There are a lot of standards for charging electric cars? Here is a simple overview of different types of charging cables and connectors.
Also read: How to charge an electric car
You can charge your car with a regular household plug from an outlet at home, or at work. This method is quite slowly at around 2.3 kW. If you have a 40-kWh battery, you can easily calculate that it will take around 14 hours to charge the battery to 80 percent. It is important to mention that to charge an electric car involves a high sustained load over time, and charging a car in a regular electrical outlet can be dangerous due to the danger of overload.
You can mount a wall box at home that makes the charging a lot faster and a lot safer, but it is only when you use a fast-charger that things really speeds up. A fast-charger can charge the battery to 80 percent in half an hour.
What confuses most people is that different electric cars, have different charging plugs. We will explain the difference between the most common charging plugs, but this is not a big deal. The car you buy is equipped with one of the standard charging plugs, and most fast-charging stations now have charging plugs to suit everyone.
Regular outlet (Schuko)
Most electric cars come with a cable for charging from the common electrical outlet as standard. This charging method is relatively slow – around 2.3 kW. It is also not intended to provide high current for a long time, and poor contact and dirt can lead to overload.
This is a type of charging that is not common at fast-charging stations. But many electric cars, including the Kia Soul, use type 1 charging in combination with CHAdeMO for fast charging from public outlets, or normal charging from a charging box at home. Type 1 plug can charge up to 19 kW and is not very fast.
Many electric cars are now supplied with the Type 2 cable and plug. It replaces charging from a regular outlet, if you have installed a charging box at home. Type 2 charging is also a common standard in many publicly available charging stations. Many quick-charging stations also have this plug as a supplement to the quick-charging plugs. It can charge up to 43 kW. Tesla, Renault ZOE and Mercedes-Benz B-Class are among the car models that can use this standard.
CHAdeMO is originally a Japanese charging standard, which Peugeot, Citroen and Kia now use on their electric cars. It is used by Citroen C-Zero, Citroen Berlingo, Kia Soul, Nissan Leaf, Nissan e-NV200, Mitsubishi i-Miev, Peugeot Partner and Peugeot iOn. In addition, Tesla can use this standard with the help of a transition, even though the charging is slower than with Tesla’s own Super Charger. CHAdeMO can charge up to 63 kW.
Combo / CCS
This charging standard is developed by American and European car manufacturers and satisfies more users. When using a quick charger, the plug uses both ports. The one part (with three pins) communicates with the car while the other transports the power. Combo / CCS is currently used by the BMW I3, Hyundai Ioniq, Opel Ampera-e, VW e-Golf and VW e-UP. There are two variants of the CCS. One is based on SAEJ1772 socket interface (equivalent to IEC Type 1 socket) and the other based on IEC Type 2 socket interface. They are called Combo 1 and Combo 2 respectively. The former is more commonly used in EVs from the U.S. while the latter is more so among EVs from European countries. This charging method theoretically can provide 100 kW, but in real life it delivers about 50 kW on public chargers.