Which types of charging cables are there for EV’s?

When you buy new EV it will be supplied with a connector that allows the connection with regular household socket.

When it comes to the connection to home or public (destination) EV chargers, the cables for Alternating Current (AC) charging are usually supplied with the following connectors:

  • Mode 1 (slow charge through regular plug) – “Shuko” plug
  • Mode 2 (slow charge with some specific protections for EVs) – “Shuko” plug

EU standard Schucko

European Shucko standart

Charging from AC station

Mode 3 can charge slowly @3.7 kW or medium fast charge (up to 22 kW) using a specific socket for EVs – Type 2  and Type 3 Plugs

The cable with Type 1 plug is used by older generation cars like Nissan Leaf gen 1 or all cars for US market. If you import EV from US you will need Type 1 connector. Please have in mind that US EVs can only charge one phase with AC charger. Therefore maximum charge rate will be @7.4 kW with AC current.

The cable with a Type 2 plug is dominant in Europe. It charges cars in single-phase 3.7 to 7.4 kW or three-phase alternating current (AC) – 11 or 22 kW in the charging infrastructure socket and up to 43 kW through the connector in the cable connected to the charging infrastructure. All new EVs in Europe come with Type 2 charging socket.


Fast charge DC connectors

For the fast charge in direct current (DC), the cables are connected to the charging infrastructure (stations) and its connectors are as follows:

Mode 4 – CHAdeMO connector

Mode 4 – CCS (Combined Charging System) COMBO1 and CCS connector COMBO2

CHAdeMO DC connector

The cable with CHAdeMO connector until now was the most common standard in the world for fast direct current charging (DC) and is used for example in generation 1 & 2 Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Citroen Vehicles. CHAdeMO connector can support speeds of 50kW. Some fast charging stations can deliver up to 100kW charge speed. CHAdeMO standard is currently phasing out in Europe and US as all new EVs come with CCS connector. 

CCS COMBO DC connectors

The CCS COMBO2 cable is used by some European car manufacturers such as Jaguar, Volkswagen, Audi while the CCS COMBO1 is used mainly by Japanese and North American car manufacturers. If you import EV from US to Europe you will need to use CCS1 to CCS2 adapter.

The CCS COMBO2 cable enables the fast direct current charging and slow alternating current charging and it can support 50 kW to 175 kW. High speed charging stations use liquid cooling systems to reduce high temperatures during charging process. Ultra high speed charging stations can already provide charging at a rate of 350 kW. However, car manufacturers currently limit speed below 175 kW.

Charging TESLA vehicles with DC 

Tesla has own ad hoc standard used with single Type 2 connector for charging from alternating current and direct current charging. Exclusively with Tesla superchargers it is possible to use Type 2 connector with direct current (DC). This is based on proprietary Tesla protocolWhen charging Tesla vehicles produced before 2020 with public fast charging stations owners need to have proprietary CHAdeMO adapter. Tesla cars for US market has own CHAdeMO adapter. After 2020 no adapter is needed as new Tesla cars are equipped with CCS connector.