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EV Charger Plug Types and When to Use Them

Electric vehicle charging plugs
Electric vehicle charging plugs
Resource: https://www.mgevs.com

An EV charger plug connects the charging cable to a power source, drawing the power needed to replenish the battery. These parts of the EVSE are designed differently. As such, there’s a need for EV owners to understand how each differs from the other. This article sheds light on the types of EV charging plugs types available today.

EV Charging Plugs Explained

The EV charger plug here means the part of an EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) that connects to or plugs into a power supply and charging socket during the charging process.

In its simplest form, the EV charger plug is a multi-pin part of the charging cable that you use with an AC outlet or charging station port. Advanced types that plug into higher voltage outlets and supply DC charging current are also available.

An EV charging plug, in addition to drawing power from the specific power source, also contains signal pins that relay information about the type of supply, so the onboard charger of your EV can adjust various charging parameters.

Are All EV Charging Plugs Different?

Unfortunately, yes. Different types of electric cars will normally use different types of plugs. It depends on the type of EV standard (mostly based on the part of the world) and other factors, such as if the charging is AC or DC-based.

An EV charging plug standard can be defined as a set of protocols that govern its design and are aimed at ensuring compatibility. In the EV world, these are normally region-based unless it’s a proprietary type, such as those used with Tesla cars.

Note that an EV charging plug can also be substituted for another. However, this can only be possible with an untethered cable. Read more about the types of EV charging plugs below. Well, also be looking at where these plugs are used and with what vehicles.

Electric car charging plug types
Electric car charging plug types
Resource: https://www.researchgate.net

Types of EV Charging Plugs

An EV charger plug, as discussed earlier, is classed by the type of power supply or charging standard. In light of that, your EV charging plug can be a type 1 (the simplest), a type 2 (more advanced) or a DC type (CCS or ChadeMo). Other types, such as the Chinese GB/T standard or proprietary Tesla also exist, and these will also be covered.

1. Type 1 EV Plug

This is a 5-pin, AC EV charging plug designed for insertion into single phase outlet. In the US, this is normally an outlet on a 120 volt service line. The type 1 EV charging plug is capable of charging your car with a 7.4 Kw to around 20kW output.

It also comes with what’s known as a J-plug, and is mostly used on Japanese and North American EVs. Tesla owners using an appropriate adapter can also charge their cars using this type of plug.

Type 1 EV Plug Summary

  • Plug type– j 17772
  • Power source– 120V
  • Max power output– 1.2 Kw
  • Region– Japan, USA, Canada

2. Type 2 EV Plug

Also popularly called a Mennekes, this is an advanced version of the type 1 plug, featuring 7 pins. Unlike the type 1 plug that uses a single phase, the type 2 EV plug is built for use with up to 3 phase systems.

The type 2 EV plug outputs about 22kW of electricity for home charging, and about 40kW or more when designed for commercial or public charging application. This plug is primarily meant for European vehicles.

Type 2 EV Plug Summary

  • Plug type– type 2/Mennekes
  • Power source– 240V three phase
  • Max power output– 22kW
  • Region– Europe, Australia, middle East, Africa

CCS EV Charging Plug

CCS when used for stands for combined charging system, which means the plug features a combination of both regular and DC fast charging pins. In practice, this type of EV charger plug is available as a type one and type 2.

Type 1 CCS plugs are developed for the North American region, while type 2 plugs are mean for European cars. These types of electric vehicle charger plugs can draw up to 350kW of electricity and more.

CCS EV Charger Plug Summary

  • Plug type– combined J-plug and DC fast charging
  • Power source– 480V three phase and higher
  • Max power output– 350kW plus
  • Region – USA, Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Australia. Also South Korea, India, and Russia

ChadeMo EV Charger Plug

ChadeMo in the world of EV charging is an acronym that stands for “CHArge de MOve,” which roughly translates to “charge for moving.” This type of EV charger plug was initially designed in Japan. Today, the ChadeMo plug is only used to connect Japanese cars to a power source, and is not compatible with other chargers.

A ChadeMo plug is bi-directional, meaning you can use for both AC and DC charging, just like you would when using a CCS type. This EV charging plug is however, slowly being phased out, primarily in favor of the more universal CCs type.

  • Plug type– DC fast charging
  • Power source– 480V three phase and higher
  • Max power output– 400kW
  • Region– Japan

In addition to these above types of EV charging plugs, there is also what can be called proprietary type of charger. These include Tesla supercharger for both regular and DC charging, and the GB/T charging plug used in China.

Note that Tesla EV plug can only be used when charging a Tesla vehicle. However, the company issues an EV charger adapter that you can use with other chargers to make them compatible with Teslas.

Conclusion

The EV charger plug is one of the least known about part of EV supply equipment. This often leads to confusion, especially among new owners of electric vehicles; this article is meant to shed light on the design of these EVSE parts, so you can tell what type of charging connector or plug you need for your vehicle, whether based on EV type or geographical location.

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