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Charge Types (1)

MAKING SENSE OF SOCKETS

Feeling a little confused by the number of different electric vehicle sockets? We were too, but it’s much simpler than it first looks. In fact, once you know what type your vehicle is fitted with it’s really no more complicated than a regular petrol station pitstop. And rest assured, when you go electric with Europcar we’ll give you the full lowdown on what charger you need.

In the simplest terms possible, there’s two sockets you’ll need to identify.

Socket #1 – The vehicle socket

As the name suggests, this is the socket that’s fitted on the side of the vehicle. Different models have different sockets, with new vehicles increasingly designed with rapid charging in mind. There are five main sockets currently in use – Type 1 (slow), Type 2 (fast), CHAdeMO (rapid), Combined Charging System (ultra-rapid) and Tesla Type 2 (unique to Tesla).

Socket #2 – The charging point socket

This is the socket you’ll be plugging into when you stop for a top-up on the go. In almost every case this will be a Type 2 socket, as this is the universal connector that fits to all standard charge point sockets. On the odd occasion though you may come across a regular 3-pin plug, however these should only be used in an emergency as they’re super slow.

Once you know what vehicle socket your electric vehicle has, you simply need to plug it into a universal Type 2 charge point socket (or 3-pin plug) at a compatible charging location and you’re good to go. What’s more, a bunch of adaptors are also available on the market to make life simpler still. Time for a closer look at the most common chargers. 

Ev Charging Plug Type 1 Lef Angle

Type 1

More popular in the US than the UK, Type 1 sockets have a 5-pin design and enables single phase charging at an average output of 3.6kW. Due to its relative slowness in comparison to other connectors, this connector is mainly used to charge up at home overnight when time is less of an urgency.

Ev Charging Plug Type 2 Left Angle

Type 2

Not to be confused with the other Type 2 socket (the one at the charging point), the Type 2 vehicle socket features a 7-pin design and accommodates both single and three-phase mains power, allowing you to charge at speeds of between 7kW and 22kW. This connector is typically used for topping up at home, work and at destinations. Unlike Type 1 connectors, it also has an in-built locking mechanism to prevent any unplanned unplugging.

Chademo0003

CHAdeMO

The original EV rapid charger, CHAdeMo stands for ‘charge for move’ and was created by a group of Japanese manufacturers. With speeds of up to 50kW, this DC charger provides a far faster solution to AC alternatives. However, in recent years its popularity has lessened across Europe with the speedier Combined Charging System (CCS) becoming more commonly adopted.

Ev Charging Plug Combined Left Angle

Combined Charging System (CSS)

Effectively two integrated charging systems in one, this socket combines a fast DC charger alongside the Type 2 socket. With charging speeds of up to 350kW (depending on the model and battery size), it’s hardly a surprise that almost every new EV is compatible with the CSS.

Ev Charging Plug Type 2 Left Angle

Tesla Type 2

Designed for all Tesla models, Tesla Type 2 sockets work with Tesla’s network of Superchargers and can add up to 172 miles of range in just 15 minutes. Drivers however are increasingly turning to adaptors that enable them to make use of the far more common CHAdeMO and CCS rapid charging points.

CHARGING TYPES AT A GLANCE

Charger typeGeneral speedsAverage time to reach 80% chargeApprox. range per hour charging*Cable typeMost common charge locations
Type 1 (Slow AC)3.6kW6-12 hours12.5 milesUntetheredHome, workplaces
Type 2 (Fast AC)7kW 22kW4-6 hours (7kW) 1-2 hours (22kW)  12.5 miles 25 milesUntetheredHome, workplaces, supermarkets, busy public areas
CHAdeMO (Rapid DC)50kW20-60 minutes75 milesTethered to charge pointMotorways, main routes
Combined Charging System (Ultra-rapid DC)50kW 150kW 350kW20-30 minutes75 miles 225 miles 525 milesTethered to charge pointMotorways, main routes
Tesla Type 2 (Supercharger)150kW20-30 minutes225 miles  Tethered to charge pointSupermarkets, busy public areas

The table above provides a top-level look at the most common charger types you’ll find when you’re out and about on the road. For a deeper dive into the topic visit our friends at Zapmap.

*Based on 60 kWh full battery electric vehicle with a range of 200 miles.