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In order to charge an electric car, it is necessary to understand the differences between all types of charging stations. There are several main types of charging stations, which differ mainly in the maximum charging power and the type of plug (connector). If you learn them, you will be able to easily navigate when charging from public charging stations.
When buying an electric car, it is essential to know the power of the on-board charger and the type of connector of the cable through which the car is charged. The on-board charger determines the maximum current with which the car can be charged, and the connector determines which cable you can use to charge it.
Single-phase, three-phase charging, AC and DC current
Before we get to the different types of connectors, we will introduce you to the charging capacities of electric cars. Up to 22kw you can charge from alternating current (AC) charging stations, and more powerful chargers from 50kw and above are direct current (DC).
|Single-phase current (AC) characteristic of a standard domestic electrical installation
|up to 7.4kw
|Three-phase current (AC)
|up to 22kw
|Direct current (DC) such are public fast charging stations
|from 50kw to 350kw
Wall charging stations (wallbox) with fixed installation
The wallbox for fixed installation includes a number of functions and extras for charging protection. Available with power from 3kw to 22kw. Upgraded versions for public installation allow DC charging up to 350kw. Most models include residual current protection, a power meter, a wifi module for connecting to the Internet and applications, an LCD display and many other features depending on the model.
Portable charging stations
The portable charging station is a cable between 5 and 7 meters long with a control box. From it you can choose the desired amperage and charging power. Available in variants from 3kw to 22kw. It is practical because you can keep it in the trunk of the car and use it in addition to your garage and when you are in a hotel or camping. At one end from the charging station there is a Shuko plug (3.4kw) or an industrial CEE plug (up to 22kw), and at the other end from the car there is a Type 2 or Type 1.
Types of plugs and adapters (connectors) for charging stations and cables
The Type 2 plug is the European standard for charging electric cars. Originally designed by the Mennekes company under the name IEC 62196, today it is better known simply as Type 2. This variant allows charging with power from 3kw to 22kw.
The Type 1 plug is the primary standard in North America and Japan. Its name is SAE J1772, but it is more commonly known as Type 1. Its most common variants can charge the car with a power of up to 7.4kw. Variants that charge with a power of up to 19.2kw are now available.
The dedicated Tesla Supercharger allows charging from 22kW (AC) to 250kW (DC).
The CCS2 plug is an upgraded version of Type 2 that allows DC charging up to 350kw power. It is found in Australia and throughout Europe.
The CHAdeMO plug is found throughout Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. Allows fast charging with power up to 350kw DC current.
The ones listed above are the most popular for Europe, and the main standard is Type 2. There are other adapters and plugs for electric cars, such as GB/T, which is specific to China, and CCS1, which is the improved version of Type 1.