What are the different types of electric car plugs?

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #130913 Reply
    Brydo
    Participant

    For many potential EV buyers one of the most confusing aspects of ownership are the multiple charging connectors. Unlike traditional internal combustion engined cars that all use similar filler nozzles to receive their fill of fuel, with electric cars there are at least five different plugs, with various manufacturers committed to one or even two systems. However, as our handy guide shows, it’s more straightforward than it looks, and in future will likely be even more so.

    Type 1 plug

    This five-pin connector is used widely in North America, but in the UK and Europe it’s been largely superseded by the Type 2 variety. That said, you’ll still find it on some older EVs, such as the first generation versions of the Nissan Leaf and Kia Soul EV, while the plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV continues to use this connector. This system is only designed for AC (Alternating Current) slow and fast charging, which means it can accept anything between three and seven kW. And while you’re unlikely to find a tethered (charging cable permanently attached to the charger) Type 1 public charger, EVs with this system should have an adapter that allows them to be plugged into untethered charging points.

    Type 2 plug

    By far the most common plug in Europe, the Type 2 is sometimes referred to as the Mennekes in deference to the German company that designed the connector. Recent EU legislation means that most car manufacturers now have to fit this seven-pin plug as standard to their EV models, meaning that almost all tethered public charging points will have a Type 2 plug.

    Like the Type 1, this system is designed to work with slow and fast charging. However, it can also handle the 22kW delivered by a three-phase power supply, although you’ll need to check your car can accept this rate of charge. The latest Renault Zoe can also handle charging of up to 43kW at one of the rare AC rapid charging sites, while the Tesla Model S and Model X use a modified Type 2 that allows them to charge at both the firm’s Supercharger network and at a domestic wallbox.

    Unlike the Type 1 connector, the Type 2 can be locked to the car, ensuring nobody can disconnect the car while it’s charging and you’re away from the vehicle.

    Combination Plugs (Combined Charging System, or CCS)

    The Combined Combination System, or CCS as it’s more commonly termed, is the most popular connector for DC (Direct Current) rapid charging. Most new pure EV models are fitted with this type of socket, which essentially allows you to both charge at a public DC rapid charger and a home AC unit. This is also the system that Tesla has started to adopt in Europe, making it standard on the Model 3.

    Essentially it combines the heavy duty 2-pin DC socket with either the 7-pin Type 2 (CCS Combo 2) or 5-pin Type 1 fixing, with the DC connector sitting below these AC plugs. When you want to top-up the battery at a rapid charging station (most will feature both types of CCS connectors), simply slot the tethered CCS connector into your car and, depending on the charger and vehicle, you can accept up to 350kW of current. However, while the CCS plug connects with both charger sockets in the car, it’s only the 2-pin element at the bottom that’s used to transfer the electricity to the battery. When you’re charging at home, simply use your Type 2 plug for the top half of the socket.

    CHAdeMO plug

    CHAdeMO is the abbreviation for the rather enigmatic sounding ‘Charge de Move’, one of the first DC rapid charging systems. Devised in 2010 in Japan, it’s still the connector favoured by Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. Like the CCS system it is used for rapid charging and is currently capable of carrying up to 400kW, with Chinese technology providers looking to up this to 900kW.

    Unlike its CCS rival, CHAdeMO requires the car to have two separate plugs for rapid and slow/fast charging (one CHAdeMO, the other a Type 2 or Type 1 socket). That’s not necessarily a hassle from a usability point of view, but it does mean a much larger access flap, which can be harder to package into the car’s styling.

    While CHAdeMO is less popular in Europe than CCS, it does have one trick up its sleeve: the ability to carry electrical current in two directions, which in theory allows for ‘Vehicle to Grid’ energy transfer. Still in its early days, this technology allows you to use some of the electricity from your fully charged EV to partly power your home, or even sell some of the unused energy back to the National Grid.

    Domestic socket

    Almost all EVs have the capability to be charged from a domestic supply using a familiar 3-pin plug. This charger simply plugs into your home socket and is connected to a small transformer box that has either a Type 1 or Type 2 plug at the other end, which you connect to the car. It’s recommended as an emergency solution (such as when you’re staying with friends and family and need a top-up), because prolonged use can damage your home’s wiring. It must also never be used with an extension lead.

    CEE plug

    Popular with very early electric cars, such as the G-Wiz, this is also known as the ‘camping connector’. It refers to the plug at the power supply and is the same sort used by campsites to provide electrical power to visiting caravans and campers. You can have it installed in your home, where it will deliver a 3kW slow charge, but it also has the added bonus of working with an industrial standard three-phase supply for fast charging at up to 22kW.

    Tesla Supercharger

    You’re more than likely familiar with the Tesla Supercharger network, with many motorway services home to these multiple charging points. Available exclusively to Tesla owners, all the chargers feature tethered cables and the firm’s own rapid charging compatible Type 2 connector. With the advent of the Model 3 the network is also rolling out CCS connectivity.

    Electric car charging cables

    Mode 2 charging cable

    This is the most basic slow or trickle charging cable. It’s the one you’ll get with the car that features a 3-pin plug at one end and a Type 1 or Type 2 connector at the other, with an electrical transformer in between.

    Mode 3 charging cable

    The second cable you should get with the car is the Type 3, which allows you to connect to an untethered (where the cable isn’t permanently attached to the charging unit) public charging point or home wallbox. Most feature a Type 2 connector at the charger end, then depending on the car either Type 1 or Type 2 plug at the other.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #130934 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Brydo, given that watts = amps x volts, and that there is a practical limit to the fatness of these cables which limits the amps, can I assume the voltages to achieve these power levels must be very high? Or is it not that simple?

    #130989 Reply
    gothitjulie
    Participant

    AC is supplied to the car at the usual mains domestic voltage, 240V give or take a bit & the cables are often 10mm, 3 cores for single phase, 5 cores for 3-phase, plus a smaller comms cable for the car to tell the unit to stop sending electricity.

    DC chargers are a bit more complex & most of the ones around at the moment supply around 400V DC, the limiting factor often being the car which may demand no more than 125 amps as an example (usual to find that’s the limiting factor using a 50kW rapid charger with cars that charge at upto 50kW) The voltage also varies with battery charge levels. Cables on a 50kW rapid charger are quite thick.

    When you get onto a 150kW rapid charger the cables get thicker, & start being a problem, they are also usually cooled inside the cable.

    Then you find the 350kW chargers & the cables are no larger than the 150kW ones & wonder what’s going on, but yes, rather than supplying at around 400V DC, the only cars that get over 175kW are the 800V DC ones such as that Porsche Taycan. These DC chargers rely on the car to tell them how much current & volts they want supplied during the charging process, hence charging gets slower when the battery gets warm & the car tells the charger to supply less.

    So you’re right, it’s simple physics, increase the voltage to keep the cables sensible.

     

     

    #130991 Reply
    Brydo
    Participant

    AC is supplied to the car at the usual mains domestic voltage, 240V give or take a bit & the cables are often 10mm, 3 cores for single phase, 5 cores for 3-phase, plus a smaller comms cable for the car to tell the unit to stop sending electricity.

    Oh julie i was just about to answer that and you beat me to it lol.

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

    #131001 Reply
    Wigwam
    Participant

    Just what I wanted, gothitjulie.  Very comprehensive. Couldn’t find it by Googling. Satisfies my need to know stuff…

    #131005 Reply
    rox
    Participant

    It’s not as straight forward as it looks, The petrol pump is as straight forward as it gets. Simplicity ev charging out and about it is not.

    I went and filled mine up today at asda, why asda because you can pay at the drive thru kiosk. So much easier. Had 16 miles left in the tank and filled it fully up, cost just over £40 and that will do this month. Took less than 5 minutes, No hassle of charging or remembering to pickup the correct lead and put it away etc.

    This covids saving me huge amounts only driven almost 3k in the car so far and had it since mid june.

    The civic don’t even have a fuel cap either so thats another hassle i don’t miss over the golf or the time it will take to use a lead to add electric, plus having to use some app to get it to connect or you findout the charger you need is out of order. Till that’s all solved i will not be getting an ev, Just not as easy or straight forward at all. In fact it imo is a hassle i don’t wanna contend with, but i feel we will be forced to at some point and at that point i probally will leave the scheme and buy a 2nd hand ice car.. which is kinda stupid imo banning new ice car sales but older ice cars are allowed on the roads still. Which clearly will be worse in emissions than newer ones would be.

    #131099 Reply
    gothitjulie
    Participant

    Your’re right rox, but the adoption of CCS as the main DC connector throughout Europe, & the type 2 as the main AC connector will mean there is really only the one socket type as the CCS is a type 2 socket with a couple of extra DC pins below it.

    However, some of us luddites have installed 32A commando sockets just to cause confusion, knowing we can plug our lawnmower in as well as the car…. and also the 32A hot water jetwash for when electricity prices go negative in the middle of the night & you want to make sure your neighbours know you wash your car (& wake them up).

    Kind of looking forward to a blizzard, the wind turns the turbines, electricity prices go negative & people start jetwashing snow off their driveways in the middle of the night for profit. Beats listening to dogs barking I guess.

     

     

    #131109 Reply
    Oscarmax
    Participant

    It’s not as straight forward as it looks, The petrol pump is as straight forward as it gets. Simplicity ev charging out and about it is not. I went and filled mine up today at asda, why asda because you can pay at the drive thru kiosk. So much easier. Had 16 miles left in the tank and filled it fully up, cost just over £40 and that will do this month. Took less than 5 minutes, No hassle of charging or remembering to pickup the correct lead and put it away etc. This covids saving me huge amounts only driven almost 3k in the car so far and had it since mid june. The civic don’t even have a fuel cap either so thats another hassle i don’t miss over the golf or the time it will take to use a lead to add electric, plus having to use some app to get it to connect or you findout the charger you need is out of order. Till that’s all solved i will not be getting an ev, Just not as easy or straight forward at all. In fact it imo is a hassle i don’t wanna contend with, but i feel we will be forced to at some point and at that point i probally will leave the scheme and buy a 2nd hand ice car.. which is kinda stupid imo banning new ice car sales but older ice cars are allowed on the roads still. Which clearly will be worse in emissions than newer ones would be.

    Wow  a little over 500 miles £5.79 in electric for November, just plug in the PodPoint home EV charger. no smelly petrol station or fumes


    In 2005 I suffered a brain injury which has left me with mental and physical disabilities.
    Unfortunately I do get confused and get things wrong, so I apologise in advance.

    #131110 Reply
    rox
    Participant

    Since my son died in 2017 my cars not been jetwashed as one of the things he used to love doing was washing the car. Sadly i cannot do it, so it’s the carwash for me and often it seems there is just no point, because as soon as i do some bird craps on it again and it’s not even parked below a tree.

    Soon they’ll be saying washing your car is bad for the enviroment and often there’s no real thought or plan to what they rollout and how certain groups will cope, like myself to the issues they then cause. It’s not just a case of well you will have to, what if you just cannot or doing so adds to your stress levels, that maybe out of your control. Like when you have brain issues or mobility issues or both.

    #131114 Reply
    Oscarmax
    Participant

    Since my son died in 2017 my cars not been jetwashed as one of the things he used to love doing was washing the car. Sadly i cannot do it, so it’s the carwash for me and often it seems there is just no point, because as soon as i do some bird craps on it again and it’s not even parked below a tree. Soon they’ll be saying washing your car is bad for the enviroment and often there’s no real thought or plan to what they rollout and how certain groups will cope, like myself to the issues they then cause. It’s not just a case of well you will have to, what if you just cannot or doing so adds to your stress levels, that maybe out of your control. Like when you have brain issues or mobility issues or both.

    Sorry about you son, many years ago my brother committed suicide.

    I never worry about what I cannot do, I am only ever interested in the things I can do, the things I can’t I always find away around.


    In 2005 I suffered a brain injury which has left me with mental and physical disabilities.
    Unfortunately I do get confused and get things wrong, so I apologise in advance.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
Reply To: What are the different types of electric car plugs?
Your information: