Here is the EVnow Complete Guide to EV connectors and charging. There are different types of electric car charging connectors and charge point types/speeds – these are explained below. These are shown on this page with the fastest at the top.
Rapid charging (Fastest)
Rapid charging is the fastest available – the 2 common types shown below are used by almost all manufacturers. The exception is Tesla which uses a Type 2 connector type to rapid charge.
A rapid charge will give roughly an 80% charge in 30-40mins – this depends on the battery capacity though. So if you are doing long trips and are stopping for a break this is the type of charge you’ll need to use. The charger will power down when the battery is approx 80% full to protect the battery and extend its life.
Public charging facilities will typically have one connector of each type on a single charging station – styled like a fuel pump with multiple cable ‘hoses’. You can’t get a rapid home charger since the domestic grid won’t support it.
CHAdeMO - DC - 50kW
The Chademo standard was developed in Japan and is used predominantly by Japanese and Korean manufacturers. That is: Nissan, Mitsubishi, Honda, Mazda, Kia and Hyundai. It can also be used to charge a Tesla with an adaptor.
As you’ll find out the first time you use one, the Chademo connector is quite large and heavy.
CCS - DC or AC - 50kW (typical)
The CCS (Combined Charging Standard) system is used by US and European manufacturers. It can deliver up to 350kW but chargers delivering over 50kW are rare.
Cars using the CCS system have a single inlet port, which you can either plug in a rapid CCS connector or a slower Type 2 connector.
Fast charging is available from public chargers; most are 7kW which means a full charge in roughly 4-5 hours for a 30kWh battery.
However this comes with a gotcha; your electric car has its own onboard charger and the fastest speed it will charge the battery is the speed of the onboard charger. So, for example, if your car has an onboard charger of 3.3kW you’ll only get 3.3kW, even if the power of the fast charging unit is 7kW.
Most fast chargers are untethered (no cable attached). So don’t forget to take your own charging cable to connect the EV with the charge point!
Tesla fast charging is 11kW – its port also supports rapid charging via the Tesla supercharger network.
TYPE 2 - AC - 7kW to 22kW
This is the Type 2 connector, which is also called ‘Mennekes’. Pretty much every new EV and PHEV has this type of connector on board.
Public fast chargers are usually rated at either 7 kW or 22 kW (single phase or 3-phase 32A).
TYPE 1 - AC - 7kW to 22kW
The Type 1 connector is now increasingly less used and can be found on some early EVs such as the first Nissan Leaf (2011-2018).
These can be used on either public or home chargers. To use public chargers you will need a Type 2 to Type 1 cable.
Most home wallbox chargers are fast units, which means they are rated at up to 7 kW.
However not all cars will have an onboard charger that supports this speed. Check your car specs. Our early Nissan Leaf only supports 3.3kW speed for instance.
We find this takes around 7hr for a 24kWh battery. This is fine for overnight home charging, which is what the vast majority of owners do.
Workplace units will often be this type. Fast chargers will almost always have a Type 2 port.
Rapid charging station with 3x tethered cables. From left to right these are:
- Type 2 43kW (AC)
- Chademo 50kW (DC)
- CCS 50kW (DC)
Fast public charging station with two Type 2 connectors (one each side). This example is operated in the UK by Chargemaster.
Fast 7kW home charger with tethered cable and Type 1 connector.