Yes, you can fully charge an electric vehicle overnight

There are three levels of chargers for electric vehicles, and the make of the car depends on how quickly it can charge.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Online search traffic for electric vehicles has been skyrocketing. According to Cars.com, electric car searches on its website have increased 173% from Feb. 24 to March 25.

But not everything you read online is true. 

A viewer named Daniel emailed the WCNC Charlotte Verify team, asking about the time it takes to fully charge an electric vehicle.  After doing a quick search on Google Trends, a lot of people want to know about charging an electric vehicle overnight.

THE QUESTION

Can you fully charge an electric vehicle overnight?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Yes, you can fully charge an electric vehicle overnight. However, it depends on what kind of charger you use.

WHAT WE FOUND

First, it's important to know: Just like every gas-powered car is different, every electric vehicle works a little differently. Each car charges at a different rate.

"Your lower-cost smaller battery EVs tend to charge at a slower rate than your higher-cost, larger battery, EVs," Cross said. "So there's just a lot of difference in the technology within the vehicles and how they interface with chargers."

According to DOE, there are three levels of chargers.

Credit: WCNC

A majority of electric vehicle owners either have a Level 1 or a Level 2 charger at home. A Level 1 charger doesn't need any installation: The car can charge through any 110-volt outlet.

A Level 1 charger provides the slowest rate of electricity to the car, so it charges a car between three and five miles per hour.

A Level 2 charger costs between $100-$500 to install, but charges a car faster, between 12 and 60 miles per hour.

Level 2 chargers are also in public places, many of them free to use.

Level 3 chargers, otherwise known as DC-fast chargers, are in public but a majority require users to pay for the charge. These chargers provide the quickest charge, fully charging a car in less than an hour.

Kelly Blue Book broke down how long it would take a Level 2 charger to fully charge leading electric vehicles. Most are between seven and 11 hours.

Credit: Kelly Blue Book

"Once you're an EV owner, you just get comfortable with the fact that you arrive home every evening with a battery that's done some work and needs to charge up," Cross said. "You plug it into your house you go in and make dinner you go to sleep you wake up in the morning and you cut off full battery." 

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

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