March 22, 2022

What types of EV charging sockets are there?

There are two different types of charging sockets for electric vehicles (EVs).

The cable supplied with your EV will have a connector with two plugs: one for the inlet or car socket and one for the EV charging socket at a charging station.


Cables with the following plugs are provided for alternate current (AC) charging at EV charging sockets:


Mode 1 and Mode 2 – Schuko plug

Mode 3 - Type 1 Yazaki plug

Mode 3 - Type 2 Mennekes plug

Mode 3 - Type 3A Scame plug


The cable with a Type 2 or Mennekes plug is now widely used in Europe, except in France. It charges cars in single-phase or three-phase AC up to 22 kW at the EV charging socket and up to 43 kW via the connector on the cable attached to the charging infrastructure.


The Type 3A or Scame plug and cable is now used only for light vehicles, such as scooters and microcars, and can charge in single-phase at a maximum power of 3.7 kW.


In the United States and Japan, AC charging takes place via cables attached to the charging infrastructure. Therefore, the cable will have a connector that the customer will insert into the car's inlet. The connector has a Type 1 or Yazaki plug, and it charges the car in single-phase AC at a maximum charging capacity of 7.4 kW. 


For direct current (DC) charging, the cables are also attached to the charging infrastructure and their connectors are as follows:


Mode 4 - CHAdeMO connector

Mode 4 – Combined Charging System (CCS) COMBO1 and CCS COMBO2 connector


The cable with a CHAdeMO connector is the world's most common standard for fast DC charging and is used, for example, on Nissan, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, and Citroen vehicles. It currently charges on international fast charging infrastructure at a maximum power of 50 kW, but it could charge at even higher power levels.


The CCS COMBO1 cable is used mainly by Japanese and US car manufacturers while the CCS COMBO2 cable is used by some European brands, such as BMW and Volkswagen. 


The CCS COMBO2 cable allows for both fast DC charging and slow AC charging and is currently installed on international fast charging infrastructure in DC at a maximum power of 50 kW, but it could charge at even higher power levels. It charges in AC with the same power levels as previously described for the Type 2 standard. The car manufacturers choose the power limit to be applied. 


In addition, there is an ad-hoc standard used solely by Tesla. It features a single Type 2 connector for both AC and DC charging. When used with DC it charges exclusively with Tesla Superchargers, which are based on a proprietary protocol.

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