The Type 2 EV Plug: Master The Art Of EV Charging

The Type-2 EV Plug is a three-phase charging system used mostly in Europe, and while it bears some similarity to the US’s J1772 plug, Type 2 has three live phases, rather than just one with seven pins against the standard five-pin of the J1772.

🔑 Key Characteristics:
1️⃣ Can charge up to 43kW
2️⃣ Uses three phase lines instead of one
3️⃣ Available in CCS for DCFC
4️⃣ Is the standard connector for European EVs and widespread convenience

So let’s look at this connector in more detail and find out where it stacks up against other EV plugs and connections.

Understanding The Type 2 EV Plug Used In Europe

Our cousins across the Atlantic use three-phase power, so the IEC 62196 Type 2 EV plug or Mennekes plug– named for the German Company that produced it- differs slightly from our EV charging connector types in the US.

This is Europe’s standardized EV charging plug (for AC) that uses a 240V 3-phase power infrastructure, so let’s examine the design and structure of the components of the Type 2 connector.

The Type 2 EV Plug–Pin Configuration

The J1772 plug, the most common charging cable in the USA, has five pins, with a single live, single neutral, and single earth pin and two smaller pins called the Proximity Pilot pin and the Control Pilot pin.

The Type 2 EV plug has seven pins. You also have the Control Pilot and Proximity Pilot like the J1772, and you have three AC pins that allow more current to pass into the charger and so charge the electric car faster than the J1772 could.

A type 2 EV plug with 7 pins

The Protective Earth (PE) Pin is located in the center of the plug, while the live AC L1 is located on the right side of the male plug (M) and the left side of the female plug (F).

The second live AC Line, or L2, is located on the bottom right (M) and bottom left (F), respectively, while the L3 line is located on the bottom left (M) and bottom right (F).

The Proximity Pilot is located top left (M) and top right (F) and is designed to prevent the cable from moving while charging. It has a switch connected to the release latch that stops charging and allows disconnection of the plug once charging is complete.

The Control Pilot uses PLC communication (as does the J1772) to provide information on the charging rate, maximum current level, and when to start and stop charging. This pin is located on the top right (M) and top left (F) of the Type 2 EV charging cable.

Advantages Of The Type 2 Charging Cable

Across Europe, the Type 2 EV connector is the most commonly used for EV charging; just about every EV can charge using this charging cable.

All EVs made for the European market use the Type 2 plug, including the Audi eTron, BMW i3, KIA, Jaguar I-Pace, Renault, Mercedes Benz EQC, Nissan Leaf, and many others. This EV charging cable is ideally suited for high-capacity electric cars.

The Type 2 EV Plug – Charging Speed

Compared to the J1772 plug, the Type 2 plug has faster charging capacity as it can achieve a maximum of 43kW on a three-phase 400V public charger vs. 19.2 kW on a single phase.

Although the J1772 can operate at higher kW levels on an 80A circuit, it can only achieve a maximum of 19.2 kW on a 240V circuit.

At home, the Type 2 charger can achieve up to 22kW, making it slightly faster than the J1772 plug in the US, as it runs off a 230V/32A circuit.

The Type 2 EV plug is considered a rapid charging AC plug, able to charge an EV to 80% capacity in as little as 20-40 minutes, depending on the battery’s charge state and capacity.

While not nearly as fast as DCFC chargers which can get from 100kW to 350kW, the Type 2 EV Plug is faster than the USA’s J1772, even at level 2 charging.

Type 2 EV Plug Vs CCS Vs CHAdeMO

In Europe, CCS (Combo 2) and CHAdeMO have been the fast-charging DC standard for the last ten years, and Type 2 is the standard for AC charging. 

The DCFC platform is far quicker and more powerful than any AC system, so the charging rates for CHAdeMO and CCS outperform Type 2 EV plugs.

It is worth noting that the CHAdeMO plug is the standard for DCFC in Japan, and while it is losing out to the CCS plug in the USA, it remains a popular and available option for EV owners with Japanese cars.

There is also the Type 1 EV plugin Europe and this is the slowest charging cable as it operates off a single phase from a 230V 32A circuit and provides around 7kWh of charge. 

Remember, though, that Europe has a standard 230V/240V domestic supply while the US has a 120V supply, and a 240V supply for level 2 charging requires a professional installation.


Is J1772 The Same As Type 2?

No, these are different plugs, with the primary difference being the seven-pin three-phase configuration of the Type 2 EV plug against the five-pin single-phase configuration of the J1772.

While the Proximity Pilot and Control Pilot pins are present in both plugs, they are not positioned in the same place as the J1772 pins are positioned just above the PE or ground pin to the left and right.

In contrast, the same pins are located above the AC pins in the top left and top right corners of the Type 2 EV plug.

Key Takeaway

The Type 2 EV Plug is unique to Europe in terms of the AC standard, but if you have used a CCS plug, the configuration is identical to the Type 2 plug, with the addition of the two DCFC pins allowing for a fast charge.

Compared to the J Plug in America, the Type 2 can deliver a better kW output at commercial AC charging stations but performs similarly on a 240-volt residential circuit.