EV Charging Connector Types and Speeds

A guide covering the different types of electric vehicle connectors and charging speeds.

Summary

Similar to phone charging cables, car charging cables tend to have two connectors, one that plugs into the vehicle socket and the other into the chargepoint itself.

The type of connector you need varies by vehicle and the power rating ("speed") of the chargepoint. *

  • Electric vehicles either have a Type 1 or Type 2 socket for slow/fast charging and CHAdeMO or CCS for DC rapid charging.**
  • Most slow/fast chargepoints have a Type 2 socket. Occasionally they will have a cable attached instead. All DC rapid charging stations have a cable attached with mostly a CHAdeMO and a CCS connector.
  • Most EV drivers purchase a portable charging cable that matches their vehicle’s Type 1 or Type 2 socket so that they can charge on public networks.

* This guide is based on the UK and may not include complete information for all countries.
** With the exception of Tesla Model X and Model S vehicles to date, which use Type 2 connectors for DC rapids. Adapters that allow to charge these Tesla models via CHAdeMO or CCS connectors are available.

Vehicle side EV connector types

These connector types fit into the socket on your vehicle and can be thought of the same as the phone-side charging connectors on your Apple or Android phone charging cable. Depending on which phone/car you have, different connectors will fit into your phone/car socket.

Phone Charging
Solo Charging Connectors

Slow & Fast Charging

Alternating Current (AC)

Typically used for top-up charging at home, work and destinations, there are two types of AC vehicle-side connectors.

AC connector type Typical Power Ratings Approx range per hour charging** Features
Type 1

3.7kW
7kW
12.5 miles
25 miles
  • 5-pins
  • Standard US connector
  • No locking mechanism
  • Single phase only
Type 2
3.7kW
7kW
22kW (three-phase)*
12.5 miles
25 miles
75 miles
  • 7-pins
  • By far the most common connector on new cars
  • Inbuilt locking mechanism
  • Can carry three phase power


* Some models of Renault Zoe can draw 43kW, giving 145 miles of range per hour (for the Zoe, 43kW is classed as an en route rapid charger).

** Assumes 60kWh full battery electric vehicle (BEV).

Tip: Three-phase power is relatively rare in the UK. There is almost no three-phase in homes, but there is some in a few larger commercial buildings. Most public chargepoints are single-phase 7kW devices.

Rapid Charging

Direct Current (DC)

Typically used for en route rapid charging, there are three types of DC car-side connectors. All DC rapid charging stations will have cables with both a CHAdeMO and CCS connector attached and you will simply have to choose which fits to your vehicle socket. To protect the battery, rapid chargers do not consistently charge at their typical power rating.

DC connector type Typical Power Ratings Approx range per 30 mins charging* Features
CHAdeMO
50kW 75 miles
  • Original DC connector
  • Most common for UK public chargepoints
Combined Charging System (CCS)

50kW
150kW**
350kW***
75 miles
225 miles
525 miles
  • High power
  • Neat arrangement with 2 x 'Type 2' pins
  • Likely to become most popular DC standard
Type 2
150kW
250kW****
180 miles
500 miles
  • Only Tesla Superchargers provide DC via a Type 2 connector


* Assumes 60kWh full battery electric vehicle (BEV).

** 150kW CCS rapid chargers will become very common, but across the UK most are still just 50kW.

*** A handful of 350kW CCS chargers exist, however it is not yet common place.

**** 250kW Tesla Superchargers are starting to be rolled out.

Tip: To find out your car's AC and DC sockets and maximum charging rates, you can visit our vehicle guides.

Chargepoint side EV connector types

Typically used for top-up charging at home, work and destinations, there is really only one kind of chargepoint socket, though some might occasionally use a traditional 3-pin plug to charge from a wall socket as an emergency backup.

The Type 2 chargepoint socket is universal, and can be thought of in a similar way to the wall socket for charging iPhones or Android phones (i.e. the socket is the same for each, but the cable is specific to the car/phone type).

Slow & Fast Chargers

Alternating Current (AC)

Typically used for top-up charging at home, work and destinations, there is really only one kind of chargepoint socket on slow and fast chargers, though some drivers might occasionally plug into their traditional 3-pin wall socket as an emergency backup.

AC connector type Typical Power Ratings

Approx. range per hour charging*

Features
Type 2

7kW (single-phase)
22kW (three-phase)

25 miles
75 miles
  • Universal connector that fits to all standard chargepoint sockets
  • Driver brings correct cable with them
  • Similar to wall plug for smart phone charging

3-pin plug

2.3kW 8 miles
  • Slow charging
  • Not best practice
  • Should only be used in an emergency


* Assumes 60kWh battery electric vehicle (BEV).

Tip: The “Type 2” socket is the Europe-wide, universal socket for charging electric cars. You can charge any type of car from it, so long as you have the appropriate charging cable for your car - much the same as charging Apple or Android phones from a wall socket.

Rapid Chargers

Direct Current (DC)

All DC units have tethered cables with both CHAdeMO and CCS connectors that match the car-side sockets, so there are no chargepoint-side DC sockets.

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