A complete guide to understanding the different types of EV charging connections.
About connector types
Vehicle side EV connector types
Charge point side EV connector types
EV Charging Statistics
About Connector Types
An EV charging cable typically has two connectors (one on each end). One will connect to the charge point and the other to the vehicle’s socket.
The type of connector you’ll need varies on the vehicle type as well as the charging speed (kW) of the charge point. EV charging has been categorised into three types: slow, fast and rapid. Each of these represents a different power output and charging speed available to your electric vehicle.
Each charger type is then associated with a set of connectors, which are designed for low or high power use as well as AC or DC charging.
Vehicle Side EV Connector Types:
Vehicle side EV connectors are the end of the charging cable that plugs into the EV’s socket. Much like with phone cables, there is no one size fits all. It is therefore dependent on which vehicle you have as to which charging cable will fit.
Slow & Fast Charging
Slow and fast charging stations are typically used at home or at workplaces, whereby the user will be simply ‘topping up’ their charge.
These charge points use AC (Alternating Current) charging, which means the power from the grid supply is converted inside the vehicle to DC (Direct Current) before moving into the vehicle’s battery.
There are two types of AC vehicle-side connectors:
Typical Power Ratings: 3.7kW, 7kW
Approx. Range per hour of Charging*: 12.5 miles, 25 miles
Standard US connector (less common in the UK)
No locking mechanism
Single Phase Only
Typical Power Ratings: 3.7kW, 7kW, 22kW
Approx. Range per hour of Charging*: 12.5 miles, 25 miles, 75 miles
Most common connector type in Europe
Inbuilt locking mechanism for improved security
Ability to carry three-phase power
*Dependant on vehicle type, battery size, percentage of charge and range.
Rapid charging stations are usually used for en-route journeys, whereby drivers are not able to complete their trip with one charge. They will therefore need to stop and recharge their vehicle. Rapid chargers, therefore, allow EV drivers to get back on the road as fast as possible, with some even being able to charge vehicles in 30 minutes.
Rapid charging charge points use direct current (DC). This means that the power supply is converted within the charger itself and directs the power straight into the vehicle’s battery. This means there is no need for an onboard charger and results in rapid chargers being bigger and much faster.
There are three types of DC car-side connectors. All DC cables will have two connector attachments (CHAdeMO and CCS). When charging your vehicle, you will simply choose the charging connector that fits in your vehicle’s socket.
Typical Power Ratings: 50kW, 100kW
Approx. Range per hour of Charging*: 75 miles, 150 miles
Approx. Range per hour of Charging*: 75 miles, 225 miles, 525 miles
Looking to be the most popular DC connector
Typical Power Ratings: 150kW, 250kW
Approx. Range per hour of Charging*: 225 miles, 375 miles
Currently, only Tesla superchargers provide DC via a Type 2 connector
Charge Point Side EV Connector Types:
Charge point side EV connectors are where the end of the charging cable is plugged into the charge point.
Slow & Fast Charging
Slow and fast charge points only really have one type of connector: Type 1. Some EV users will occasionally use a traditional 3-pin wall socket to charge their vehicle but this is not recommended and should only be used as a last resort.
Typical Power Ratings: 7kW (single-phase), 22kW (three-phase)
Approx. Range per hour of Charging*: 25 miles, 75 miles
Universal connector and is compatible with all standard charge point sockets
All rapid DC charge point units have tethered cables, which are permanently attached to the charge point. This means EV drivers do not need to use their own cables and therefore do not need to worry about the charge point side EV connector.