain Electric vehicles. Some EV manufacturers, e.g Tesla are creating networks of rapid chargers just for use with their vehicles. 

This type of charger is often found at service stations or at locations to main routes. Rapid chargers allow EV motorists to complete journeys longer than their vehicles range with minimal time spent waiting for charge. 

All rapid charging units have tethered cables.  

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