For its supercharger, Tesla uses a modified version of the type 2 Mennekes plug. This allows for the Model S to recharge to 80% within 30 minutes. Tesla offers charging to its customers for free. To date it has not been possible for other makes of car to be charged with Tesla superchargers.
Here you will find an overview of all relevant charging cable types and plug types for your electric car. With the right combination of charging accessories, you will gain the highest range with your EV.
If you have any questions about your electric vehicle and the right charging solution, we will be happy to advise you.
What are the charging cables for charging electric cars?
Mode 2 charging cable
The Mode 2 charging cable is available in different versions. Often the Mode 2 charging cable for connection to an ordinary domestic socket is supplied by the car manufacturer. So if necessary drivers can charge electric cars from a domestic socket in an emergency. Communication between vehicle and charging port is provided via a box connected between the vehicle plug and connector plug (ICCB In-Cable Control Box). The more advanced version is a Mode 2 charging cable with a connector for different CEE industrial sockets, such as NRGkick. This allows you to fully charge your electric car, depending on the CEE plug type, in a short time at up to 22 kW.
Mode 3 charging cable
The mode 3 charging cable is a connector cable between the charging station and the electric car. In Europe, the type 2 plug has been set as the standard. To allow electric cars to be charged using type 1 and type 2 plugs, charging stations are usually equipped with a type 2 socket. To charge your electric car, you require either a mode 3 charging cable from type 2 to type 2 (e.g. for the Renault ZOE) or a mode 3 charging cable from type 2 to type 1 (e.g. for the Nissan Leaf).
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What kind of plugs are there for electric cars?
Type 1 plug
The type 1 plug is a single-phase plug which allows for charging power levels of up to 7.4 kW (230 V, 32 A). The standard is mainly used in car models from the Asian region, and is rare in Europe, which is why there are very few public type 1 charging stations.
Type 2 plug
The triple-phase plug’s main area of distribution is Europe, and is considered to be the standard model. In private spaces, charging power levels of up to 22 kW are common, while charging power levels of up to 43 kW (400 V, 63 A, AC) can be used at public charging stations. Most public charging stations are equipped with a type 2 socket. All mode 3 charging cables can be used with this, and electric cars can be charged with both type 1 and type 2 plugs. All mode 3 cables on the sides of charging stations have so-called Mennekes plugs (type 2).
Combination Plugs (Combined Charging System, or CCS)
The CCS plug is an enhanced version of the type 2 plug, with two additional power contacts for the purposes of quick charging, and supports AC and DC charging power levels (alternating and direct current charging power levels) of up to 170 kW. In practice, the value is usually around 50 kW.
This quick charging system was developed in Japan, and allows for charging capacities up to 50 kW at the appropriate public charging stations. The following manufacturers offer electric cars which are compatible with the CHAdeMO plug: BD Otomotive, Citroën, Honda, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Subaru, Tesla (with adaptor) and Toyota.
Which plugs are there for the home, for garages and for using whilst in transit?
Charging power levels of up to 3.7 kW (230 V, 16 A) can be reached with a domestic socket with the appropriate fusing. Your electric car will be charged via a mode 2 charging cable. We would definitely recommend a maximum charging power of 2.3 kW (230 V, 10 A) if the socket has not been checked beforehand. Domestic sockets can also sometimes be found at public charging stations. This charging method is available for all electric cars.
The CEE plug is available in the following variants:
- as a single-phase blue option, the so-called camping plug with a charging power of up to 3.7 kW (230 V, 16 A)
- as a triple-phase red version for industrial sockets
- the small industrial plug (CEE 16) allows for charging power levels of up to 11 kW (400 V, 26 A)
- the large industrial plug (CEE 32) allows for charging power levels of up to 22 kW (400 V, 32 A)