"Oh, you only have an iPhone charger?" Like with mobile phones, there are different plug types for EV charging. This article introduces the IEC 62196 standard plugs used in Europe.
Type 2 is the standard chosen by the European Union.
"Plug into the wall socket"
Charging from a normal socket outlet, like the widely used Schuko standard, is possible with Mode 1 or Mode 2 charging cables. It should be noted that Mode 1 charging is outlawed in many countries. These methods should only be used as a temporary solution, because charging is much slower and there is a risk of overheating the socket.
Normal AC charging
The recommended method is to use a Mode 3 smart charging device for day-to-day charging. With a proper AC charging device charging is faster and safer, and it enables smart features like load management and payments.
Type 2 is the de jure charging plug standard chosen by the European Union. Most European AC charging devices have a Type 2 plug.
Along this standard, EV drivers can be certain that a socket in each public charging device is suitable for their car and conductor. Compatible devices are safe and future-proof. Charging device does not start the charging event until car is plugged in correctly. Type 2 charging devices enable even 63 kW power for charging, which will be an important feature already in the near future.
DC fast charging
For fast charging, there are two competing Mode 4 charging standards. The DC fast charging devices are considerably costlier, so it makes sense to consider what plug type to use. However, some fast chargers may include several plugs, also the AC Type 2 plug for normal or AC fast charging.
The European DC fast charging standard CCS was chosen as the de jure standard by the European Union. CCS plugs can be found in for example Volkswagen and BMW electric cars.
The Japanese CHAdeMO standard is common in Nissan and Mitsubishi electric cars. Even though it is not an official standard in the EU, it can be commonly found almost everywhere, mainly because the Japanese EV's have been successful in the early phases of the industry.
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