Whether you’re the proud owner of a brand new electric car, or you’re simply in the market and are doing a little bit of research before purchasing one.
Then this article will talk you through the different types of charging connectors, what they’re used for, and when and where you can use them. So, whenever you’re ready – read on!
What are the main types of chargers and charging connectors?
Generally speaking, the three main types of charging that are available to use for EV cars are the following:
These three types of chargers that we have listed above refer to the different types of EV charging power outputs available to you, or in other words – how quickly you can expect the charger to juice up your electric car!
As you might expect, regardless of which type of charging connector is used, each charger will come with its own set of connectors. These connectors are designed for low and high power usage and AC or DC charging.
All of this can be a bit technical and confusing to get your head around at first, so to make things as simplified and easy to understand as possible, we’re going to be breaking down the three main charger types and respective connectors below.
Let’s take a look:
- Rapid chargers offer 50kW DC charging across two connector types
- Rapid chargers offer 43 kW AC charging on one connector type
- Rapid chargers offer 100+kW DC ultra-rapid charging on two connector types
- They come exclusively tethered
First up, we’ll be talking you through rapid chargers, which are the fastest chargers you can use to juice up your electric car.
Since they are usually able to charge up electric cars in as little as 30 minutes, it means that these types of chargers are most commonly found at motorway services, shopping malls, and designated charging stations located on main routes in case drivers need to top up while driving to avoid a flat battery.
Due to their need to cater to a variety of different electric cars, rapid chargers often tend to supply alternate currents of either DC or AC and offer consistently high power currents across both.
Additionally, depending on the type of electric car, the amount of time needed to fully charge on a rapid charger can vary. However, more often than not, the average time usually required to charge an EV at 80% is usually around 20 minutes to one hour.
In addition to that, it is also worth noting that all types of rapid chargers will come with charging cables that are tethered to the unit at the charging station.
Also, that rapid charging is only available if your particular EV is compatible. So it’s important to check whether or not your electric car can be used with rapid charging before purchasing it.
- Fast chargers can offer 7kW fast charging on up to three connector types
- Fast chargers can charge 22kW on one of three connector types
- Can offer 11kW fast charging on Teslas
- They can come either tethered or untethered, depending on the manufacturer
- Type 2- 7-22 kW AC
- Type 1 –7 kW AC
- Commando –7-22 kW AC
The next type of charger we’ll be talking you through is the fast charger. Which are compatible with a variety of connectors, including CHAdeMO connectors.
More often than not, fast chargers are typically made to offer charging levels at either 7kW or 22kW. The vast majority of fast chargers are made to exclusively provide AC charging, although you can get some that have been made to offer DC charging, too.
As for the charging speeds, though fast chargers are not as quick as rapid chargers, a standard 7kW fast charger can fully charge a 40 kWh battery in around 4-6 hours.
This makes them suitable for overnight chargings and when you might need to charge up your electric car throughout the day for whatever reason. So they make for terrific home electric vehicle chargers.
Alongside being able to charge up a 40 kWh battery in 4-6 hours, fast chargers can also charge a 22kW engine in just 1-2 hours, which competes extremely close to the speed of a rapid charger.
Typically, fast chargers are usually found either tethered or untethered, although it should be noted that if you do happen to come across a fast-charging station that’s tethered, you will need to double-check whether or not your particular car is compatible with the charger.
This is because only models compatible with the connector can go ahead and use it. And depending on your home electrical situation, you may need to consider the options of NEMA 6-50 vs 14-50 if your unit is untethered.
- Can be tethered or untethered
- Suitable for most home charging
- Offers 3kW-6KW across four types of connectors
- 3-Pin –3 kW AC
- Type 1 –3 – 6 kW AC
- Type 2 –3 – 6 kW AC
- Commando –3 – 6 kW AC
Last but not least, the slow charging unit is the last type of EV charger available for you to use. These are usually rated to a maximum of around 3kW. Slow charging is typically carried out at about 2.3kW to 6kW, although the most common is 3.6kW, which is around 16A.
If you plan on using slow charging in your home, you can expect your car to be fully charged after anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. And it is worth keeping in mind that most slow charging units come untethered, so you’ll need to purchase your own cable separately.
Next, I recommend learning about charging levels, so you know which home charger to consider for your home charging solution.