EV charging sockets explained

EV charging sockets explained
kevin.blackmore

Posted by

Kevin Blackmore

January 2020

When it comes to charging an electric vehicle, there are two connectors to consider – the connector on the vehicle, and the connector on the charge point you plan to use.

Electric vehicles will have either a Type 1 or Type 2 connector for slow or fast alternating current (AC) charging, and either a CHAdeMO or CCS connector for fast direct current (DC) charging.

Generally speaking, most slow and fast charge points have a type 2 socket whereas DC rapid charge points have a cable attached so there’s no socket on the charge point side.

Portable charging cables are available that match the vehicle’s connector type, allowing drivers to charge their electric vehicle on the go.

This guide is split into two sections:

  • Vehicle socket types – the different types of sockets you might find on the car itself.
  • Charge point socket types –the different types of sockets you might find on charge points at home, at work or on-the-go.

 

Vehicle socket types

Vehicles are fitted with up to two charging sockets. For single-socket cars, Type 2 tends to be most popular. Type 2 is the standard socket type throughout Europe meaning you can charge just about any car from it. Where two sockets are fitted, your car will feature a combination of Type 1 or Type 2 sockets plus a CHAdeMO or CCS socket.

 

Slow and fast charging

Slow and fast charging utilises AC and are generally used to charge vehicles at home, at work, or on the go. There are currently two vehicle connector types:

Type 1

Typical power ratings: 3.7kW (12.5 miles range per charge hour) and 7kW (25 miles range per charge hour). Type 1 connectors are the standard in the US and are single-phase only.

Type 2

Typical power ratings: 3.7kW (12.5 miles range per charge hour), 7kW (25 miles range per charge hour) and 22kW (three-phase) (75 miles range per charge hour). Type 2 connectors are the European standard. Only Type 2 connectors support three-phase power. However, three-phase power in very rare in the UK.

 

Rapid charging

Rapid charging is typically used for topping up on-the-go. There are currently three vehicle connector types:

CHAdeMO

Typical power rating: 50kW (75 miles range per half hour charge). CHAdeMO is the most common connector in the UK.

CCS (Combined Charging System)

Typical power rating: 50kW (75 miles range per half hour charge). 350kW chargers exist offering 525 miles range per half-hour charge. In addition, 150kW rapid chargers are gradually being introduced however, these are rare. CSS supports higher power output than CHAdeMO and for this reason, is likely to eventually replace CHAdeMO as the UK standard.

Type 2

Typical power rating: 130kW (180 miles range per half hour charge). When using Type 2 charging, the charge rate automatically adjusts to protect the vehicle’s battery. Tesla Superchargers utilise Type 2 but provide DC via Type 2.

Chargepoint socket types

Slow and fast charging – AC

Type 2 is the standard charge point socket type for home, work and on-the-go charging. At home, a standard 3 pin plug can also be used in emergencies.

Type 2

Typical power ratings: 7kW (25 miles range per charge hour) and 22kW (three-phase) (75 miles range per charge hour). Type 2 connectors are a universal socket requiring the driver to plug in their own cable in order to charge.

Domestic 3-pin

Typical power rating: 2.3kW (8 miles range per charge hour). Low power rating makes charging slow and relatively expensive. Should only be used if no other charging solution is available.

 

Rapid chargers – DC

Rapid chargers have built-in cables, so there’s no socket on the unit.


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