Like charging cables for many of the electronic devices we use, EV charging cables have two connectors, a vehicle-side connector that plugs into the vehicle and a power supply side connector that plugs into a wall or charging socket.
The type of connector you need depends on the type of vehicle you have and the power output of the power supply you use to charge your vehicle.
The power output is usually depicted as a charging speed and there are three main types of EV charging – slow, fast and rapid.
Here we will be outlining the different EV charging connector types, both on the vehicle side and the power supply side of the cable.
Vehicle-side charging connector types
Electric vehicles have either a type 1 or type 2 socket for slow/fast charging, and a CHAdeMO or CCS socket for DC rapid charging.
Slow and fast charging both use alternating current (AC), and these charging types are typically used to top up a vehicle’s charge, such as overnight at home or in the car park of a workplace or other destination.
Rapid charging uses direct current (DC) and is usually used for on-route charging, providing much faster charging times for longer ranges.
As mentioned above, EVs will have either a type 1 or type 2 socket for charging via AC. Type 1 chargers can only provide single-phase power and have a typical power rating of 3.7kW or 7kW, which grants between 12.5 and 25 miles of range on an hour of charge. This type of EV charging connector has 5 pins, no locking mechanism and is a standard connector in the US.
Type 2 connectors are the most common type of connectors found on new EVs. The power ratings of Type 2 connectors can be 3.7kW or 7kW, just like Type 1 connectors, but Type 2s have the capacity to carry three-phase power at 22kW. One EV model, the Tesla Supercharger can accept DC via a Type 2 connector. Type 2 connectors have 7 pins and an inbuilt locking mechanism.
This type of charger uses direct current to provide rapid charging and was the original rapid charging connector on EVs. The typical power ratings for CHAdeMO connections are 50kW or 100kW, with the latter being able to provide 150 miles of range in just 30 minutes.
The Combined Charging System, also known as CCS, is a more recent type of EV connector for DC power than the CHAdeMO. It has the capacity for a 350kW power rating, which could provide 525 miles per 30 minutes of charging. However, 350kW power is currently quite rare.
Power supply-side connector types
On the other side of the cable, you have the power supply. As mentioned before, slow and fast charging use alternating current and rapid chargers use DC.
Type 2 connectors are the standard sockets found on slow and fast charge points throughout Europe, for both public and home models. These can provide either 7kW single-phase power or 22kW three-phase power, although the latter is not found in UK homes, only certain public charge points. For Type 2 public charge points, the driver will need to supply the appropriate cable for their vehicle.
The standard 3-pin plug found in UK homes can also be used to charge EVs at a slow speed of 2.3kW, only providing around 8 miles of range on an hour of charge. Using a 3-pin plug to charge an EV should only really be used in an emergency.
DC charge points
DC charge points don’t require you to bring your own cable because they already have cables attached. For both CHAdeMO and CCS connections, all the driver needs to do is select the right cable for their car model. It is worth noting, however, that not all EV models have rapid charging capability.
There isn’t really a choice to be made when it comes to different EV charging connector types. The connector you have to use will be determined by the connections your vehicle has, and the type of charge point you are using.
Here at Delta impact, we offer a wide range of UL and TUV approved EV cables and accessories. You can view our range of EV products here.