EV charging rates are often referred to by the simple classification of Level 1 (120V), Level 2 (240V) and Level 3 (400V and above DC), but within those categories can be a wide range of charging rates. Level 2, for example, can range from a 6.0-kW ChargePoint connection you might find in a parking garage to a maximum rate of 19.2 kW. If you own an EV, you want to charge at home as much as possible; it’s easier and a lot cheaper that way. And we think the sweet spot is the ability to recharge your vehicle’s battery roughly overnight: call it in 10 to 12 hours or more.
For most EVs with medium-sized battery packs, this is possible with mainstream home charging options, as featured in this roundup. But for vehicles with larger packs, like the 131.0-kWh Ford F-150 Lightning, the 128.9-kWh Rivian R1S or R1T, or the 112.0-kWh Lucid Air, you’ll need more juice for anything close to an overnight charge. For example, charging time for a Lightning using a 6.0-kW outlet is about 24 hours, and a Hummer EV with a large 212.7-kWh pack will take almost 40 hours.
How Rates and Charge Times are Calculated
Quick refresher: The rating is simply power output, or voltage times current, eg, 240 volts and 40 amps equals an output of 9600 watts, or 9.6 kilowatts. And electrical circuits can run continuously at 80 percent of their rated capacity, so a 50-amp, 240-volt circuit is required to be able to charge at 40 amps or 9.6 kW. To estimate EV charging time, take the battery capacity, add 10 percent for losses, and divide by the charging rate.
Long charging times with some of these latest large-battery EVs on the 6.0-kW ChargePoint unit we have in our office led us to look for replacements for the two Tesla Wall Connectors we also have in our office, both of which are wired to support 19.2- kW on the Model S, a long-discontinued Tesla option. Although we’ve used a Tesla-to-J1772 adapter to charge non-Tesla EVs, the connector is only rated for charging at half the 19.2-kW maximum.
We landed on the Porsche Wall Connector, which retails for $1586. Expensive, yes, but there aren’t many options for the fastest Level 2 charging. Ford’s Charge Station Pro costs $1310, Lucid’s Connected Home Charging Station for $1200—both support bidirectional charging. Clipper Creek is a rare third-party option, and it costs $2195. And the Porsche unit is the only one with a display on it, the same 5.0-inch touchscreen interface found on Porsche’s optional portable charging kit, which is an $1120 option when buying the Taycan.
We wish we could view our charging remotely via the My Porsche app, but it turns out you need to charge a Porsche that’s in your account to do so. Instead, we see energy consumption on the screen to track EV efficiency and can look back at previous charging activity if necessary. There’s also the possibility of connecting to the hotspot of the charging unit itself to see activity, although we haven’t managed to make that work yet.
Try This at Home?
To be able to charge at the maximum 19.2-kW rate, three things must align: your home must have a dedicated 100-amp circuit for EV charging, your charging equipment must have the capability, and the vehicle must be able to receive it. For example, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, our Best EV of 2022, has a 10.9-kW onboard charger. So, it cannot charge at a higher rate than at a Level 2 outlet no matter what charging equipment is installed. To be able to charge the Porsche Taycan at the maximum rate, you need to choose the $1680 option for the 19.2-kW onboard charger when ordering, or there is the possibility to customize it later.
But, when all these things are combined, charging times are impressive: a Taycan with a large pack can be charged from empty to full in less than five hours, a Lucid Air in about 6.5 hours, and an F-150 Lightning or Rivian R1S or R1T in 7.5 hours.