Plug Types 2017-06-15T11:02:58+00:00

Safety: Difference charging via power sockets at home & charging stations:

On the one hand, there is the well-known Schuko plug for household appliances up to the red power socket that can be used for a wood splitter for instance and on the other hand the special plugs for electric vehicles have been available for some time.

What is the difference regarding safety? Conventional sockets are almost always under permanent voltage and when carelessly touching it only the FI-switch saves against an electric shock.

At Charging stations in contrast energy flows only when the charging station and the vehicle communicate with each other. This small difference makes the charging stations safe from electrical shock, even when touching the contacts of the plugs and sockets.

In general, which plug type is most common in Europe?

Charging station / wallboxes: At present, the “Type 2 plug” (“Mennekes plug”) with CCS extension for the DC power charge is in most cases the standard plug at charging stations in Europe. Most public charging stations as well as the “wallboxes” for professional charging at home work with alternating current and type 2 or “mennekes plug”.

Electric car: The “Type 2 plug” is the European standard plug for electric vehicles. On the vehicle side, the “Type 1 plug” for the single-phase AC charging is partly used on non-European electric vehicles, and the CHAdeMO plug is used for the DC quick charging on Asian vehicles. In the case of these non-European vehicles, the charging cable has the “Type 1 plug” on the vehicle side and the European Type 2 plug on the side of the station so that no compatibility problems arise.

The most important charging connections in Germany at a glance:

Regular alternating current from the household socket: The advantage is that the electricity is easily accessible and available everywhere. Compatible electric cars can be easily connected via a SchuKo plug. The main disadvantage is the long charging time due to the weak contacts. New is also, that electric vehicles can heat up old Schuko sockets by the long charging time so much that a defect occurs. Loading an electric vehicle with a triple or five-fold socket is a bad idea.

It should be used with an outlet which is rated for 10A continuous load, a separate supply line (if possible without branches between them) and connected by a specialist.

Type 2 with three-phase current: This combination is the European standard as most charging stations and wallboxes work with it. The usual charging capacity is here 11kW or 22kw. Usually the charging cable that has been supplied with the car is taken for the charging process. If the power is higher (e.g. 43kW) a fixed cable is usually already installed on the charging station.

DC with CCS: The Combined Charging System (CCS) is the extension of the Type 2 plug to charge with direct current up to 200A. Europe has agreed that Type2 and CCS should be the standard for electric vehicles charging in Europe.

CHAdeMO: Is the Asian development for charging with DC. Most Japanese electric cars work with this system.

All DC systems have a fixed charging cable attached to the charging stations.

Which types of plugs are available?

© Michael Hicks (flickr “mulad”)

Type 1 plug

1-phase | alternating current up to 7.4 kW | Asian car models

The Type 1 plug with a charging power of up to 7.4 kW (230V, 32A), is a single-phase plug. While these plugs are rather unusual in Europe, the Type 1 plug is often used in Asian and American car models. As a result, almost no charging stations with fixed Type 1 charging cables are available in Europe.

Typ-2 Stecker

© Hadhuey

Type 2 plug (“Mennekes connector”)

3-phase | alternating current up to 43 kW | standard Europe

The Type 2 plug with a charging power of up to 43 kW, is a three-phase plug (alternating current), which is the European standard plug for electric vehicles. Most public charging stations, as well as wallboxes to charge at home, work with alternating current and Type 2 or “mennekes plug”. The cable must be carried in the electric car. For private charging in general capacities up to 22 kW (400 V, 32 A) are common, while at public charging stations capacities up to 43 kW (400 V, 63 A) are possible. In this case it is necessary that the cable is firmly installed at the charging station. Most public charging stations are equipped with a Type 2 socket.

Combo Stecker

© Hadhuey

Combo plug (CSS)

Direct current & alternating current up to 150 kW | fast-charging standard Europe

Combined charging system (CCS) is the European fast-charging standard. BMW, VW, Opel and Hyundai use this technology. The CCS connector is a supplement to the Type 2 connector with two additional power contacts to provide a fast-charge function and supports DC charging up to 150 kW. In current generation of charging stations, the current value is usually 50 kW. The second generation is currently under construction and is to be installed at the tank and service areas in Germany.

CHAdeMO connector

Direct current | up to 100 kW | fast-charging standard Japan

The ChAdeMO fast-charging system was developed in Japan and theoretically allows charging capacities of up to 100 kW. However, only 50 kW of power is available on most public charging stations, but this is generally still sufficient today. However, a second generation is also under development.

Tesla Supercharger Stecker

© Hadhuey

Tesla Supercharger

Direct current | up to 120 kW | fast-charging standard Tesla

The Tesla Supercharger is the Tesla’s own fast-charging system. In Europe, Asia and Oceania, Tesla uses the Type 2 connector. In the USA, Tesla uses a self-developed connector. Other electric vehicles cannot yet be charged at Tesla superchargers.