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Can You Leave an Electric Car at the Airport?

Lorraine B. Jenkin

vehicle parked in airport during daytime

Key Takeaway: Leaving an electric car at the airport is possible, but it requires careful planning and consideration due to charging infrastructure availability, charging times, parking considerations, and potential costs. Here’s what you need to know.

One of the key considerations when leaving an electric car at the airport is the availability of charging stations. Fortunately, many airports around the world are beginning to invest in charging infrastructure to support the growing number of electric vehicles on the road.

To locate charging stations at airports, you can use various tools and apps such as PlugShare, ChargePoint, or the navigation system in your electric car. These resources provide real-time information on the availability and location of charging stations, ensuring that you can plan your trip with ease.

Charging Options at Airports

When it comes to charging your electric car at the airport, you’ll typically encounter three charging options: standard Level 1 charging, Level 2 charging, and fast charging.

  1. Level 1 Charging: This is the slowest charging option, utilizing a standard household outlet (120V). Level 1 charging is best suited for overnight parking or longer stays at the airport, as it provides a low charging rate, typically adding around 3-5 miles of range per hour.
  2. Level 2 Charging: Level 2 charging stations operate at 240V and offer faster charging speeds compared to Level 1. They can add around 10-30 miles of range per hour, making them more convenient for shorter stays at the airport.
  3. Fast Charging: Fast charging, also known as DC fast charging or Level 3 charging, provides the quickest charging experience. These high-powered charging stations can add up to 80% of the battery’s capacity in as little as 30 minutes. However, it’s important to note that not all airports have fast charging stations available.

Charging Times and Travel Plans

When leaving an electric car at the airport, it’s crucial to consider charging times and how they may impact your travel plans. The charging speed will depend on the charging level and the battery capacity of your electric car.

For example, let’s say you have a vehicle with a 60 kWh battery and you want to charge it from 20% to 80%. With a Level 1 charger, it could take approximately 12-20 hours to reach 80% charge. On the other hand, a Level 2 charger could accomplish the same charge in about 4-6 hours. If fast charging is available, you can expect to reach 80% charge in around 30 minutes.

These time estimates are generalized and can vary depending on the specific electric car model and its charging capabilities. It’s important to plan ahead and allow sufficient time for charging based on your travel itinerary.

Parking Considerations for Electric Vehicles

While leaving an electric car at the airport, it’s essential to be aware of any specific parking requirements or restrictions for electric vehicles. Some airports may have designated electric vehicle parking spots that are reserved for charging, while others may allow EVs to park in regular parking spaces.

To avoid any issues, it’s advisable to research your chosen airport’s policies regarding electric vehicle parking. This information can usually be found on the airport’s website or by contacting their customer service.

Cost Implications of Charging at the Airport

Another factor to consider is the potential costs associated with charging your electric car at the airport. While some airports offer free charging as an incentive to promote electric vehicle adoption, others may charge a fee for the use of their charging stations.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that some airports may require you to pay for parking, even if you’re solely using the charging stations. These costs can vary significantly depending on the airport’s pricing structure and the duration of your stay.

To avoid any surprises, it’s a good idea to research the charging fees and parking rates in advance. This will allow you to budget accordingly and factor in any additional expenses associated with leaving your electric car at the airport.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Leaving an Electric Car at the Airport

Now that we’ve covered the practical aspects, let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of leaving an electric car at the airport.


  1. Convenience: Having access to charging stations at the airport eliminates the need to search for alternative charging options before or after your trip.
  2. Environmental Impact: By choosing to leave your electric car at the airport, you’re reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to cleaner air quality.


  1. Range Anxiety: Leaving your electric car at the airport for an extended period may lead to range anxiety, especially if you’re unsure about the availability of charging stations at your destination or along your route.
  2. Limited Charging Options: Not all airports have a comprehensive charging infrastructure in place. This may limit your charging options and potentially impact your charging experience.

Tips and Recommendations for Leaving an Electric Car at the Airport

To make your experience of leaving an electric car at the airport as smooth as possible, here are some practical tips and recommendations:

  1. Plan Ahead: Research the charging infrastructure and parking policies at your chosen airport before your trip.
  2. Arrive with Sufficient Charge: Ensure that your electric car has enough charge to reach the airport and navigate any unforeseen circumstances.
  3. Use Charging Apps: Utilize charging apps or tools to locate charging stations and check their availability in real-time.
  4. Consider Off-Site Charging: If the airport charging infrastructure is limited or expensive, you may want to explore off-site charging options near the airport.
  5. Be Mindful of Time: Factor in the charging times required for your specific electric car model when planning your travel itinerary.
  6. Bring Charging Adapters: Carry any necessary charging adapters to ensure compatibility with different charging station types.
  7. Monitor Charging Progress: Keep an eye on the charging progress using your electric car’s mobile app or the charging station’s interface.

Remember, leaving an electric car at the airport is still a relatively new concept, and the availability and quality of charging infrastructure can vary. By staying informed and planning ahead, you can ensure a hassle-free travel experience while maintaining the sustainability benefits of driving an electric car.

In conclusion, leaving an electric car at the airport is indeed possible, but it requires careful consideration of charging infrastructure availability, charging times, parking requirements, and potential costs. By understanding these factors and following the tips and recommendations provided, you can confidently leave your electric car at the airport and enjoy your travels with peace of mind and a greener conscience.


Q: Can I leave my electric car at the airport if I don’t have a charging adapter?
A: It’s always advisable to have a charging adapter with you, as different charging stations may require different connector types. However, some airports may have charging stations that provide multiple connector options, reducing the need for adapters.

Q: Are there any airports that offer free charging for electric vehicles?
A: Yes, some airports offer complimentary charging as an incentive to promote electric vehicle adoption. However, it’s important to research the charging fees and parking rates at your chosen airport to avoid any surprises.

Q: Can I charge my electric car at the airport even if I’m not traveling?
A: It depends on the airport’s policies. Some airports may allow you to use their charging stations even if you’re not traveling, while others may restrict access to parking and charging facilities for passengers only. It’s best to check with the airport in advance.

Q: Are there any airports with fast charging stations available?
A: Yes, several airports worldwide have installed fast charging stations to accommodate electric vehicles. However, the availability of fast charging stations can vary, so it’s advisable to check the specific airport’s charging infrastructure before your trip.

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