More and more electric car models are available on the market. But, unfortunately, there is no universal connector for charging this type of vehicle, so it is necessary to know its differences and characteristics.
The expansion of the electric car seems unstoppable and the only thing that is being questioned at this point is how long it will take to monopolize the market and whether minority technologies such as the fuel cell will keep a piece of the cake.
And, of course, there is also a market for chargers and corresponding charging cables. These, while wireless charging is not imposed , are essential.
But at this point we are faced with a problem: the market has not chosen a universal connector that is valid for all electric vehicles on the market.
In fact, there are up to eight different types of connector and, therefore, of charging cables. Some of them are even only available in certain countries or continents. The result is that the electric car user has to tread carefully.
Types of charging cables and connectors that exist
As we have said, there are several types of valid connectors for electric cars, so we are going to analyze each one of them.
SAE J1722 or Yazaki (type 1)
This connector predominates especially in Japan and the United States. Alternating current charging and allows slow and fast charging. It has charging pins, communication pins with the vehicle and also additional protection for blocking in case of need.
It allows a maximum power of 7.4 kW , since it is capable of offering up to 32 amps (A) of electrical current intensity. Several brands use or have used this type of connector. Among them Citroën, Opel, Nissan, Renault, Ford, Toyota and KIA.
Mennekes (type 2)
In Europe it is the most widespread , although for some time now it has lost market in favor of the CCS connector, which we will talk about later.
The Mennekes connector, which we talk about in depth in this link , has a seven-pole plug (four for three-phase, two for communications and one for ground). It deploys single-phase alternating current of 16 A or three-phase current of up to 63 A , with a maximum voltage of 500 V and a maximum power of 43 kW.
This, translated into practice, means that the Mennekes connector allows medium and fast charging speeds. It is very common in models of Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Renault, Porsche, Mercedes and even Tesla.
This charger, which arises from a Japanese association and of which we also expand the information in our Dictionary section, stands out for using a larger diameter and allowing fast recharging of up to 50 kW and 125 A. It also supports bidirectional charging.
The CHAdeMO connector can be found in such popular models as the Nissan Leaf, the Mitsubishi Outlander or the KIA Soul EV, among other models generally of Japanese origin.
CCS or Combo 2
The CCS or Combo 2 connector is the one that is prevailing in recent times as the most demanded by the industry .
This connector combines two technologies that allow you to access direct and alternating current charging, so you can use the entire range of existing charging speeds.
The CCS connector is capable of offering 43 kW in alternating current and 50 kW in direct current . It has several pins with different functions as a result of the combination of the Mennekes type connector (AC) with two additional contacts for DC.
Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen are some of the brands that are strongly betting on this type of charging cable/connector for electric cars.
Scame or type 3
We are now talking about a connector that can incorporate five or seven terminals depending on whether the current is single-phase or three-phase, including ground connection and communication with the network in both options.
This type of connector supports up to 32 A current and 22 kW power. It is commonly used in small electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids , but is now almost out of use.
This connector is specific to Tesla for vehicles of its brand, but it is compatible with type 2 plugs. It is capable of charging at a speed of 16.5 kW/h , so it is not very fast.
This is exclusive to China and allows fast charging in both alternating current and direct current. Little more is needed to know about him.
We end up with the lifelong plug , the one we have in our homes and which is used to plug in appliances and any other device that needs electricity.
This type of connector is not recommended for electric cars , as its intensity and power is very low. This will take many hours to charge the batteries, which will overheat the system and make some type of failure likely.
Yes, it is common in some motorcycles and in electric bicycles and scooters . In short, vehicles that have small batteries.
Remember, before buying an electric car, find out about the type of charging cable and connector it incorporates, since not all of them are the same, nor are they as common at charging points.