Understanding the various EV charging connector types is pivotal in navigating the expanding landscape of electric vehicle charging. In this blog, we will discuss both AC and DC connectors, tailored for different charging speeds and standards, ensuring seamless and efficient charging.
EV Charging Connector Types
A charging cable is equipped with two connectors, one for the vehicle socket and the other for the charging station, resembling the charging process of mobile phones.
Two types of EV charging stations are available. The first, typically found at homes and workplaces, offers slow/fast charging for regular top-ups. These stations draw AC power from the main source, necessitating several hours for a full charge. It is common for EV owners to utilize these stations for overnight charging.
The second type, rapid or high-speed charging stations, is commonly installed in public locations or along major highways. They provide a direct DC power charge to the vehicle’s battery, usually taking less than thirty minutes. However, it’s important to note that DC fast charging should not be performed frequently to prevent damage to the battery’s lifespan.
Rapid charging proves beneficial for long-distance journeys, while overnight slow/fast charging is well-suited for daily commutes. Different EV charging connectors are designed for both slow/fast AC charging and DC rapid charging. Let’s look at the different types of EV charging plugs.
AC EV Charging Connector Types
The types of AC EV charging connectors are:
1. Type 1 Connector (J1772/IEC60309)
The Type 1 connector, serving as the standard U.S. connector for AC-charging EVs, is also prevalent in Japan. It features five pins and lacks a locking mechanism, utilizing single-phase AC from the mains for EV charging.
Its typical power ratings are 3.7 and 7 kW, providing charging capacities of 20 and 40 km range per hour, respectively. The connector comprises a 15V outlet with region-specific AC frequency. The output voltage is denoted by the color of the cable, with yellow representing 100130V, blue indicating 200250V, and red denoting 380480V for 5060 Hz AC. Installation is commonly conducted in outdoor environments, with the connector meeting IP44 weatherproof standards.
2. Type 2 Connector (Mennekes/IEC62196)
Serving as the standard EU connector for AC-charging EVs and also commonly found in India, the Type 2 connector is equipped with seven pins and includes a built-in locking mechanism. These connectors support the charging of EVs using both single and three-phase ACs.
For single-phase AC charging, the typical power ratings are 3.7 and 7 kW, providing charging capacities of 20 and 40 km range per hour, respectively. Three-phase charging offers a power rating of 22 kW, enabling charging at a rate of 120 km range per hour. Among the seven pins, three are line phase, two serve as signaling pins, while one each is dedicated to earth and neutral functions.
Predominantly utilized in China, the GB/T connector features seven pins and incorporates a built-in locking mechanism. It offers two charging modes, one providing a 250V output and the other a 440V output. Each mode supports a maximum power output of 27.7 kW. After learning about AC EV plug types, let’s overlook these DC EV charging plug types.
DC EV Charging Connector Types
Currently, three primary DC fast charger connector types are in use nationwide: the Tesla Supercharger, the Combined Charging System (CCS), CHAdeMO connector. and GB/T Connector.
Each of these three DC fast charger connectors possesses its unique compatibility and is exclusively usable with specific EVs. There is no universal connector for DC fast chargers.
1. Tesla Supercharger Connector
The Tesla Supercharger employs a proprietary connector, compatible only with Tesla electric vehicles. Other vehicle models require an adapter to access Tesla Superchargers.
Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network spans the country, boasting over 1,000 Supercharger stations. Remarkably, it can provide 200 miles of range in less than 15 minutes, with Supercharger fees automatically accrued to Tesla owners’ accounts.
Also, check out How to Charge Your Non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger?
2. CHAdeMO Connector
The CHAdeMO connector is an electrical interface established and manufactured by Japanese companies like Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi. Its aim was to establish a universal charging standard for the EV industry.
In contrast to the Tesla Supercharger, the CHAdeMO connector can be employed with various vehicles, including the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and Toyota Prius Plug-in. Adapters are also available to enable Tesla vehicles to be charged using CHAdeMO connectors.
Cross-Reference: Map of CHAdeMO Chargers
3. GB/T Connector
Commonly employed for DC rapid charging in China, the GB/T connector operates with an output voltage of 750/1000V and a current rating ranging from 80 to 250A. It delivers a maximum power output of 250 kW.
4. Combined Charging System (CCS)
The CCS is another type of connector utilized for DC fast charging. Unlike the Tesla Supercharger or CHAdeMO, CCS connectors are compatible with vehicle models from various manufacturers worldwide.
CCS connectors are employed in several third-party fast chargers found throughout the country. They are compatible with vehicles such as the BMW i3, Kia e-Niro, and VW e-Golf, offering a versatile charging solution.
What are Your Other Options For Fast Charging at Home?
We understand that it’s disappointing that Level 3 DC fast chargers cannot be installed at home. However, there’s still a viable option available.
Your next best choice for rapid EV charging at home is the installation of a Level 2 AC charger. Among the EV charging levels, Level 2 is the fastest AC power charging option and seamlessly integrates with your home’s electrical grid.
While a Level 2 charger won’t provide the same ultra-fast charging speeds as a DC fast charger, you can conveniently plug in your EV overnight and expect a full charge by morning.
- A Level 3 DC fast charger can recharge an EV at a rate of 3 to 20 miles per minute.
- A Level 2 AC charger can recharge at a rate of 14 to 35 miles per hour.
So, even though you may not achieve a full charge in under an hour, you can anticipate a complete charge in approximately 8 hours. This home charging solution is suitable for most homeowners, and any requirements for rapid charging can be met by utilizing a DC fast charger at a public commercial location.
In the dynamic world of electric vehicle charging, a comprehensive understanding of EV charging connector types is important. By embracing these diverse connectors and their functionalities, users can ensure streamlined and efficient charging processes, contributing to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles worldwide. To access more EV content, keep reading our blog posts.
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