Tech

Every EV Charging Standard and Connector Type Explained

Like smartphones, electric vehicles use different charging systems and different connectors.

In an ideal world, all electric vehicles are connected to the same outlet. EV drivers won’t have to think long before charging, and incompatibility will be a thing of the past.

Of course, the world is a very different place, and the basic process of powering and charging an EV is a potentially complex process. These standards inevitably change, but modern EVs are still evolving rapidly. Here’s a guide to the different charging standards today and how to keep your EV as simple as possible.

EV charge at a glance

As competitive VHS and Betamax formats compete in the home videocassette market, EV charging sockets come in a variety of formats. It is relatively early for electric vehicles, so today’s hot news may pass tomorrow. The easiest way to understand current charging standards is to break them down by speed.

level 1

EHS Stock/Getty Images Plus

The simplest (and often extremely slow) chargers are the standard 110/120 volt plugs found in Level 1 or North American homes. Although slow, regular outlets are ubiquitous and only add 3-5 miles per hour. This usually comes with the EV at the time of purchase.

Charging Electric Vehicles at Home: Everything You Need to Know

level 2

Portable charger Lefanev 240.

Portable charger Lefanev 240.

Lepanov

Level 2 chargers operate at 240 volts and are relatively easy for an electrician to install into an existing installation, such as an electrically operated clothes dryer. A level 2 charger can add about 25 miles per hour.

How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?

level 3

Rows of Tesla charging stations.

Depody/Getty

At level 3, the loading speed gets serious. Also known as DC fast chargers, this standard (which also includes Tesla superchargers) requires a strong DC current (not AC) of 480 volts and 100 amps or more.

This incredible power allows a level 3 device to fully charge its battery in 20-30 minutes. Little known in the home, DC chargers are ideal for commercial or retail establishments where drivers can quickly charge their batteries and travel longer distances without waiting long.

Is it better to charge an electric car at home? Or is it better to charge at a public charging station?

Where the connector works

Types of plugs for electric vehicles

www.svetolk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Every electron in this world cannot harm an electric vehicle unless it is equipped with a proper plug. Here is an overview of the main charging ports found on almost all modern electric vehicles.

J1772 This is the standard level 2 charging connector found on most vehicles. Although capable of charging at level 1 rates, the J1772 charger will typically run at level 2 in most residential, commercial and retail environments.

chademo An early form of DC fast charging developed by a consortium of Japanese automakers. The CHAdeMO connector, which stands for CHArge de MOVe or “Move with Charge,” appears next to the J1772 connector to maximize charging options. However, these chargers have lost popularity and are unlikely to gain significant market share in the future.

CCS Type 1 / CCS Type 2 Connector, which stands for Combined Charging System, allows AC and DC charging on the same connector and provides level 2 or level 3 charging on the same connector with a J1772 socket. European and American automakers have adopted the CCS format.

Tesla uses a proprietary connector that connects all Tesla vehicles to Level 3 charging. There are over 23,000 Tesla superchargers around the world, and a very powerful infrastructure is open to anyone who wants to stand by Elon. (Ed. Precautions: Tesla will open access to superchargers for all electric vehicles at the end of 2021.)

How the adapter fits the picture

Don’t worry if the conversation about EV charging has become uncomfortably complex. Navigating these seas is easier if you have a foundation for how charging standards work together.

Level 1 vs. Level 2 vs. Level 3 loading instructions

Some car manufacturers have chosen themselves based on their charging standards, but the adapter allows you to charge your vehicle from two incompatible ports. But much of this compatibility seems to have been done without rhyme or reason.

For example, Tesla’s connectors are primarily proprietary, but CHAdeMO, J1772 and/or CCS adapters can be mounted to alternative charging sources.

Conversely, this does not currently work on Tesla superchargers, so only Tesla can see it. Instead of relying on adapters between CCS and CHAdeMO devices, for example, most charging stations provide both connectors to optimize their use.

How long do EV batteries last?


More information

Every EV Charging Standard and Connector Type Explained

Like smartphones, EVs use different charging systems and different connectors

In an ideal world, all electric vehicles would plug into the same kind of outlet. EV drivers wouldn’t have to think twice before charging up, and incompatibility would be a thing of the past.

Of course the world is a very different place, making the basic act of pulling up your EV for a charge is a potentially complicated process. While those standards will inevitably shift— after all, modern EVs are still rapidly evolving— here’s a guide to current different charging standards and how to make life with your electric vehicle as streamlined as possible.

EV Charging Levels at a Glance

Electric vehicle charging receptacles come in several forms, just as the home videocassette market saw warring VHS and Betamax formats vying for supremacy. These are still relatively early days for EVs, so what’s hot today may be passé tomorrow. That said, the easiest way to understand current charging standards is to break them down by speed.

Level 1 
EHStock/Getty Images Plus

The most basic (and often excruciatingly slow) charger is a Level 1, or the standard 110/120 volt plug you’ll find in any North American home. While slow, regular outlets are everywhere and available for a slow trickle charge in a pinch— though you’ll only add 3 to 5 miles of range per hour. This typically comes with an EV during purchase.

Charging Your EV at Home: Everything You Need to Know
Level 2 
A Lefanev 240 portable charger.
Lefanev

Level 2 chargers run at 240 volts, and can be installed by an electrician with relative ease to existing setups, just like a clothes dryer that runs on electricity. Expect a Level 2 charger to add approximately 25 miles of range per hour. 

How Long Does it Take to Charge an EV?
Level 3 
DeFodi/Getty

Level 3 is where charging speed gets serious. Also known as DC Fast Chargers, this standard (which encompasses Tesla Superchargers as well) requires a robust, DC (not AC) stream of electricity running in excess of 480 volts and 100 amps.

Because of these massive amounts of oomph, Level 3 units can fully charge a battery in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. Though they’re essentially unheard of in homes, DC chargers are ideal for commercial or retail setups where drivers can gain rapid battery replenishment so they continue driving lengthy distances without a long wait time. 

Is It Better to Charge My EV at Home or at a Public Charger?
Where Connectors Come In
svetolk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

All the electrons in the world can’t do a thing for your electric vehicle if it’s not equipped with a matching connector. Here’s a rundown of the major charging connectors you’ll find on virtually every modern electric vehicle.

J1772 is the standard Level 2 charging connector you’ll find on most vehicles. While capable of charging at Level 1 speeds, J1772 chargers are typically running at Level 2 in most residential, commercial, and retail settings.

CHAdeMO is an early form of DC quick charging that was established by a consortium of Japanese carmakers. Short for CHArge de MOve, or “move using charge,” CHAdeMO connectors appear alongside J1772 connectors in order to maximize charging options. However, these chargers have been waning in popularity and are unlikely to hold significant market share in the future.

CCS Type 1 / CCS Type 2 connectors, short for Combined Charging System, enable both AC and DC charging using the same port, offering Level 2 or Level 3 charging via the same connector because it incorporates a J1772 outlet. European and American carmakers have embraced the CCS format.

Tesla uses proprietary connectors that link any Tesla vehicle to Level 3 charging. With over 23,000 Tesla Superchargers in the world, there’s a remarkably robust infrastructure open to those who choose to join Elon’s side. (Ed. note: Tesla is opening up access to its Superchargers for all EVs in late 2021.)

How Adapters Fit Into the Picture

If the conversation about EV charging has gotten uncomfortably complicated, don’t worry: It gets easier to navigate these waters once you’ve established a groundwork for how charging standards work with each other. 

Level 1 vs. Level 2 vs. Level 3 Charging Explained

While some carmakers have chosen to wall themselves in by their charging standards, adapters can enable two otherwise incompatible connectors to charge a vehicle. However, many of these compatibilities seem to occur without rhyme or reason. 

For instance, Tesla’s connectors are primarily proprietary, though CHAdeMO, J1772, and/or CCS adapters can be fitted for alternative charging sources.

However, it doesn’t currently work the other way around at a Tesla Supercharger, which is why you’ll only see Teslas there. Rather than relying on an adapter between, say, CCS and CHAdeMO units, most charging venues instead offer both connectors in order to optimize their use. 

How Long to Expect Your EV Battery to Last

#Charging #Standard #Connector #Type #Explained

Every EV Charging Standard and Connector Type Explained

Like smartphones, EVs use different charging systems and different connectors

In an ideal world, all electric vehicles would plug into the same kind of outlet. EV drivers wouldn’t have to think twice before charging up, and incompatibility would be a thing of the past.

Of course the world is a very different place, making the basic act of pulling up your EV for a charge is a potentially complicated process. While those standards will inevitably shift— after all, modern EVs are still rapidly evolving— here’s a guide to current different charging standards and how to make life with your electric vehicle as streamlined as possible.

EV Charging Levels at a Glance

Electric vehicle charging receptacles come in several forms, just as the home videocassette market saw warring VHS and Betamax formats vying for supremacy. These are still relatively early days for EVs, so what’s hot today may be passé tomorrow. That said, the easiest way to understand current charging standards is to break them down by speed.

Level 1 
EHStock/Getty Images Plus

The most basic (and often excruciatingly slow) charger is a Level 1, or the standard 110/120 volt plug you’ll find in any North American home. While slow, regular outlets are everywhere and available for a slow trickle charge in a pinch— though you’ll only add 3 to 5 miles of range per hour. This typically comes with an EV during purchase.

Charging Your EV at Home: Everything You Need to Know
Level 2 
A Lefanev 240 portable charger.
Lefanev

Level 2 chargers run at 240 volts, and can be installed by an electrician with relative ease to existing setups, just like a clothes dryer that runs on electricity. Expect a Level 2 charger to add approximately 25 miles of range per hour. 

How Long Does it Take to Charge an EV?
Level 3 
DeFodi/Getty

Level 3 is where charging speed gets serious. Also known as DC Fast Chargers, this standard (which encompasses Tesla Superchargers as well) requires a robust, DC (not AC) stream of electricity running in excess of 480 volts and 100 amps.

Because of these massive amounts of oomph, Level 3 units can fully charge a battery in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. Though they’re essentially unheard of in homes, DC chargers are ideal for commercial or retail setups where drivers can gain rapid battery replenishment so they continue driving lengthy distances without a long wait time. 

Is It Better to Charge My EV at Home or at a Public Charger?
Where Connectors Come In
svetolk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

All the electrons in the world can’t do a thing for your electric vehicle if it’s not equipped with a matching connector. Here’s a rundown of the major charging connectors you’ll find on virtually every modern electric vehicle.

J1772 is the standard Level 2 charging connector you’ll find on most vehicles. While capable of charging at Level 1 speeds, J1772 chargers are typically running at Level 2 in most residential, commercial, and retail settings.

CHAdeMO is an early form of DC quick charging that was established by a consortium of Japanese carmakers. Short for CHArge de MOve, or “move using charge,” CHAdeMO connectors appear alongside J1772 connectors in order to maximize charging options. However, these chargers have been waning in popularity and are unlikely to hold significant market share in the future.

CCS Type 1 / CCS Type 2 connectors, short for Combined Charging System, enable both AC and DC charging using the same port, offering Level 2 or Level 3 charging via the same connector because it incorporates a J1772 outlet. European and American carmakers have embraced the CCS format.

Tesla uses proprietary connectors that link any Tesla vehicle to Level 3 charging. With over 23,000 Tesla Superchargers in the world, there’s a remarkably robust infrastructure open to those who choose to join Elon’s side. (Ed. note: Tesla is opening up access to its Superchargers for all EVs in late 2021.)

How Adapters Fit Into the Picture

If the conversation about EV charging has gotten uncomfortably complicated, don’t worry: It gets easier to navigate these waters once you’ve established a groundwork for how charging standards work with each other. 

Level 1 vs. Level 2 vs. Level 3 Charging Explained

While some carmakers have chosen to wall themselves in by their charging standards, adapters can enable two otherwise incompatible connectors to charge a vehicle. However, many of these compatibilities seem to occur without rhyme or reason. 

For instance, Tesla’s connectors are primarily proprietary, though CHAdeMO, J1772, and/or CCS adapters can be fitted for alternative charging sources.

However, it doesn’t currently work the other way around at a Tesla Supercharger, which is why you’ll only see Teslas there. Rather than relying on an adapter between, say, CCS and CHAdeMO units, most charging venues instead offer both connectors in order to optimize their use. 

How Long to Expect Your EV Battery to Last

#Charging #Standard #Connector #Type #Explained


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