EV Charging Connector Types and Speeds

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

Summary

When charging an electric vehicle, there are connectors that you plug your charging cable into on the vehicle and often, the chargepoint itself.

The type of connector varies by vehicle and the power rating of the chargepoint.

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

* With the exception of Tesla Model X and Model S vehicles to date, which use type 2 connectors for DC rapids.
** Occasionally some slow/fast chargepoints have a cable attached instead.

Vehicle side EV connector types

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 socket
  • No locking mechanism
  • Single phase only
Type 2
3.7kW
7kW
22kW (three-phase)*
12.5 miles
25 miles
75 miles
  • 7-pins
  • Standard European socket
  • 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 some 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.

DC connector type Typical Power Ratings Approx range per 30 mins charging* Features
CHAdeMO
50kW* 75 miles
  • Original DC connector
  • Most common in the UK
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
130kW 180 miles
  • Only Tesla Superchargers provide DC via a Type 2 connector
  • Charge rate “throttles” to protect battery
  • Does not charge consistently at 130kW as a result


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

** 150kW CCS rapid chargers are coming, but most are still just 50kW.

*** A handful of 350kW CCS chargers exist, however it is not clear whether enough cars will be capable of charging at this rate to make them common place.


Tip: To see which AC and DC connectors your car has, and what its maximum charge rates are, please visit the vehicle guides section.

Chargepoint side EV connector types

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, though some might occasionally use a traditional 3-pin plug as an emergency backup.

The socket is universal, and can be thought of in a similar way to the USB 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).

AC connector type Typical Power Ratings

Approx. range per hour charging*

Features
Type 2

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

25 miles
75 miles
  • A universal socket
  • Driver brings correct cable with them
  • Similar to USB 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 USB socket.

Rapid Chargers

Direct Current (DC)

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

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