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EV Charging Connector Types: A Complete Guide

Electric vehicles (EVs) continue to grow in popularity worldwide due to their clean energy and efficient performance. However, with the increasing number of electric vehicles, ensuring the infrastructure is in place to meet their charging needs is critical. One critical component of charging infrastructure is the EV charging connectors, sockets, and plugs used on EVs and electric vehicle charging stations

These EV connectors can vary significantly by country and also the type of EV and charging station. There, unfortunately, isn’t a one-size fits all EV connector. Therefore it is essential to fully understand the different EV connectors, sockets, and plugs available worldwide. In addition, different charging station levels, such as Level 2 and Level 3 (DC fast charging), require specific EV connectors to ensure safe and efficient charging.

Understanding the various EV charging connectors, sockets, and plugs is crucial for EV owners, charging station providers and installers, and policymakers. This complete guide will explore the differences between the available electric vehicle connector types, what countries they are in, how fast they are, and much more. Below shows a visual summary of the electric vehicle connectors that are currently used in the market.

EV CHARGING CONNECTORS

Several EV charging connectors are available, each with unique features and capabilities. Before we look closely at each connector, we must understand that there are two primary electric vehicle charging methods: AC (alternate current) charging and DC (direct current) fast charging. The electrical power that comes from the grid is always in the form of AC, but the battery of an EV can only store energy in DC form. This means the power must be converted before storing it in the battery.

AC charging relies on the onboard charger in the vehicle to convert the AC power to DC. On the other hand, DC fast charging involves converting AC power to DC at the charging station before it flows into the vehicle. DC fast charging allows for a quicker charging experience as it bypasses the vehicle’s onboard charger, delivering more power directly to the battery. This is shown in the illustration below.

Now that we know the difference between AC and DC charging, let’s take a closer look at each type of EV charging connector:

SAE J1772 CONNECTOR – TYPE 1

The SAE J1772 connector, also known as a J Plug or Type 1 connector, is a charging standard used primarily in North America and Japan. It features five pins and can charge up to 80 amps utilizing 240 volts input, providing a maximum power output of an EV charger of 19.2 kW. The J1772 EV connector supports single-phase AC charging for Level 1 and Level 2 EV chargers. The drawback of the Type 1 plug is that it only allows single-phase use and does not have an automatic locking mechanism like the Type 2 (Mennekes) connector used in Europe.

Almost every North American electric car or plug-in hybrid will have a Type 1 plug on their vehicle except for Tesla, which has its own proprietary charging standard. However, they provide a compatible adapter allowing Tesla drivers to charge using a J1772 charger.

EV Connector Type SAE J1772 (Type 1)
Output Current Type AC (Alternate Current)
Supply Input 120 Volts or 208/240 Volts (Single-phase only)
Maximum Output Current 16 Amps (120 Volts) 80 Amps (208/240 Volts)
Maximum Output Power 1.92 kW (120 Volts) 19.2 kW (208/240 Volts)
EV Charging Level(s) Level 1, Level 2
Primary Countries USA, Canada, Japan

MENNEKES CONNECTOR – TYPE 2

The Type 2 connector, also known as the Mennekes connector, is a charging standard used primarily in Europe. It features seven pins and can charge up to 32 amps utilizing 400 volts input, providing a maximum power output of 22 kW. The type 2 connector supports single-phase and three-phase AC charging for Level 2 chargers. The plugs have openings on the side that allows them to lock into place automatically when connected to the EV for charging. The automatic locking between the plug and the EV prevents the charging cable from being removed during charging.

EV Connector Type Mennekes (Type 2)
Output Current Type AC (Alternate Current)
Supply Input 230 Volts (Single-Phase) or 400 Volts (three-phase)
Maximum Output Current 32 Amps (230 Volts) 32 Amps (400 Volts)
Maximum Output Power 7.6 kW (230 Volts) 22 kW (400 Volts)
EV Charging Level(s) Level 2
Primary Countries Europe, United Kingdom, Middle East, Africa, Australia

Both type 1 and type 2 EV connectors use the same signaling protocol for communication between the EV charger and the EV itself. As a result of this, electric vehicle manufacturers can produce their vehicles using a uniform process. Then in the final stage of production, they add the appropriate EV connector based on the destination market of the vehicle.

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CCS CONNECTOR – TYPE 1

CCS Type 1 (Combined Charging System), or CCS Combo 1 or SAE J1772 Combo connector, combines the J1722 Type 1 plug with two high-speed DC fast charging pins. CCS 1 is the DC fast charging standard for North America. It can deliver up to 500 amps and 1000 volts DC providing a maximum power output of 360 kW.

The Combined Charging System utilizes the same communication protocol as the SAE J1772 Type 1 connector. It enables vehicle manufacturers to have one AC and DC charging port rather than two separate ports.

Most EVs in North America now utilize a CCS 1 plug. Japanese automakers such as Nissan have transitioned from CHAdeMO to CCS 1 for all new models in North America. However, like the SAE J1772 Type 1 plug, Tesla has their proprietary charging standard for North America.

EV Connector Type CCS 1
Output Current Type DC (Direct Current)
Supply Input 480 Volts (three-phase)
Maximum Output Current 500 Amps
Maximum Output Power 360 kW
Maximum Output Voltage 1000 Volts DC
EV Charging Level(s) Level 3 (DC fast charging)
Primary Countries USA, Canada, South Korea

CCS CONNECTOR – TYPE 2

The CCS Type 2 connector, also known as the CCS Combo 2, is the primary DC fast charging standard used in Europe. Like the Type 1 CCS, which combined an AC plug with two high-speed charging pins, the CCS 2 combines the Mennekes Type 2 plug with two additional high-speed charging pins. With the ability to provide up to 500 amps and 1000 volts DC, a CCS 2 charger can also deliver a maximum power output of 360 kW.

Unlike in North America, Tesla 3 and Y owners in Europe can charge their vehicles with a CCS Type 2 charging station, and Tesla S and X owners can use an adapter.

EV Connector Type CCS 2
Output Current Type DC (Direct Current)
Supply Input 400 Volts (three-phase)
Maximum Output Current 500 Amps
Maximum Output Power 360 kW
Maximum Output Voltage 1000 Volts DC
EV Charging Level(s) Level 3 (DC fast charging)
Primary Countries Europe, United Kingdom, Middle East, Africa, Australia
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It is important to note that a CCS DC fast charging station will require liquid-cooled charging cables when it delivers more than 200 amps. These liquid-cooled cables would apply to both CCS 1 and CCS 2 electric vehicle chargers.

CHAdeMO CONNECTOR

The CHAdeMO connector is a DC fast-charging standard initially developed by Japanese automakers and released before CCS. It can charge EVs up to 400 amps, providing a maximum power output of 400 kW. To reach the 400 kW output, any CHAdeMO charging stations would require liquid-cooled cables similar to the CCS types. No surprise to see that CHAdeMO is the preferred standard for DC fast charging in Japan. Even so, Japanese auto manufacturers are adapting models to CCS connectors for North American and European markets, so we will likely see fewer CHAdeMO chargers in markets outside of Japan as time progresses. Although not as universal or widespread as CCS, there is still ongoing development with the CHAdeMO protocol to enable even faster charging through their “ChaoJi” technology in partnership with GB/T.

The main difference between CCS and CHAdeMO is that CCS connectors allow car makers to fit only one EV charging port, which can accept AC and DC charging. However, with CHAdeMO, you require a separate charging port for AC, resulting in two charging ports on the vehicle.

EV Connector Type CHAdeMO
Output Current Type DC (Direct Current)
Supply Input 400 Volts (three-phase)
Maximum Output Current 400 Amps
Maximum Output Power 400 kW
EV Charging Level(s) Level 3 (DC fast charging)
Primary Countries Japan (older model EVs in use globally)

GB/T CONNECTORS

In China, there are only two types of EV connectors used. Both are named GB/T, referred to as Guobiao national standards, one is for AC-type charging, and the other is for DC-type charging. The GB/T AC connector can provide up to 7.4 kW of power output with a single-phase input. It resembles the appearance of the Mennekes plug used in Europe. However, the cable configuration inside the connector is in a different order, so they are incompatible. The GB/T DC connector can deliver up to 237.5 kW of power output and is the only DC fast charging protocol currently used in China. As mentioned before, there is a partnership between GB/T and CHAdeMO to develop the next generation of EV connectors capable of 900 kW output power.

EV Connector Type GB/T (AC) GB/T (DC)
Output Current Type AC (Alternate Current) DC Direct Current)
Supply Input 250 Volts (three-phase) 440 Volts
Maximum Output Current 32 Amps 250 Amps
Maximum Output Power 7.4 kW 237.5 kW
EV Charging Level(s) Level 2 Level 3 (DC fast charging)
Primary Countries China China

TESLA CONNECTORS

Depending on which part of the world you are in and which model of Tesla you drive will depend on which Tesla plug you need. In North America, Telsa utilizes its proprietary NACS (North American Charging Standard), previously named “Tesla SuperCharger,” for both AC and DC charging. The NCAS connector can deliver up to 250 kW and is only compatible with Teslas. However, they have recently made the EV charging connector available to other EV manufacturers.

Tesla can be charged with different EV connectors outside of North America. As mentioned in Europe and much of the world outside of North America, Telsa 3 and Y utilizes a CCS Type 2 connector. However, models S and X use a modified Type 2 plug and socket with notches at the top and center of the pins to prevent insertion into non-Tesla sockets.

EV Connector Type Tesla NACS
Output Current Type AC / DC
Supply Input Single or three-phase
Maximum Output Current 48 Amps (AC) 400 Amps (DC)
Maximum Output Power 250 kW
EV Charging Level(s) Level 2 / Level 3
Primary Countries USA, Canada

All EV charging connectors have built-in safety features to protect against overcurrent, ground faults, overvoltage, and high temperatures. These safety features protect the vehicle and the charging station, preventing electrical hazards. When using an EV charging station, it’s vital to make sure you follow all safety guidelines and use the correct charging connector for your vehicle.

The charging speed and power output of an EV charging connector are determined by several factors, including the connector type, the current and voltage of the charging station, and the capacity of the vehicle’s onboard charger. Each EV connector has pros and cons, so whether you are an electric vehicle owner looking to choose the correct connector type for your vehicle or an EV charging installer looking at the best charging connector configuration for your needs, understanding the different types of EV charging connectors is essential.

LOOKING FOR QUALITY EV CHARGING STATIONS?

Look no further! EVESCO’s AC and DC fast charging stations are available with power outputs up to 360 kW, giving you the quickest possible charging speeds. Whether you’re looking for stationary or portable options, our charging stations offer the flexibility and convenience you need to keep your electric vehicles moving.

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Chademo home charger

As the first EV to reach a second generation, the Nissan Leaf has cemented its status as the best-selling EV in the world. Following on from the first 24 kWh family hatchback model, and subsequent 30 kWh update, the Nissan Leaf MkII is available with a 40 kWh battery, or as the Leaf e 62 kWh model which has a range of up to 239 miles.

How to charge the Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf uses two charging standards for its inlets – Type 2 and CHAdeMO. The Type 2 inlet is used when charging at home or at public slow and fast AC points. The CHAdeMO inlet is used to carry high power during Rapid DC charging from a CHAdeMO connector. The Nissan Leaf’s inlets are found behind a flap in the centre of what would normally be a car’s grille.

Nissan’s Leaf is able to be slow, fast, and Rapid charged from public points, depending on network and type of charge unit. In most cases, slow charging requires a 3-pin-to-Type 2 cable, and fast charging a Type 2-to-Type 2 cable, both of which are usually supplied with the vehicle. For Rapid charging, the CHAdeMO connector required is tethered to the charging unit.

The Nissan Leaf uses two charging standards for its inlets – Type 2 and CHAdeMO. The Type 2 inlet is used when charging at home or at public slow and fast AC points. The CHAdeMO inlet is used to carry high power during Rapid DC charging from a CHAdeMO connector.

Charging on AC or DC requires the EV driver to plug the connectors into the correct inlet, after which the car then ‘talks’ to the charging unit to make sure there is a power supply, that there are no faults, and that it is safe to start charging. If charging at home or at a workplace charge point, the vehicle then automatically starts charging.

On a public charger, an activation process is required to initiate charging. Depending on the network provider, this may involve the use of Zap-Pay, an RFID card or a smartphone app, often linked to an account which has been set up beforehand. Contactless pay-as-you-go units are also becoming more common on newer units. Once activated, the units will conduct further connection and account checks before starting to charge the vehicle.

How long does it take to charge the Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf is fitted with a 6.6 kW on-board charger for Type 2 AC charging, in addition to Rapid 50 kW DC capability. This means that even when connected to a fast charger with a rated output above 6.6 kW, the Leaf will only be able to charge at 6.6 kW.

The following table shows approximate times to charge the Nissan Leaf. We recommend charging to 80% charge in order to protect the battery and maximise efficiency.

Note that the times shown are only a guide, as very rarely will an EV need to be fully charged from 0%. Other factors that might vary the charging time include ambient temperature, in-vehicle energy loads, any upper and lower charge restrictions to extend battery life and protect against potential damage, and charging rates slowing down as the maximum charge is reached.

7kW charging to 100% in hours 22kW charging to 100% in hours 50kW charging to 80% in hours
7.5 7.5 1

Use our Home Charging Calculator to estimate charging times for the Nissan Leaf. The level of battery charge, connector power rating, and on-board charger options can be tailored to your requirements for more accurate results.

How much does it cost to charge the Nissan Leaf

The cost to charge the Nissan Leaf is primarily driven by the cost of the electricity, which itself varies by the type of charge point and the efficiency of the motor.

Zapmap monitors the cost of charging on a monthly basis. Our charging Price Index shows the weighted average PAYG pricing, based on real charging sessions for the previous three months.

The table below shows these split by power rating.

Type of charging Price per kWh
Home charging 34p /kWh
Slow/fast charging 48p /kWh
Rapid/ultra-Rapid charging 74p /kWh

In general, home charging provides the cheapest per mile cost and public Rapid charging tends to be around double the cost.

To find the cost and times to charge an EV on a public charge point, our Public Charging Calculator calculates charging costs for any new or used plug-in vehicle. The results can be personalised for different electricity costs and the level of charge required.

Charging the Nissan Leaf at home

To find the cost and times to charge an EV on a public charge point, our Public Charging Calculator calculates charging costs for any new or used plug-in vehicle. The results can be personalised for different electricity costs and the level of charge required. Charging at home is often the most convenient and cost effective way to recharge an EV. Government grants are available to help accelerate the provision of EV charge points in flats and rented accommodation, and a large number of companies offer a fully installed charge point for a fixed price.

Most home chargers are either rated at 3 kW or 7 kW. The higher powered wall-mounted units normally cost more than the slower 3 kW option, but halve the time required to fully charge an EV. Many plug-in car manufacturers have deals or partnerships with charge point suppliers, and in some cases provide a free home charge point as part of a new car purchase. We recommend shopping about beforehand as there are a number of suitable products on the market.

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Charging the Nissan Leaf on the public network

The UK has a large number of public EV charging networks, with some offering national coverage and others only found in a specific region. Major charging networks include bp pulse, GeniePoint, GRIDSERVE, InstaVolt, Pod Point and ubitricity.

Payment and access methods across networks vary, with some networks taking cross-network payment solution Zap-Pay, others providing an RFID card and others a smartphone app to use their services. While most require an account to be set up before use, many Rapid units now have contactless PAYG card readers.

Although some EV charge points are free to use, the majority of chargers require payment. Charging tariffs tend to comprise a flat connection fee, a cost per charging time (pence per hour) and/or a cost per energy consumed (pence per kWh). For more information about network tariffs, visit our public charge point networks guides.

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Chademo home charger

The HOME DC CHARGER is an economic and time efficient solution for

charging all DC electric vehicles (EVs)

with CHAdeMO and CCS Combo 2.

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Projected with easy mobility design, this mobile quick charger is available for test and fleet operations independent of their location

MAIN FEATURES

DC power up to 15 Kw Adjustable DC power 4.3-inch user-friendly touchscreen CHAdeMO and CCS Combo 2 high efficiency: 93.5% High power factor: 0.99

Small and medium-sized enterprises Taxi/Uber fleet operators Home appliances Vehicle manufacturers Automotive workshops Inspection centers

Volt-e’s vision is to adapt the charging solution to the needs of each user, taking into account characteristics such as the power and model of each vehicle, whether in a domestic, business or public network charge, integrating the MOBI.E network. or even on a portable charger.

We also have an innovative solution that allows companies to legally assume the payment of electrical charges carried out in the homes of their employees. For charging on public roads, Volt-e has developed the construction of stainless steel charging stations and has already brought to the market the most diverse charging solutions for companies, fleets and the public network.

See all charging solutions and choose the one that suits you best. Solutions such as faster charging, for places where the residence time is short, such as a shopping center park, or situations where charging can happen more slowly, such as office parks, housing, condominiums, among others.

Reducing the ecological footprint is no longer an option, but increasingly a civic duty, electric mobility is now a reality within everyone’s reach!

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EV Charging Basics

Learn more about different charging options for electric vehicles (EVs), plus where you can find rebates to help cover purchase and installation costs.

EV Charger Types

EV chargers are classified into three categories: Level 1, Level 2 and direct current (DC) fast chargers.

EV chargers are classified into three categories: Level 1, Level 2 and direct current (DC) fast chargers.

Important differences include:

  • Input voltage. This is how much power a charger requires to operate and is expressed in volts.
  • Power output. This is how much power a charger can generate and is expressed in kilowatts (kW).
  • Charging speed. This is the number of miles added to the EV’s battery per hour of charging and depends on the charger’s power output.
  • Equipment and installation cost. While basic EV chargers are inexpensive and can be plugged into a standard outlet, others have higher upfront equipment and must be installed professionally by an electric vehicle service provider (EVSP).
  • EV power intake. Depending on your EV, the power output pulled from a charger (in kW) may be limited by how much the EV’s battery can withstand. Check your vehicle’s specifications to know which charging level your vehicle can use.

Numerous manufacturers produce EV chargers, with a variety of products, price points, applications and functionality. Because of these differences, it is important to choose an EV charger that fits your intended use and budget.

Direct Current Fast Charging

How fast is DC fast charging?

Depending on the EV, DC fast chargers can currently produce a 10-80% charge for a 300-mile range battery in approximately 20 minutes (~540 miles of electric drive per hour of charging).

What is the input voltage for a DC fast charger?

Currently available DC fast chargers require inputs of at least 480 volts and 100 amps, but newer chargers are capable of up to 1000 volt and 500 amps (up to 360 kW).

How much do DC fast chargers cost?

A CALeVIP Cost Data analysis found that the unit cost per charger for rebate recipients ranged from a minimum of 18,000 to a maximum of 72,500. The mean and median unit cost per charger was 29,135 and 23,000, respectively.

In addition to higher equipment costs, DC fast charger installations require a commercial electrician from the initial planning phase due to the electrical load and wiring requirements.

Is a DC fast charger the right EV charger for me?

DC fast chargers are the highest-powered EV chargers on the market. They often are used as range extenders along major travel corridors for long-distance trips and in urban environments to support drivers without home charging or very high mileage drivers. At current charging speeds, they are ideal for places where a person would spend 30 minutes to an hour, such as restaurants, recreational areas and shopping centers.

It is important to note that not every EV model is capable of DC fast charging, and therefore, they cannot be used by every EV driver. Further, DC fast chargers have multiple standards for connectors, whereas there is only one common standard for Level 1 and 2 charging (SAE J1772). DC fast chargers have three types of connectors: CHAdeMO, CCS and Tesla, though CCS is increasingly becoming the industry standard.

Level 2 Chargers

How fast is Level 2 charging?

A Level 2 charger can currently produce a full charge for a 300-mile range battery in about 6-8 hours and is perfect for destination and overnight charging.

What is the input voltage of a Level 2 charger?

Level 2 chargers typically require 220V or 240V service.

What is the power output of a Level 2 charger?

Level 2 chargers are available with a variety of power outputs from 3 kW to 19 kW, which can sometimes be adjusted.

How much do Level 2 chargers cost?

CALeVIP Cost Data show that rebate recipients reported average L2 equipment costs ranging from 685 to 6,626 per connector. The mean and median were 2,976 and 2,884 per connector, respectively.

Is a Level 2 charger the right EV charger for me?

Level 2 chargers are typical solutions for residential and commercial/workplace settings. Most offer higher power output than Level 1 chargers and have additional functionality.

Non-networked vs. networked chargers

In general, Level 2 chargers are distinguished between non-networked chargers and networked chargers.

Networked chargers have advanced capabilities, such as charge scheduling, load management and demand response. They are more common in commercial/workplace settings where payments are required or at multiunit dwellings (MUDs) where the property’s electricity bill is shared by multiple residents.

They may be designed for indoor or outdoor use (e.g., NEMA 3R, NEMA 6P, NEMA 4x rated).

Some models of networked chargers also can limit charging to certain hours, which allows the operator to maximize a time-of-use (TOU) electricity rate structure and only allow charging when electricity is the cheapest (usually sometime between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.). This type of control also increases the likelihood of participating in utility demand response programs.

Some of the enhanced features of a networked Level 2 charger include remote access/control via Wi-Fi or cellular connection, access control/ability to accept multiple forms of payment, load balancing across multiple chargers and more. Additionally, California will soon begin allowing the use of submeters already embedded within networked chargers to bill electricity use. For more information on submetering, visit the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) website.

Non-networked Level 2 chargers are used both in single-family residences and MUDs. They may be designed for indoor or outdoor use (e.g., NEMA 3R, NEMA 6P, NEMA 4x rated). Non-networked Level 2 chargers are useful for installations at MUDs or commercial sites that are powered by the residents’ or tenants’ subpanels.

In this case, any electricity used by the chargers will be charged to the individual’s electricity bill, thus eliminating the need to separately meter the chargers. Further, when electrical capacity is available, non-networked Level 2 chargers are useful for site hosts that need higher power than Level 1 charging but do not have a large budget.

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