How long does it take to charge an electric car?

Is it quicker to charge your phone or your electric car?

The Honda e can charge up faster than a smartphone – or even a smartwatch.

It takes just 31 minutes to take the all-electric city car from low battery to 80%, thanks to ever-evolving battery technology and rapid 50kW charging – the kind of chargers you see in service stations or outside supermarkets.

To put that into perspective, we've taken a look at how the Honda e compares to everyday gadgets: a smartphone, smartwatch, laptop and a pair of Bluetooth headphones.

Watch our film below and keep reading our article to find out more.

How long does it take to charge an electric car?

It takes around 31 minutes to charge an electric car from the low-battery warning to 80% with a rapid charger at 50kW.

The low-battery warning comes on at 17% – similar to a smartphone – and how quickly the car charges is dependent on the type of charger used. Skip to how can you charge an electric car in half an hour for more information.


To put into context how long electric cars take to charge, we’ve compared the electric Honda e to a range of gadgets found in many people’s homes.


= 1 hour


Almost half the world’s population has a smartphone, and it’s probably the first thing you’ll grab when you head out to work or the shops. 

They typically take somewhere between 2-3 hours to fully charge from flat. The latest phones can reach 50% in half an hour with a special adaptor.


It takes 1 hour 30 minutes to charge a smartwatch to 80% from flat, and 2 hours 30 minutes to 100%. 

Many are around 4cm long and barely 4 or 5mm thick – remarkable, when you think how they can answer calls, tell us our heart rate and track our walks, runs and cycles by connecting to satellites, thousands of miles away.


While most Bluetooth headphones usually come with a wire for those times you run out of battery, you mostly want to use them wirelessly. 

You can fully charge headphones in around 2 hours from a dead battery using a normal plug. It may take longer if you’re using a USB from your laptop.


The first publicly available laptop went on sale four decades ago now. They’ve since become an essential for many people, a vital tool for work and for staying in touch with loved ones.

Over that 40-year history, batteries are only getting more efficient and you can go from low battery to 80%, with fast charging, in around 1 hour.


The Honda e can go from a low battery to 80% in 31 minutes when using a fast rapid charging – one of three charging options

Rapid charging

Rapid chargers are the fastest way to charge your electric car, offering between 25 and 99 kW. 

Often found at service stations and places close to main routes, rapid chargers are located where your car is going to need a quick charge, or you need to do some shopping or have a break.

Fast charging

Fast-changing requires a wallbox or a commando plug – either can offer between 7 and 22 kW. You can have a fast-charging unit installed at home – like the unit used in Honda’s e:PROGRESS domestic intelligent charging service – or find them at some workplaces. Most public charging units, such as in shopping centres, will use fast charging.

Slow charging

Slow charging is the simplest way to charge your car. It needs between 3 and 5 kW, and you just need a standard electric socket in your home to do it.

It can take up to 18 hours and 48 minutes to charge on the lowest 2.3 kW connection.

Love the idea of an electric car? Check out the Honda e.