This is a valid concern of anyone considering to buy an electric pickup truck, “How long am I going to have to wait for this thing to charge?” Fortunately with battery technology coming a long ways with electric cars, now as electric trucks are coming on the scene, their charge times are much more efficient.
Most of the electric trucks can be charged enough overnight – about 10 hours using Level 2 charging to be able to use the truck to go about your business during the day.
In most cases this will charge the batteries enough to drive about 300 miles before needing another charge. There are always exceptions but this is about average and pretty common. For those times when you need an extra charge there are always fast charges available that can provide a boost to get you where you need to go within minutes to one or two hours.
Difference between “fast” Level 1 Charging and “slow” Level 2 Charging
With the electric vehicle charging stations infrastructure becoming more main stream, the transportation department is jumping onboard and developing plans for electric charging station power infrastructure to allow enough juice for all to be able to charge in 30 minutes or less.
Just like it sounds, the “slow” Charge, most commonly called Level 1 or 2 Charging takes a long time, from 8 and up to 21 hours. But the nice thing is this is considered the “healthy” way to charge the batteries.
Fast charging is great when you really need to use the truck and don’t have much time to leave it charging. DC power charging will do the job, but it’s like having a quick burger or a hot dog, it gets you fed but it’s not very good for you.
Level 1 or 2 Charging (Good)
Everyone’s favorite charging mode, (just like kids love eating their veggies). Everyone knows it’s good for you, or for the truck, but it takes soooo long to charge. Level 1 and Level 2 charging uses AC power to slowly trickle-charge the batteries which helps prolong the battery life.
Level 1 uses 120-volt power and is the best way to charge your truck but it takes the longest.
Level 2 uses 240-volt power which does it faster but still considerably healthy.
DC Fast Charge (Bad)
This charge mode uses DC power to quickly boost the battery power so you can quickly use it. This degrades the battery over time from frequent use, so it is not recommended to use unless you really need to.
How Does This Affect The Battery Health?
Looking at the chart above you can tell that even 4 years of frequent use of DC charging only degrades the battery to about 80%. This is 3 or more times per month, that seems like very little but I guess it is pretty distressing for the battery.
Look at this extended, 10-year chart above. Looks a little more dramatic. With 10 years of frequent use of DC charging, the battery still has 50% of its health. Yes this is me looking at it with glass-half-full point of view.
What is important to notice is that even being a good boy, or girl and only using Level 1 charging like momma said to do, the battery is still 90% at year 4 and 75% at year 10.
So eat your veggies, or don’t, either way the battery has a limited life-span. I say enjoy your truck and charge it how you need to and don’t worry about the battery health too much.
The raw battery health data came from a GeoTab report.
Charging Times By Truck
Chevy Trucks & GMC Hummer and Sierra trucks can be charged on a Level 2 (240-volt) within 10 hours but would take 24 hours to for a full charge on Level 1 (120-volt).
Ford F-150 Lightning is actually pretty impressive with an 80-amp charge station they promise, well with an *, so not much of a promise, but they say it will charge it in 8 hours. The 48-amp charge station will take 10 hours. So either way, pretty usable for overnight charging. We also did some research and wrote about the cost of charging an electric Ford F-150 Lightning truck.
Tesla’s Cybertruck, oh yeah!! This futuristic boxy beast can be charged on their standard charger in about 21 hours. That is pretty disappointing actually.. But come on, who’s going to drive that thing to a job site? It’s a toy that will mostly sit plugged in until you’re ready to go take it out on the town. Fast charge can be done on it in under an hour and it will be at 80% and ready to go.
Rivian R1T and R1S Trucks, Level 1… or Level 2 equivalent charge pack called Large Pack charges the truck from nearly empty to full overnight. I guess that means what, 8, 10 hours? How long is a night? If you come home after work, well let’s say you also stop by Costco on the way home, so let’s say that you’re in the garage by 7 pm. From 7 pm to 6 am or so you have about 11 hours. Pretty average I’d say. They do have a quick charge you can do that will get you 140 miles in just 20 minutes of plazma charge (just kidding about the plazma).
Here Is The Takeaway
After looking at all this, my takeaway is that an electric truck can be effectively charged in a “healthy” manner within 10 hours. If you need to drive a long way – over 300 miles, you need to have a good plan for charging your truck.
If you are not a crazy straight shot, no-pee-break type of driver, 300 miles is plenty to drive in a day. Then let it charge overnight and continue in the morning. Unless you have a Cybertruck, then you gonna need 2 days stay. Haha, I hope this information I found about it taking 21 hours to charge is wrong. But really, I could not find any other info on it that says any different.
There are some that will take a gas or diesel generator with them to get some charge just in case, and it is a valid move unless the reason you have an electric vehicle is to not use fossil fuel … then you are in a delema.
For day-to-day driving, you should have plenty of juice to do what you need all day and then charge at night.
Charging at Walmart, Target and Other Stores
Keep in mind that the EV Charging stations at stores like Walmart and Target are DC Fast chargers, so if you are “health-conscious”, you may want to pass on that kind of pleasures and wait till you get home. Choose wisely what type of charging you give your electric car or truck.
Also there are more and more Tesla chargers all over the place and are tempting to get a taste but keep in mind that the direct Tesla charger will not work on other cars and trucks unless you are in one of the pilot location that Tesla is testing to allow other cars charge up.
I’m a part-time vegan so I’d probably still be tempted to plug my truck into one of those if I was a little low, but that’s just me. Really though, based on the charts on this page, I’d just go by ear and if the truck needs a charge just plug it in and don’t sweat it.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.