While electric vehicles (EVs) can be powered up at public charging stations or home chargers, not all of them use the same kinds of charging connector. There are two main types of connector: one that plugs into a dedicated power source and another that connects to your car.
Slow chargers deployed at home will plug into a conventional three-point socket or an industrial style socket designed for caravans. Public charging stations favour a tethered lead with different types of connectors that attach to EVs to supply different rates of charge.
Slow chargers use either a Type 1 J1772 connector or employ a seven-pin Type 2 Mennekes connector, while fast chargers nearly always have a Mennekes connector, although a few utilise a Type 1 J1772.
Charging connectors for rapid chargers come in two types. Rapid AC chargers are the rarer of the two and only have a Type 2 Mennekes connector. The more commonly encountered DC rapid chargers have either a Combined Charging System (CCS) connector or a JEVS (CHAdeMO).
Originally designed in Japan, CHAdeMO connectors can be used with electric Mitsubishis, Toyotas and Nissans that have a rapid charging capacity. Electric vehicles from manufacturer’s Ford, BMW and Volkswagen, all support Type 1 J1772 connectors and the CCS system related to them.
Tesla’s rapid chargers are called ‘Superchargers’ and there are now over 500 stationed in the UK and Ireland. They can currently charge at 120kW, delivering around 170 miles worth of range in between 30 to 40 minutes.
Tesla also has a range of ‘Destination’ chargers, that are based shopping centres, B&Bs, hotels, golf clubs and campsites among other locations. Unlike Superchargers, destination chargers are much offering a maximum charge of up to 22kW that takes an hour to deliver 60 miles worth of charge.
In sum, different charger connections provide varying rates of charge. When charging up your EV, all you need to do is focus on using a charge point that has connector compatible with your car. As long as your electric car is able to use fast charging, you’ll most likely find yourself employing a Mennekes connector.