How do you plug in your car? Types of connectors
Here we shall describe the most popular connectors in Europe, their compatibilities, requirements and capacity they offer for slow charging, semi-fast charging or fast charging.
When you purchase your electric vehicle, you may find that the sale included a couple of connectors and cables in the boot, but you will end up focusing on other aspects, convinced that everything will be fine when it comes to charging your vehicle. And everything probably will be fine. However, when you purchase an electric vehicle, it is wise to be aware of all the compatibilities, everything available on the market, charging points for your garage and what you may come across when it comes to charging batteries when you are away from home. It is not complicated, and it could save you grief in the long run.
Schuko plug: although you probably don’t call it by its name, this is the standard conventional plug. The type you will find in every room of your home, even in the garage, if you have one. It is compatible with European sockets (CEE 7/4), it has a ground connection and the maximum supported amperage is 16 amperes. This means fast charging is not possible, at the moment. This type of connector is often used for bicycles, some motorbikes and some types of electric vehicles such as the Twizy. It is one of the most common connectors available.
SAE J1772 Connector (Type 1): this 5-pin connector supports two levels of AC charging, one at 16 amps for slow charging and another up to 80 amps for fast charging. Although this is a Japanese standard, it has been adopted by the American market and accepted in the European Union. It is compatible with some brand models such as Opel, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Citroën, Renault, Ford, Toyota or Kia. It is one of the most commonly used connectors by electric vehicle manufacturers.
Mennekes Connector (Type 2): this is a seven-pin connector also with the option of two types of currents: single-phase at 16 amps for slow charging and three-phase at 63 amps for fast charging. It is made in Germany and is compatible with models from brands such as BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, Volvo, Tesla and even Renault. As with the SAE J1772, it is one of the most popular connectors in terms of electric vehicles.
Combined charging system (CCS): this aims to become the standard solution in North America and in Europe and it allows slow and fast charging. It is a 5-pin connector and it is currently compatible with Audi, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen and Porsche.
CHAdeMO Connector: this type of connector allows DC fast charging and accepts up to 200 amps. With its 10 pins, it is the largest on the market, but it is still the Japanese standard par excellence. It is compatible with brands such as Nissan or Mitsubishi and also Peugeot, Citroën and KIA.