What connector types will I find at Public Charging facilities?

The 3 most common plug types in Europe are the Type 2, CCS and CHAdeMO.

The Type 2 is the standard cable most electric vehicle owners keep in their car, and is used to connect to AC chargers with charging speeds of up to 43 kW (400 V, 63 A, AC). So what are the others, exactly?

Most "destination" chargers in public places are equipped with a type 2 socket. The CCS is an enhanced version of the Type 2, which enables rapid charging and supports both AC and DC charging. The CHAdeMO plug was developed in Japan, and facilitates rapid DC charging. The appropriate plug types for each electric vehicle will be included in manufacturer literature.

It is also easy to figure out thanks to the differing shape and appearance of each plug. Much like the differently sized petrol and diesel nozzles to prevent misfuelling of ICE vehicles, the sockets and plugs should only connect to their appropriate counterpart.

Type 1

 

  • Mostly found in North America
  • Used for home charging on AC electricity supplies

Type 2

 

  • Mostly found in Europe
  • Used for home charging on AC electricity supplies

Tesla Type 2

 

  • Specific to Tesla Model S and Model X
  • Permits rapid DC charging

CCS (Combined Charging System)

 

  • Combined with either a Type 2 or Type 1 socket
  • Permits rapid DC charging

 

This connector type can seem confusing at first. 

 

Manufacturers that permit CCS for their new models: BMW, Daimler, FCA, Ford, Jaguar, General Motors, Groupe PSA, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, MG, Polestar, Renault, Tesla, Tata Motors and Volkswagen Group.

Tip

For a rapid charge, use a tethered Combo 2 plug.

CHAdeMO

 

  • Just like CCS, it is combined with either a Type 2 or Type 1 socket
  • Bi-directional charger (Don't worry, we'll explain this in a second) 
  • Permits rapid DC charging

 

The popular Nissan Leaf sports a ChAdeMO socket, but older models of electric vehicles such as the Hyundai Ioniq and the Kia Soul EV also have them too. 

 

We mentioned that CHAdeMO can be used as a "bi-directional" charger. This means that energy can flow from the car to the charger, but also vice versa. 

UK Mains Plug

You should already know what we're talking about. The three-pin plug that powers everything in your home. The max output of this is only 3kW. 

Manufacturers will only recommend three-pin charging as a last resort due to concerns around fire safety. Trust us, it's not worth it. Get a wallbox instead!