EV Charging Connectors: Explained - We Power Your Car
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EV Charging Connectors: Explained

EV Charging Connectors: Explained

What is a Type 1 connector? What is a CHAdeMO connector? Did you know there was more than one EV connector type?

The amount of technical jargon when it comes to the world of electric vehicles and charging can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to EV connector types. So, in order to help make the subject easier to digest, we are going to take an in-depth look at EV charging connector types in this blog. We will explain the different EV connector types out there, where you would find them, and how to spot the difference.

Firstly, when talking about EV connectors, it’s essential to understand that there is a connector on the vehicle (which acts like a socket) and a connector on the charging point itself (think of it as a plug). In order for your EV to charge, both connectors need to match (see image below).

Type 2 EV Connectors (both on the EV and the charging cable)

There are also three different speeds to charge your electric vehicle at – slow, fast and rapid.

Slow chargers typically refer to three-pin plug chargers, which charge at about 2.3kW and use a domestic household 13 Amp three-pin plug to charge. This usually takes about 12-14 hours to fully charge a Nissan Leaf, and a Tesla Model 3 will take, on average, 33 hours. In addition to the sluggish charging speed, 3-pin charging can also be dangerous and is therefore only recommended for emergency use. To read more about 3-pin plug charging, please feel free to read our blog here.

Fast chargers are either dedicated home charging points or public charging points, which you would find in car parks and supermarkets. Fast chargers have a rating of either 7kW or 22kW. Please note that whilst 22kW home EV chargers are available, you might not be able to take advantage of this charging speed. Your car will need to accept 22kW, and your home will need a three-phase electricity supply. To read more about 7kW and 22kW EV home chargers, please click here.

Rapid chargers are found near motorway service stations and have a charging rate of up to 50kW. Ultra-rapid charging infrastructure is also being introduced, whereby you can charge over 100kW. Rapid and Ultra-rapid chargers are the quickest way to charge, however, you can not get a rapid or ultra-rapid EV charger installed at home.

If you want to understand slow, fast, and rapid chargers in more depth, please take a look at our blog post here.

There are also two different electrical currents to charge your electric vehicle, either an AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current). The UK domestic power supply is delivered in Alternating Current (AC); however, EV batteries need Direct Current (DC) for charging. In terms of fast charging, the onboard charger in an EV converts AC to DC for safe battery recharging, and for rapid charging (or ultra-rapid), the DC connection bypasses your car’s onboard charger and supplies DC straight into the battery, charging quicker.

It’s important to know that some electric vehicles have two charging connector sockets, in the form of DC and AC, and some have just one single connector socket, in the form of AC. There are also two different connectors for each current; type 1 and type 2 for AC connectors, and CHAdeMO and CCS for DC connectors.

So, using this information, let’s dive into the different types of connectors for the different electrical currents…

3-Pin Plug

AC Charging (Fast Charging -Type 1 and Type 2):

Type 1 Connector (Fast Charging) –  Type 1 connectors have a 5-pin design and only work with single-phase electricity supplies. They have a maximum charging rate of 7.4kW. Type 1 is not as common as Type 2 in the UK, and is usually the standard in the Asian, American and Japanese markets. Some electric vehicles still have Type 1 as standard, such as Citroen C-Zero, Ford Focus Electric, and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. However, Type 1 connectors are usually found on older models of electric vehicles in Europe.

Type 1’s do not have any locking mechanisms.

Below is a list of electric vehicle models in the UK that utilise the type 1 socket:

Citroen C-Zero (2016-2020) Nissan Leaf Mk1 (2012 – 2017)
Ford Focus Electric Peugeot iOn EV (2011-2018)
Ford C-MAX Energi (2013-2017) Renault Fluence (Pre-2014)
Kia Soul EV (2017) Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid (Pre-2017)
Mitsubishi I-MiEV Vauxhall Ampera
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Renault Kangoo Phase 1
Nissan e-NV200 Combi

It’s always worth checking your manufacturer guide to find out which connector type your EV has, as the new Nissan Leaf comes with a Type 2, whereas older models are fitted with a Type 1.

It’s important to note that some dedicated home electric vehicle chargers and public charge points do not support Type 1 connectors in the UK. However, if you are wanting a dedicated charging point with a Type 2 port, and you have one of the above vehicles, you can always purchase a Type 1 to Type 2 EV Cable.

Type 1 Connector

type 1 EV connector and cable

Type 2 Connector (Fast Charging)

A Type 2 connector is the most common connector type in Europe and has become the standard for many new and high capacity EV’s. Whilst Type 1 has five connection points; Type 2 has a 7-pin design. Unlike Type 1, Type 2 connectors can work with both a single and a three-phase electricity supply. Consequently, Type 2 connectors can charge up to 22kW, although for your electric vehicles to take advantage of this rate, they would have to have a charging capability of 22kW.

Type 2 connectors have an inbuilt locking mechanism and are suitable for both home and public fast EV charging. Most public charging stations are equipped with a Type 2 charging cable. However, if you have a Type 1 connection, you can invest in an adaptor.

Below is a list of car manufacturers that typically fit their EV’s with Type 2 connectors:

Audi Mercedes
BMW VW
Renault Volvo

Type 2 Connector

DC (Rapid & Ultra Rapid charging):

CHAdeMO

“Charge de Move”, or CHAdeMO in short, is a ten-pin DC connector. It has three power pins and seven signal pins. You will find CHAdeMO at public rapid and ultra-rapid charging points, for example, at motorway service stations. This connector has a maximum power rating of 50kW at rapid charging stations and over 100kW for ultra-rapid stations.

CHAdeMO is compatible with various electric vehicle brands, including the Nissan Leaf, which is the most common EV with a CHAdeMO connector.

Here is a brief list of some other electric vehicles that are equipped with CHAdeMo connectors:

Nissan Leaf 40kW Kia Soul EV
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Citroen C-Zero
Nissan e-NV200 Citroen Berlingo Electric
Toyota Prius Plug-In

According to Zap-Map, there is a similar quantity of CHAdeMO and CCS rapid chargers in the UK, with 4018 CHAdeMO, and 4149 CCS charging points. CHAdeMO is common due to the popularity of the Nissan Leaf.

CHAdeMO Connector 

CCS (Europe/Combo Type 2)

CCS, or Combined Charging System, or Combo, in Europe is a DC connector derived from a Type 2 connector. The design is similar to the AC Type 2 connection; however, there are two additional pins at the bottom of the connector for DC charging. Similar to CHAdeMO, you can find CCS at rapid charging stations at a rate of about 50kW, and at ultra-rapid charging points that offer over a 100kW rate of charging. These DC chargers can refill your electric vehicle up to 80% in just under an hour.

It’s suggested that CCS will become the standard DC connector in the future.

Here is a brief list of some other electric vehicles that are equipped with CCS connectors:

BMW i3 Volkswagen e-Golf
Kia e-Niro Hyundai Kona Electric
Jaguar I-Pace

At most rapid and ultra-rapid charging points across the UK, there will be both CCS and CHAdeMO charging connectors available, therefore at this moment in time, you do not have to worry about which DC connector your EV has.

There is also a CCS Combo Type 1 connector, whereby the design is derived from Type 1, but with two additional DC pins. However, this connector is usually found in Asia and America, and so CCS Type 2 is the standard in the UK.

CCS – Europe (Combo Type 2) Connector 

Type 2 Connector (AC Rapid charging)

At rapid charging points, there are usually three available charging cables. CCS, CHAdeMO and Type 2. CCS and CHAdeMO are DC, whereas Type 2 rapid charging is AC.

These chargers usually have thicker cables than your average Type 2 fast charger at home. They can also charge up to a rate of 43kW, unlike the maximum rate of 22kW at home if you have a three-phase supply, or 7kW, if you have a single-phase electrical supply. Despite the misleading title of “43kW Type 2 rapid chargers”, they will only charge at your EV at its maximum capacity. For example, you might visit a 43kW AC rapid charger; however, your EV will only charge at its capacity, i.e. 11kw for Tesla Model 3.

The only electric vehicle that can take advantage of 43kW AC rapid charging is the old Renault Zoe – which is single socketed, meaning it has no DC connector on the electric vehicle. It does, however, have a 43 kW onboard charger.

Only single socketed electric vehicles will have to use Type 2 chargers at rapid stations as typically EV’s will have either a CCS or CHAdeMO connector. If your electric vehicle is single socketed and it’s not a Renault Zoe, it will not charge at a faster rate, only the maximum rate of your EV, meaning it’s not a rapid charger at all.

43kW AC Type 2, 50kW DC CHAdeMo and 50kW DC CCS Charging Cables 

Get in Touch with We Power Your Car

If you have read this far, we hope that you have a better understanding of what is, after all, a fairly technical subject!

At We Power Your Car, we are more than happy to offer truly independent advice and information on everything from grant aid to choosing the right EV charging station and EV charging needs. We are not tied to a particular energy company or manufacturer. We also offer highly skilled teams of installers working throughout the UK and in general, much quicker turnaround times of around 8-10 working days.

Our expert advisers are standing by to take your calls on 03333 44 96 99. Alternatively, you can access our webchat service on our contact page or email us at [email protected]. 

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Tethered charger

This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.

Socketed charger

This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.

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Underground cable

We lay SWA cable laid at 600mm deep, with a protective cable warning tape laid 150mm above the cable. These are laid on a sand or sifted sand soil bed then backfilled.

Overhead cable

We position overhead cables at a minimum height of 3.5m and are run along a catenary wire. The cable run should not be accessible to vehicles.

Standard Installation
Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.

Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.

Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.

What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.

If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.