Charging an electric vehicle (EV) is the new way to fill your car with juice, but not the same as traditional petrol or diesel. Although you are now able to charge in various locations and in various ways, the connectors can look complicated at first, but using them is actually straightforward. As time goes on, it will become even easier as the charging network expands, everything becomes more standardised.
This guide makes it simple to understand.
The process of charging your EV is becoming easier all the time, as the public charging network expands and EV plug types become more standardised.
EV chargers are classed as slow, fast, rapid or ultra-rapid, fast and slow, depending on the speed they allow the charge to fill your battery. Our guide explains and shows you the different electric car plug types, EV connector types and charging cables are, helping you identify which one you need. Each new EV will come with a charging cable, in some cases more than one, that are designed for the vehicle to help it charge most efficiently.
One of the connections below should match the plug on your vehicle. This will depend on the make and model and can be found on the manufacturer’s website.
If you notice, the two points on the left, both ‘type 1’ and, as with the two ‘type 2’ on the right, the top section of the CCS Combo, is the same, the difference being the two pins set horizontally below the 5/7 pin plug. The standard type 1 and 2 with five or seven pins, deliver the AC current at up to fast 43kw speeds. The additional two pins below deliver the DC current which allows the faster rapid and ultra-rapid speeds. The CCS Combo chargers can be identified by having cables running to the charging plug.
Type 1 is widely used in the US, while Type 2 is the mainstay in the EU.
Is a slow charger and not found on new EVs in the EU marketplace. The chargers are classed as slow-fast chargers depending on where they are connected and the vehicle ability to charge. Speeds of up to 7kw can be achieved.
Type 1 CCS Combo
Is a rapid charger version of the above with the added DC pins, delivering a combined AC and DC charge.
The Type 2 charger is the modern fast charger and most common charger as seen in the vast majority of new EVs in the market today. Modern EVs will allow this charger to deliver speeds of up to 43kw. The majority of EVs have a Type 2 socket, but not all of them can use AC rapid charging. This is also the connection type that you will get with a charge point that you would install at home and is the most popular connection at charge points away from the home.
Type 2 CCS Combo
Is the latest rapid/ultra-rapid charge connector, using both the seven pin AC charge and the two pin DC charge, allowing speeds of up to 350kw. These connections are the ones you will see predominantly where a fast charge is required, for example at the ‘new’ filling stations that are appearing around the road network allowing you to add charge quickly through the provided infrastructure including the required cable.
An early style of connection favoured by some of the Japanese and Korean manufacturers. Can charge at up to 50kw DC. It is widely understood that this type of connection will eventually be phased out and is not equipped in any new EVs in the EU, other than the Nissan Leaf.