Connector Types

Type 1 Vehicle Connector

The Type 1 vehicle connector (also known as an SAE J1772 or ‘J plug’) is a 5-pin connector,

designed for 120 V / 240 V single phase electrical systems – the North American (and Japanese) standard. As the domestic mains electricity standard in the UK and Europe is 220-230 V, the Type 1 AC connector is uncommon and Type 2 is generally favoured. A manual locking mechanism is a common feature, and may be used alongside a padlock for extra security.

Vehicles with a Type 1 connector are able to use Mode 3 Charging. Also known as ‘Fast’ charge speed, Mode 3 Charging operates between your electric vehicle and a charging station at either 16A (3.6kWh) or 32A (7.2kWh). Though ‘Fast’ charge is an option, your maximum charge rate is determined by what charging station, vehicle and cable you use.

‘Fast’ charge stations are generally found in car parks, service stations, larger businesses, leisure centres etc: often locations near main routes or where longer-term parking is common. EV Wired provides appropriate charging cables for such use, with one end having a Type 2 charging station connector, and the other a Type 1 or 13A 3-pin Plug vehicle connector.

Type 2 Vehicle Connector

The Type 2 vehicle connector is the official charging plug within the European Union.

As such, it is standard within the UK and EU for single-phase or three-phase AC charging. It is also known as IEC 62196 or, informally, as ‘mennekes’ (after the connector type’s original manufacturer). Most new and recent electric vehicles in the UK and Europe feature a Type 2 socket (the new Mitsubishi Outlander, with its Type 1 socket, is an exception). Type 2 connectors are 7-pinned and lock automatically into the vehicle charge port while charging.

Electric vehicles with Type 2 connectors are also able to use Mode 3 (or ‘Fast’) charging. As mentioned in Type 1, ‘Fast’ charging is at either 16A (3.6kWh) or 32A (7.2kWh) between your vehicle and the charging station. A benefit of Type 2 connectors is their ability to use three-phase charging (up to 22kWh). 

Type 2 Vehicles also have the added advantage of being able to use 3 Phase charging up to 22kWh. The maximum charge rate will depend on the rating of the charging station, your vehicle and the cable used. As with Type 1 connectors, your maximum charge rate is determined by your choice of charging station, vehicle and cable.

‘Fast’ charge stations are generally found in car parks, service stations, larger businesses, leisure centres etc: often locations near main routes or where longer-term parking is common. EV Wired offers appropriate charging cables for such use, with Type 2 male and female plug ends.

Charge Point Connector

This is the cable socket seen on home or public Mode 3 ‘Fast’ charging stations. It is a Type 2 female outlet, designed specifically for use with a seven-pin Type 2 male EV connector (as described above).

As such, all Mode 3 charging cables have a male Type 2 plug end for use with Mode 3 charging stations, though the cable’s other end may be either Type 1 or Type 2 according to your vehicle. This is the distinction between ‘Type 2 to Type 1’ and ‘Type 2 to Type 2’ EV cables.

Assuming you have the correct cable type for your vehicle and charging station, connecting each end should be a simple case of firmly inserting the male and female plugs as appropriate. Thankfully, though inlets and outlets may appear similar, each is designed specifically for its partner, making the task of connecting safe and simple.

Type 2 Combined Charging System (CCS) Vehicle Connector

A Type 2 CCS Vehicle connector is a Type 2 connector supplemented with 2 direct current (DC) pins, with four alternating current (AC) pins removed. The additional two high-current and voltage DC pins allow for ‘Rapid’ DC charging. Despite the differences in appearance, standard Type 2 plugs can also be connected to Type 2 CCS sockets via a 16A or 32A cable to receive a standard ‘Fast’ AC charge.

As with public ‘Fast’ charging points, ‘Rapid’ DC charging stations simply require you to connect the station’s cable to your vehicle in order to charge. A difference is that all DC stations provide their own tethered charging cables (not unlike a petrol pump), eliminating the need to buy a ‘Rapid’ charge cable.

These ‘Rapid’ DC charging stations use the CCS charging port on your vehicle to provide power at 50 kW (125A), though not all vehicles can charge at these ‘Rapid’ speeds (low-range Hybrid vehicles, for instance). Thankfully, the majority of full electric vehicles are compatible with CCS or CHAdeMO.

CHAdeMO Vehicle Connector

Another standard of DC connector is CHAdeMO, which can be found on various Type 1 and Type 2 vehicles. As with CCS, CHAdeMO offers a ‘Rapid’ DC charge, though the CHAdeMO socket is a distinct, separate port found alongside the standard Type 1 or Type 2 AC charging port. CCS sockets, on the other hand, are essentially an ‘extension’ to Type 2 sockets – that is, not Type 1-compatible. As such, CHAdeMO was very popular with early Type 1 electric vehicles, but is (along with Type 1 vehicles) increasingly uncommon.

As with public ‘Fast’ charging points, ‘Rapid’ DC charging stations simply require you to connect the station’s cable to your vehicle in order to charge. A difference is that all DC stations provide their own tethered charging cables (not unlike a petrol pump), eliminating the need to buy a ‘Rapid’ charge cable.

These ‘Rapid’ DC charging stations use the charging port on your vehicle to provide power at 50 kW (125A), though not all vehicles can charge at these ‘Rapid’ speeds (low-range Hybrid vehicles, for instance). Thankfully, the majority of full electric vehicles are compatible with CCS or CHAdeMO.