Connector types for EV charging around the world. Type 3 ev charger

EV Charging Connector Types: What You Need to Know

Whether you want to charge your electric vehicle at home, at work or at a public station, one thing is essential: the outlet of the charging station has to match the outlet of your car. precisely, the cable that connects the charging station with your vehicle has to have the right plug on both ends. Makes sense, right? Four types of plugs exist, two for alternating current (AC) which allow charging up to 43 kW and two for direct current (DC) which allow fast charging up to 350 kW.

Let’s start with AC. There are two types of AC plugs:

  • Type 2 plugs are triple-phase plugs because they have three additional wires to let current run through. So naturally, they can charge your car faster. At home, the highest charging power rate is 22 kW, while public charging stations can have a charging power up to 43 kW, again depending on the charging power of your car and grid capability.

Two types of plugs exist for DC charging:

In Europe, the type 2 AC charger, a triple-phase plug, is the standard and most charging stations have a type 2 outlet. But watch out, some charging stations have a fixed cable. An attached cable can make a lot of sense at places where you always charge the same car, like at home or at a fixed employee parking spot. It’s convenient because you don’t have to carry around a cable in your vehicle. Be aware that if you charge your car at a public charging station with a fixed cord, you’ll have to check if the attached cable fits into your car’s socket. For example at Plugshare’s EV charging station map.

Let’s consider two short examples. If you live in Europe and have a European car like the Renault ZOE, you can charge it a public station using a charging cable with type 2 plugs at both ends (type 2 to type 2). The maximum speed might be up to 43 kW.

Now, what do you do if you live in Europe and drive an Asian car like the Nissan LEAF? Well, you need a cable that connects the type 2 plug of the charging station with the type 1 outlet of your vehicle (type 2 to type 1). The maximum speed will be up to 7.4 kW.

To summarize:

Type 1 is common for American vehicles, it’s a single-phase plug and can charge at a speed of up to 7.4 kW.

Type 2 is standard for European and Asian vehicles from 2018 onwards, it’s a triple-phase plug and can charge at a level of up to 43 kW.

CHAdeMO can be found in Asian cars and allows for high charging capacities as well as bidirectional charging.

Connector types for EV charging around the world

As it usually happens with every new technology, the beginnings are tough and full of competing standards. Each manufacturer uses and develops his own standards and processes. Only time can determine which one will win. It was so with the charging connectors for mobile phones, today it is so with the connectors on charging cables for electric cars. So let’s have a look at all the charging connectors that we have in the world now.

General overview of the different types of connectors

The charging speed depends on three components. the charging station, which is the source of power, the charging cable and the on-board charger. In this article, we will look at an important part of every charging cable. its connector.

For simplicity, the different types of connectors can be roughly divided according to the region where they are most used. Although this is a simplified statement. AC charging stations usually do not have an integrated charging cable, so the driver carries the cable that fits his car and the problem with the types of connectors is basically eliminated. DC fast charging stations always have a cable attached because of security reasons, the amount of current, cable’s price and weight. so it is necessary to select a station that has the appropriate connector.

In the following section, we offer a quick overview of the development and a description of the individual connectors.

AC connectors

The first electric cars, such as the General motors EV1, used an inductive connection for their charging where the current was transmitted by electromagnetic induction. However, this method of charging did not prevail because it was not efficient enough in that time. (Today, we can hear suggestions for returning back to inductive charging and Norway is by far the most progressive country in this regard.) The inefficiency created a demand for the design of a conductive connection with the elegant name of SAE J1772-2001. One of the requirements for the connector was establishing a connection with the deck and the infotainment system.

J1772. Type 1

In California, a square plug named J1772 was introduced in 2001, but it was only capable of 6.6 kW, and so in 2008 Yazaki designed a new plug with a power of 19.2 kW, which since 2010 has become the standard for all American vehicles. Yazaki’s design today is the new J1772, which is often called J-plug or Type 1.

Original Avcon connector compliant with specification J1772. Source: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/SAE_J177

Originally, electric cars in Europe also had this type of connector so many older or hybrid cars are still equipped with Type 1, but since it is common for al drivers of electric vehicles to carry around their own cable, there is no problem with charging at any AC station. However, now Type 1 is used mainly in America and Asia. The main disadvantage of this plug is that it allows the use of only one phase and it doesn’t support a built-in automatic locking system.

Mennekes. Type 2

European cars used the Type 1 connector until major European automakers began looking for a new solution that could take advantage of all three phases. In 2003 new specifications IEC 62196 were established based on which the Type 2 mennekes plug was produced and it quickly became the new European standard. Thanks to the fact that both types of plugs (type 1 and 2) use the same J1772 signaling protocol for communication, car manufacturers can make vehicles in the same way and only at the very end they install the type of plug that corresponds to the market where the car will be sold. Passive adapters also exist among these types. Another important advantage of the Type 2 plug is that it supports a built-in automatic locking system.

(The Type 2 plug is called Mennekes, because it was a German company of the same name that developed a design for this plug. The term Mennekes design was often mentioned in the texts, and it started to be used among the general public.)

The Tesla Model S and Model X sold in Europe also have the Type 2 plug (only in a slightly modified version) which they can use for charging at any AC charging station and they also use this connector for the Tesla Supercharger network where they charge using DC.

GB / T standard

In China, under the supervision of the Guobiao Standardization Commission, a GB / T plug was developed, and currently it is the only one that is used. The fact that there are no other types of connectors in the whole country that would compete facilitates the development of the charging infrastructure. It should be noted that China is the country with the densest network of charging stations and has the largest share of electric cars in the world.

At first glance, the connector seems to be the same as Type 2, but the cables inside are arranged in reverse order so they are not compatible.

DC connectors

DC charging allows the car to be charged significantly faster than AC charging. Currently, the most common charging stations are 50 kWh, but 150 kWh stations already appear, and 270 kWh and 350 kWh chargers are emerging, which is reflected in the constant need to develop more efficient connectors.

CCS. Type 1 and Type 2 (Combined Charging System)

CCS, or combined charging system, is a beautifully elegant solution for fast DC charging. These are the original plugs, either Type 1 or Type 2, to which two more pins are added at the bottom. In the case of DC charging, these two lower pins participate in the charging itself and from the upper part only the communication pin and the earth conductor, which provides the reference point for the protection systems, are used. These connectors can withstand power of up to 350 kW.

It is currently the most popular type of DC connector. Type 1 is common in the United States, while Type 2 CCS is used in Europe. The European Parliament’s efforts to allow only CCS 2 and other plugs to be phased out of Europe have not been successful, but this standard is still winning, mainly because the car has only one socket. When using the CHAdeMO connector, the car must always have two sockets.

CCS are not compatible with CHAdeMO and GB / T charging stations because they use different communication protocols, so special adapters are needed and they are not easy to obtain.

CHAdeMO

CHAdeMO is the original DC plug developed by five Japanese automakers that have been trying to promote this plug as a global standard since 2010. It didn’t work out, but even so, the number of chargers with CHAdeMO connectors was rising. From 10,000 in 2015 to 25,600 in 2019 (of which 9,200 are in Europe and 7,600 in Japan).

The European Parliament tried to enforce a directive to make this connector gradually disappear from Europe in favor of CCS. The current wording of this directive states that each fast charging station must have at least a CCS connector. Charging stations can easily have more connectors. However, electric car manufacturers themselves are abandoning CHAdeMO connectors. Currently, only two electric cars with this connector are produced, and one of them, Nissan, is moving to CCS connectors, so it seems that this standard will be common only in Japan and China.

In 2018, the CHAdeMO Association introduced the second version of its connector, which allows you to charge up to 400kW. And it is currently working with China to develop an ultra-fast connector capable of charging up to 900 kW.

GB / T

As with AC charging, China has its own standards for DC charging. GB / T is currently working with CHAdeMO to develop a third generation of connectors that should be capable of transmitting 900 kW.

Tesla

Tesla is, of course, a topic in itself and has different connectors than any other brand, which allows Tesla customers to charge on their own charging stations that cannot be used by any other vehicle.

At the same time, however, Tesla also offers adapters for other types of plugs, so for their vehicles it is not a problem to use the charging stations with a Type 1 or CHAdeMO plug.

In the war for the winning DC plug in Europe, Tesla leaned towards the CCS Type 2 plug in its Model 3.

If you enjoyed this article about connectors and would like to learn more about AC / DC charging or what are the advantages of your own AC charging station, or many other topics, we have prepared a series of articles in the Knowledge Center section.

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Electric vehicle (EV) charging standards and how they differ

As more and more consumers make the green decision to forego their combustion engines for electric vehicles, they may not be as in tune with charging standards. kW, voltage, and amps might sound like jargon compared to miles per gallon, but these are essential units to understand to get the most efficiency out of your shiny new EV.

Let the following serve as a guide, offering all you need to know about the various charging options out there and how they differ.

Key charging terms to understand

Before we get into the charging standards for electric vehicles, you must be sure you understand some of the terminology you never came across with your ICE car.

The transition to electric energy output rather than combustion brings a new slew of units and the dreaded use of math (we know). Here are some key terms you will come across daily, so be sure to study up.

  • Ampere (Amp) – A unit of measurement for electrical current.
  • Connector / Cord set – A device attached a cable that connects to an EV allowing it to charge.
  • kW (kilowatt) – A unit of measurement to express the output power of the electric motor. Think of it as how much energy the motor generates in a given amount of time. 1 kW = about 1.34 HP.
  • kWh (kilowatt-hours) – A unit of energy marking the energy transferred in one hour by one kilowatt of power. EV battery capacity is measured in kWh, so think of it as your vehicle’s gallons of gas in its tank.
  • Time of use (TOU) – A method of measuring and charging your energy consumption based on when the energy is used. Utility companies charge more at peak times of day when electricity use is higher.
  • Volts – Units of measurement for the push that causes electrical charges to move in a wire.

Electric vehicle charging level standards

As the EV world currently operates, there are three levels to charging your vehicle based on varying speed and power. The tier system starts with the lowest charging at Level 1 and gets faster from there.

These levels are important to understand as they each offer pros and cons. Furthermore, each will be preferential at some point given your driving circumstances on a given day.

Level 1 – 120V chargers

Think of Level 1 as a universal charging option. If there is a wall socket nearby, you will be able to charge your EV without issue. A 120V socket and 15 amps remains the standard electrical outlet in North America, although you’re probably looking at more like 12 amps for a continuous load after de-rating your breaker.

Still following? Either way, it shouldn’t be too tough to find a plug in any home or garage, which is nice.

With that said, 110-120V is the bare minimum amount of juice you can pull into your EV. As a result, recharge times trickle at a rate of 3 to 5 miles of range per hour, based on the 1.4 kW power the average 120V wall socket supplies at 12 amps. So if the battery capacity of your 2021 Mustang Mach-E is 88kWh, you’re looking at days to charge, not hours. Nearly 63 hours by our count.

Level 3 – DC Rapid/fast/Superchargers

The name may vary, but the process is the same. For the sake of explanation, let’s refer to them as DC fast chargers (DCFCs). These Level 3 chargers abandon the alternating current (AC) methods above to mainline power directly from the grid. While they require a lot more power (480 volts and 100 amps), their output is truly “super.”

DC fast chargers can offer 50-350 kW of power; some in Europe are even reaching 400 kW. Depending on the power available, a Level 3 charger can fully replenish your EV in twenty to thirty minutes. This type of charging is ideal for roadside stops, or retail where you may not be parked for too long or need to get back on the road.

Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 charged from 22% to 80% in just 16 minutes, so these fast charge numbers grow quicker by the day. It’s important to note that not all EVs are currently equipped for DC fast charging, although most all new EVs hitting roads do.

If that is the case for you, there are plenty of public charging stations that offer Level 2 power.

Electric vehicle charging standards for connectors

Now that we’ve covered the levels you can choose from when charging, we will FOCUS on the equipment you may encounter. These charging connectors vary by electric vehicle and are separated into two categories – The standard Level 1 and Level 2 connector, and DC fast charging connectors. Here’s how they differ.

SAE J1772

This connector is the industry standard for all electric vehicles performing Level 1 or Level 2 charging. Whether it’s the cord provided with the purchase of your EV or the Level 2 charger outside of Whole Foods, the J1772 is going to connect.

CHAdeMO

This is the first of three types of connectors currently present on EVs and first introduced. Originally it was implemented to be the industry standard, developed through the collaboration of five different Japanese automakers.

As a result, the CHAdeMO connector remains affluent in Japan and on EVs from Japanese manufacturers. This includes automakers such as Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Nissan.

CCS

Shortly after the CHAdeMO was introduced, a second connector called the Combined Charging System (CCS) was implemented as an additional charging standard.

Where CCS connectors differ from CHAdeMO, is that they allow for AC/DC charging on the same port. CHAdeMO-equipped EVs require an additional J1772 connector cord to achieve Level 1 or 2 charging.

This connector is the preferred mode of charging amongst European and American automakers, including BMW, Ford, Jaguar, GM, Polestar, Volkswagen, and even Tesla. Additionally, CCS is will be present on the upcoming Rivian EVs.

Tesla Supercharger

From day one, Tesla has chosen to pave its own way in the EV industry, and that is no different with its Supercharger connector. This proprietary connector exists on all Tesla models in North America, although it does offer CHAdeMO and CCS adapter for certain markets.

For example, its Model 3 was built with a CCS connector for Europe. Furthermore, older European Teslas were retrofitted with adapters to support the existing connector plus the standard CCS type 2. This helped Tesla owners utilize the growing charger network overseas.

Even after testing the connector adapter in the Korean market last December, Tesla has yet to bring it to North American drivers. Last month, however, EVgo announced it would be bringing Tesla compatible connectors to over 600 of its US charging stations. Regardless of the other connectors and their compatibility, Tesla’s Supercharger network already features over 20,000 charging stalls at over 2,100 stations around the world.

Most recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has shared that the American automaker will begin sharing its EV network with other EVs later in 2021.

For more detailed information, check out our Tesla Supercharger guide.

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The Difference Between Level 1 2 EV Chargers

Whether you already own an electric vehicle (EV) or are looking to purchase one in the near future, the biggest topic of concern for most drivers comes down to where charging will occur and how much it will cost.

Despite having an environmentally friendly vehicle that cuts reliance on gasoline, using a Level 1 home charger is not reliable or convenient for most EV drivers. Instead, having a faster, Level 2 charging station can reduce range anxiety and calm logistical fears, as you become less reliant on charging on the go.

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But what exactly is a Level 2 car charger and why does it present better value than its Level 1 counterpart?

Types of EV Charging Connectors: What is Level 2 Charging?

Vehicle owners are often supplied with Level 1 chargers from automobile manufacturers at the time of purchase to use at home with 120v standard outlets. However, upgrading to a Level 2 EV charger is a good and practical investment. A Level 2 charger is like having your own gas pump in your garage, but it is a Smart appliance that charges your vehicle. An added convenience: not only is a Level 2 car charger ready when you need it to be, you can save on electricity by charging during lower rate times.

A Level 2 EV charging station delivers an electrical current from an outlet or hardwired unit to the vehicle via the connector, similar to a standard-issue charger. Level 2 car chargers use a 208-240v power source and a dedicated circuit — potentially up to 60 amps. However, 32 amp charging stations like the EvoCharge EVSE or iEVSE Home Smart EV Charger offer more flexibility and potential costs saving by requiring a lower 40 amp circuit.A Level 1 will deliver around 1.2 kW to the vehicle, while a Level 2 charger ranges from 6.2 to 19.2 kW, with most chargers around 7.6 kW.

EvoCharge EVSE Level 2 EV Charging Station

EvoCharge’s standard EVSE Level 2 charger is a simple plug-and-charge solution for the basic needs of charging your vehicle at home quickly and safely.

Shop EVSE

How Fast is a Level 2 EV Charger?

While a Level 1 charger will typically get 4 miles of driving range per hour of charge, a Level 2 charger will get an average of 32 miles of driving range per hour of charge. This means that you’re charging up to 8 times faster with a Level 2 charging station. Typical charging time for a Level 2 EV charger is around 3-8 hours from empty to full while the average Level 1 EV charger will take 11-20 hours to fully charge.

Level 2 chargers will deliver 6.2 to 19.2 kW versus the 1.2 kW you get with a Level 1. For a direct comparison, check out this resource to see how fast a Level 2 charger is compared to its counterpart.

When One Might Consider a Level 1

A Level 2 EV charger needs a 240v outlet, which many new homes or new multi-unit homes and building standards require. If you do not have a 240v outlet, a certified electrician can easily install one and the cost can sometimes be offset through local, federal, state or utility companies which offer rebates and financial incentives for the charger, installation, or for charging during lower electric rate times.

Additionally, Level 2 charging stations like the EvoCharge iEVSE Home Smart EV Charger allow you to customize charging schedules with the EvoCharge mobile app to better control charging, lessening your overall cost and making you eligible for further rebates through your municipality so you get faster charging times at a lower cost. The mobile app also provides usage history, multiple vehicle controls, and much more.

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