Types of EV Car Chargers

EV Charge Point Information

Types of EV Car Chargers

Types of EV Car Chargers

Whether you’re the owner of an EV Charge Point or looking to add a public EV charging station to your commercial property, here are just a few things you should know about how an EV charger works.

What Is an EV Charger?

Simply put, an EV (electric vehicle) charger is a charging station that supplies electrical power for electric and hybrid vehicles. The equipment supplies electrical power

Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, like any other charging item or electronic equipment, require a charger to keep the battery charged. This is where the EV charger solves this issue.

How Does EV Charging Work?

Without getting too technical, the important electrical currents are divided into two types: alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).

An EV charger, just like any appliance or item that you charge by plugging into a socket (e.g. your mobile phone), draws an electrical current from an outlet or the grid to which it is connected and transfers that power to the car. Your car will tell the charger when the battery is full, to stop it from charging.

EV Car Charger Port Types

Similar to mobile phone chargers, EV car charger connector ports fit into the socket on your vehicle. Depending on which vehicle you own along with the power rating (speed) of the chargepoint you have, different connectors will fit into your car socket, much like a USB-c vs Apple charger - i.e. the socket is the same for each, but the cable is specific to the car type.

Type 1 and Type 2 AC vehicle-side connections are often used for top-up charging at home, work, and stationary destinations. For slow/fast charging, electric cars feature a Type 1 or Type 2 connector, as well as CHAdeMO or CCS for DC quick charging. To charge on public networks, most EV drivers purchase a portable charging cable that fits their vehicle's Type 1 or Type 2 socket.

EV charging is divided into three Phases (sometimes called Levels); Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3. The general rule of thumb is the higher the Phase the higher the Phase, the more power it produces and the faster it charges.

What are the Most Common Electric Car Charger Types?

Despite popular belief, Type 3 chargers are rather uncommon in the United Kingdom. Three-phase power is rare in houses, but it is found in a few bigger commercial buildings. The majority of public charging stations currently in use are single-phase 7kW units.

Because practically all EVs can charge on a Type 2 unit, at least with the right cable, it is by far the most popular public charging standard, and almost all plug-in vehicle owners will have a cable with a Type 2 connection charger-side.

CCS vehicle connectors are the most common type of quick or ultra-rapid charging connection on public charging stations since public stations are usually used as a quick stop and go spot.

Type 1 EV Charger VS Type 2 EV Charge Point

So, what is the distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 EV charging points? It's rather simple. Whether you use it at home or take it with you for on the go top ups, the cable you use to connect your vehicle to your charging point will have either a Type 1 or Type 2 end which will slot into your vehicle.

The Type 1 plug has 5 pins and contains a lock that holds the plug in place and prevents it from being removed from the charger socket, however the Type 2 chargers, which have a 7-pin design, do not. Vehicles that use Type 2 plugs, on the other hand, include a locking pin that locates and locks the plug in place.

The Type 2 charge point is the more universal of the two since  it is able to fit all standard charge point sockets. This type is commonly used for charging EVs at home, work and on the go locations with a typical power rating of 3.7kW, 7kW, 22kW (three-phase).

Type 2 cables feature an inbuilt locking mechanism that interacts with the vehicle to provide a smooth charging procedure. The car 'knows' it's connected in, and additional resistor functions keep the power supply consistent, sensing the cable's strength and drawing power appropriately. When the lever on the Type 1 cable is pushed to unlatch the plug, the resistors in the cable detect if the cable is plugged in and switch off the charger.

Type 1 charging cables are single-phase meaning they have a typical power rating of 3.7kW or 7kW which limits them when compared to Type 2 charging cables that are available in single or three-phase.

These two types of charging ports are installed in EVs and hybrids and many newer cars coming to the market are now equipped with Type 2 ports.

The Type 2 chargepoint socket is universal and is typically used for top-up charging at home, work and destinations. It can be thought of in a similar way to the wall socket for charging iPhones or Android phones (i.e. the socket is the same for each, but the cable is specific to the car/phone type).

In summary:

  • Type 1 charge points feature a 5 pin design, no automatic locking mechanism and are single phase (3.7kW or 7kW) only.
  • Type 2 charge points have 7 pins, are universal (as long as you have the right cable) and can carry 3 phase power (3.7kW, 7kW, 22kW).

What is an EV CSS Charger?

CCS chargers are essentially the enhanced version of the Type 2 charger. CCS is an abbreviation for Combined Charging System which is a direct current (DC) charging connector. What makes CCS chargers better than Type 1 and Type 2 EV chargers is the fact that they have two additional power contacts for the purposes of quick charging and can support both AC and DC charging power levels. It should be noted that rapid chargers do not always charge at their full power rating in order to safeguard the battery.

By utilising communications pins, CCS charging connectors integrate AC and DC inlets. Since these pins are all in one socket, the charging ports for vehicles equipped with CCS are smaller than non CCS vehicles which can require additional socket space for an additional AC socket.

An array of vehicles can use CCS chargers for rapid charging, ranging through Kia e-Niro, Volkswagen e-Golf, and Jaguar I-Pace. As such, CCS charging is typically used for en route rapid charging, with three types of DC (direct current) car-side connectors available. Every DC rapid charging station comes equipped with cables to suit CHAdeMO and CCS connectors and so all you need to do is select which one suits your car socket. 

EV Charging Point KW

Electric vehicle charging is measured in kilowatts (kW). The charging speed can be limited by your battery capability in your vehicle or the charger you are using. Home charging outlets give roughly 15-30 miles of range per hour of charge at 3.6kW or 7kW which is stronger than a 2.3kW 3 pin plug, providing up to 8 miles an hour.

The maximum charging rate for most home premises is 7kW due to single phase electricity. While quicker charging stations (such as a 22kW unit) are available, they are often found in commercial premises that have access to three phase electricity.

The onboard charger in your car may limit the maximum charging speed. If your automobile is capable of 3.6kW charging, utilising a 7kW charger will not harm it.

Conclusion

In 2022, an electric car is by far the more sustainable option when it comes to living a greener lifestyle. Emitting far less in emissions than diesel and petrol engine vehicles, EV options are the future with an expected 230m electric vehicles worldwide by 2030!

Here at Manta Power we have handpicked the best EV charge points out there meaning there is a charge point below to match your budget, location and aesthetic.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or simply want to know more.

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