What’s the Deal with the Different Electric Car Charger Plug Types?

You can charge your electric car today through 2 main charging methods: alternating current (AC), which is the standard method of electricity transmission; or direct current (DC). Plug types also vary according to the current. In this article, we will examine the plug types, which are also dependent on the automobile brand, from every angle.

What is the difference between AC charging and DC charging?

DC charging is also called fast charging and rapid charging. At the charging station, it converts the AC electricity used in household electricity to DC electricity, in which the current flows in only one direction, and transfers it to the car. All electronic items, phones, computers, etc., store DC electricity in their batteries.

AC charging, on the other hand, transfers the electricity in household sockets to the automobile as AC. With the inverter in the car, this electricity is converted into DC and loaded into the battery to be stored. Maximum electrical loading in AC stations varies according to the network. Roughly, we can say that a maximum of 43 kW of energy can be transferred.

DC charging is much faster than AC charging for this reason. Fast charging stations have been developed to quickly convert electricity to DC. The maximum amount of energy loaded per hour in DC stations is more than 300kW. With the developing technology, this maximum charging speed is constantly increasing. Plug types differ in AC and DC stations in order to perform the electricity transfer without any problems.

What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 plugs?

The Type 1 plug, also known as SAE J1772 , or the J-plug, is the standard charging connector for most non-Tesla EVs in the United States. This 5-pin plug, which meets a standard set by the Society of Automobile Engineers in 2001, has been widely used in America and Japan.

Type 2 is a relatively new type of plug. The Type 2 plug standard, which is mostly accepted in Europe, has gradually started to be preferred in cars produced in the US.


What is the difference between Combo 1 (CCS1) and Combo 2 (CCS2) plugs?

The Combo plug types are designed to work with the Combined Charging System (CCS). They’re versions of Type 1 and Type 2 plugs developed for DC conduction.

For example, , if a car with Type 1 input supports fast charging, it can be DC charged with a CCS1 plug.

If an electric car that supports fast charging technology has a Type 2 input, you can  charge a a DC station with a CCS2 plug.



What is Chademo?

The so-called CHAdeMO connector was developed in 2010 in Japan. This connector, which transmits only DC charge, is one of the most widely used connectors. Its name comes from “Charge de Move” or “charge for moving.” EVs using Chademo for DC also have Type 1 or Type 2 input for AC charging.

What is the Tesla Plug?

Tesla plugs vary differently according to countries. Tesla cars sold in Europe have a Type 2 charging port. But cars sold in America come with the distinctive Tesla plug, which can be used with both DC and AC charging.

What are electric car owners doing in this mess?

When you buy an EV, the type of plug you’ll use, as well as where you’ll be able to use it is definitely something you need to understand. But generally speaking, unless you have a Tesla, your car probably accepts a Type 1 or J-plug. And you’ll be able to charge it at most Level 1 (120 volt) and Level 2 (240 volt) AC charging stations.

For DC fast charging (if your car accepts it), you’ll need a station with the CCS1 plug. And you’ll find that at most of the major charging stations, including ChargePoint, Electrify America and EVgo.

Tesla owners, meanwhile, get an adapter for the Type 1 plug so they can use those stations, too (in addition to Tesla’s own Supercharger network, of course). You can also buy a CHAdeMO-to-Tesla adapter, like the one you see below, at the Tesla store. 

Meanwhile, industry and government officials continue to work toward further standardizing these plugs. But for now, we hope this helps you sort it out. If you’re still confused, feel free to reach out to your friends at Bluedot!

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