Charging speeds & connectors

connectors-speeds

This guide to EV charging speeds and connectors walks through the various charging options open to plug-in car drivers. With two main factors to take into account – EV charging speeds and connectors – electric car drivers will need to understand which systems can be used with their vehicle.

EV charge points are primarily defined by the power (in kW) they can produce and therefore what speed they are capable of charging an EV at. There are three main EV charging speeds:

Rapid charging units (43, 50, or 120kW) can provide an 80% charge in around 30 minutes.
Fast charging points (7-22kW) can fully recharge some models in 3-4 hours.
Slow charging points (up to 3kW) are used for longer charging times, around 6-8 hours.

Below is a detailed description of the three main charge point types and the different connector types available.

ev charging speeds and connectors - rapid ev charging

Rapid Chargers

ev charging speeds and connectors - rapid dc charging
 
• 50kW DC charging on one of two connector types
• 43kW DC charging on one connector type
• 120kW DC charging on Tesla Supercharger network
• All rapid units have tethered cables

Rapid chargers are the fastest way to charge an EV, supplying high power direct or alternating current – AC or DC – to recharge a car from 0-80% in 20-40 minutes. All come with the charging cable tethered to the unit, with one of three connectors attached.

Rapid charging can only be used on vehicles with rapid-charging capability, though with two of the three different connector types available being rapid-charging specific, this specification is easy to find out.

Rapid DC chargers provide power at up to 50kW (125A), use either the CHAdeMO or CCS charging standards, and are indicated by purple icons on Zap-Map.

Both connectors are typically able to charge an EV to 80% in 20-40 minutes depending on battery capacity and starting state of charge. Once charging reaches 80%, the unit’s power output will drop to a slower rate to preserve battery life and maximise charging levels.

Users select the appropriate connector for their vehicle and use the tethered cable to plug the car in, rather than their own cable.

Tesla’s Supercharger network also provides Rapid DC charging to drivers of its cars, but at a much higher rate of up to 120kW. Like other Rapid DC units though, the cable is tethered to the unit, but the connector at the end is Type 2.

Rapid AC chargers provide power at up to 43kW (three-phase, 63A) and use the Type 2 charging standard. They are indicated by green icons on Zap-Map.

Rapid AC units are typically able to charge an EV to 80% in 20-40 minutes depending the model’s battery capacity and starting state of charge. Once charging reaches 80%, the unit’s power output will drop to a slower rate to preserve battery life and maximise charging levels.

Users select the appropriate connector for their vehicle and use the tethered cable to plug the car in, rather than their own cable.

Rapid connectors

CHAdeMO

chademo connector

50kW

CCS

ccs connector

50kW

Type 2

type 2 mennekes connector

43kW

Tesla

tesla type 2 connector

50-120kW

Models that use CHAdeMO rapid charging include the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and Kia Soul EV. CCS compatible models include the BMW i3, VW e-Golf, and Hyundai Ioniq Electric. Tesla’s Model S and Model X are exclusively able to use the Supercharger network, while the only model able to charge on Rapid AC is the Renault Zoe.

ev charging speeds and connectors - fast ev charge point

Fast Chargers

ev charging speeds and connectors - fast ev charging
 
• 7kW fast charging on one of three connector types
• 22kW fast charging on one of three connector types
• 11kW fast charging on Tesla Destination network
• Units are either untethered or have tethered cables
Fast chargers are typically rated at either 7kW or 22 kW (single- or three-phase 32A). Charging times vary on unit speed and vehicle, but a 7kW charger will recharge a compatible EV in 3-5 hours, and a 22kW charger in 1-2 hours.
 
The majority of fast chargers will be untethered, though some have cables attached. The latter units mean only those vehicles that can use that connector type will be able to charge on them, but no cable needs to be supplied by the driver. Untethered units are able to be used by any driver that has the correct cable.

The most common type of fast charger is an untethered 7kW Type 2, though fast chargers can be found with Type 1 or Commando inlets / cables too. Fast charge units commonly have two inlets to charge two cars at the same time, though one inlet is not unusual.

Charging speeds from fast chargers will depend on the car’s on-board charger, with not all models able to accept 7kW or more. These models can still be plugged in to the charge point, but will only draw the maximum power accepted by the on-board charger. For example, a Hyundai Ioniq Electric (6.6kW on-board charger) will draw almost 7kW from a unit, whether it’s a 7kW or 22kW charge point.

Tesla’s Destination Chargers provide 7, 11, or 22kW of power but, like the Supercharger network, can only be used by Tesla models. Tesla does provide some standard Type 2 chargers at the same location as Destination units, and these are compatible with any plug-in model using the correct cable.

Fast connectors

Type 2

type 2 mennekes connector

3-22kW
single/three-phase

Just about all EVs and PHEVs are able to charge at Type 2 units, with the correct cable at least. It is by far and away the most common public charge point standard around, and most plug-in car owners will have a cable with a Type 2 connector at one end.
There are some charge points around that have a Commando connector, but these are relatively few and far between.


slow ev charging

Slow chargers

ev charging speeds and connectors - slow ev charge point
 
• 3kW slow charging on one of four connector types
• Charging units are either untethered or have tethered cables
• Includes mains charging and from specialist chargers
• Often covers home charging
Slow charging units are rated at around 3kW (single-phase 13A). Charging times vary on unit speed and vehicle, but a full charge for an EV will typically take 6-12 hours.

Slow charging is the most common method of charging electric vehicles, used by many owners to charge at home. Slow units aren’t necessarily restricted to home use, with workplace and public points also able to be found. Because of the longer charging times over fast units though, slow public charge points are becoming increasingly uncommon.

Home charge points are commonplace though, largely because those who buy an electric car often find themselves qualified to apply for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme too. This gives buyers money off a fully installed EV home charging unit.

Slow charging units can be either tethered or untethered, with untethered charge points often using a Type 2 inlet to connect an EV with. Tethered points will typically have the connector needed for the owners’ EV attached.

Although termed 3kW units, slow home charge points can actually charge at up to 3.6kW, because they are rated for 16A rather than the 13A or less available from the mains.

Slow charging can be carried out via a three-pin socket too using a standard plug, the same as you would find on any electrical appliance. Because of the higher demands of EVs and the longer amount of time spend charging, it is recommended that those who need to charge regularly look into getting an EV charging unit installed.

External three-pin sockets can be used though if installed by a qualified electrician with less potential for overloading one of a home’s circuits, and some EVs such as the Renault Twizy come with a tethered three-pin plug anyway so would need an adaptor to use other charge points.

Like dedicated EV charge points three-pin charging is termed 3kW, though is usually a little different – in this case slower. EV charging cables are often rated at 10A – rather than 13A – which gives a maximum power output of 2.6kW, rather than 3kW.

Slow Connectors

3-Pin

3-pin connector

3kW

Commando

commando connector

3kW

Type 1

type 1 j1772 connector

3kW

Type 2

type 2 mennekes connector

3kW

All plug-in electric vehicles can charge off at least one of the above slow connectors, since it is the minimum requirement to keep them going. Often home charge points will be compatible with the same Type 2 cable used for public charging, or be tethered with the compatible cable for the owner’s EV. All models are able to charge from a three-pin plug too, meaning that anywhere with a plug socket can be a refueling point for EV drivers, even if it might take a long time to top up.

Know Your Connectors

ev connectors
Charging an electric vehicle requires a cable fitted with a compatible connector type for the car’s inlet. For those situations where the charge point doesn’t have a tethered cable, the correct outlet connector needs to be considered too.

Most EVs come with two cables; one has a three-pin plug and the other a Type 2 connector, with both fitted with the compatible connector for the car on the opposite end. This means the EV can be connected to untethered charge points, while use of tethered units – where the cable is permanently attached to the charge point – requires using the cable with the correct connector type for the vehicle.

The choice of connectors depends on the charger type and the vehicle’s charging standard. Rapid chargers use CHAdeMO, CCS (Combined Charging Standard) or Type 2 connectors. Fast and Slow units have Type 2, Type 1, Commando, or three-pin plug outlets.

As a rule of thumb, European-based manufacturers use Type 2 and the corresponding CCS rapid standard, while Asian manufacturers use Type 1 and CHAdeMO. This doesn’t always work, with the Hyundai Ioniq Electric and Toyota Prius Plug-In being exceptions that prove the rule, but the likes of Audi, BMW, Renault, Mercedes, VW, and Volvo use the former, while Nissan and Mitsubishi prefer the latter.

AC Connectors

• UK 3-pin (BS 1363)
• Industrial Commando (IEC 60309)
• American Type 1 (SAE J1772)
• European Type 2 (Mennekes, IEC 62196)

DC Connectors

• Japanese JEVS (CHAdeMO)
• European Combined Charging System (CCS or ‘Combo’)
• Tesla’s proprietary supercharger connector


It is also important to know what cables are needed, EV Connectors has made this helpful video detailing exactly the types of cable that are out there and how to find the right one for you.

Public EV Networks in the UK

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More than 20 different EV charging networks are currently available to UK EV users. Zap-Map’s guides provide details of each network, including coverage, membership types, cost and charging options.

Home and Workplace charging

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Several UK suppliers and government schemes are available to help EV owners obtain a charging point for a home or work place. Zap-Map guides provide info on all the latest options available for home or work charging.


Comment on this page

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Colin Colin 11 hours, 19 minutes ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #33405
    Profile photo of Colin
    Colin
    Participant

    I’m due to take delivery of a Hyundai Ionic Electric in a few weeks time, and have noticed the lack of the CCS connectors available, when compared with CHAdeMo, through networks like Eurocity. Can the Hyundai, and similar connected models, be connected and receive charge safely from the 43Kw AC rapid charger, albeit at a ‘fast’ rate?

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Colin Colin 11 hours, 19 minutes ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #33405
    Profile photo of Colin
    Colin
    Participant

    I’m due to take delivery of a Hyundai Ionic Electric in a few weeks time, and have noticed the lack of the CCS connectors available, when compared with CHAdeMo, through networks like Eurocity. Can the Hyundai, and similar connected models, be connected and receive charge safely from the 43Kw AC rapid charger, albeit at a ‘fast’ rate?

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

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