Around the world, there are a variety of different EV charging connector types used on Battery electronic vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). The use of EV Connectors tends to be split into geographical regions, with different connectors being concentrated in each geographical region.
EV charging connector types used in the European Union and United Kingdom
Most BEVs and PHEVs in the UK and EU (Including Tesla) excluding a limited number of vehicles use IEC 62196 Type 2 (sometimes referred to as Mennekes) and Type 2 Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors (Older Nissan Leafs use Type 1 connector for AC charging, and all current Nissan Leafs use CHAdeMO for DC). There may be other examples of these exceptions, but I am not personally aware of them at the moment other than Mitsubishi.
This use of Type 2 and Type 2 CCS is harmonisation in the EU and UK and is part of the work performed by the EU’s Sustainable Transport Forum. It is mostly encoded in EU directive number 2019/94/EU known as the “Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive” (AFID).
The Type 2 AC connector primarily uses CP/PP (Command Pilot / Proximity Pilot) as its communication between the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) and the BEV / PHEV. However, in addition to CP/PP there is provision for Power Line Communication (PLC). The Type 2 connector can be wired to support three-phase AC power as well as single-phase.
The Type 2 has a maximum output of 19.2 kW, with the Type 2 CCS “fast charging” having a maximum rating of up to approximately 350 kW.
EV plugs and sockets in North America
Until recently the North American market was made up of predominantly Type 1, and Type 1 CCS, with limited usage of Type 2 for specific scenarios. Tesla has a connector for their cars.
Recently the Tesla connector has been accepted by more OEMs and has been rebranded as NACS – North American Charging Standard.
The Type 1 and Tesla connectors are only able to provide single-phase (split) AC. so when three phases are required, vehicles are fitted with Type 2 connectors.
Since most American households are supplied with a split phase, the single phase is 220 VAC (+110 and -110 VAC with respect to Protective Earth) at 60 Hz,
The Tesla / NACS connector is unique in the respect that the two current-carrying conductors are capable of either AC or DC supply, depending on the Vehicle and the EVSE. To support this, The Vehicle will need additional contractors before the OBC (On Board Charger), and additional information in the communications protocol.
Communication between the EVSE and the EV can be either CP/PP or PLC.
Japan’s EV Connectors
The EV Connectors used in Japan tend to be Type 1 and CHAdeMO, which is an abbreviation of “CHArge de MOve” (“charge for moving”) and is derived from the Japanese phrase “o CHA deMO ikaga desuka“, which when translating to English as “How about a cup of tea?”.
First-generation CHAdeMO connectors can deliver up to 62.5 kW (500 VDC 125 A), Second-generation allows for up to 400 kW (1 kV, 400 A). The popularity of CHAdeMO was restricted by the EU’s introduction of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID). Unlike Type 1, and Type 2 CHAdeMO has additional data pins for CAN communications.
There is a third generation of CHAdeMO, with the code name ChaoJi. It is designed to support a charging rate of 900 kW (600 A x 1.5 kV), all the while ensuring backward compatibility with the current CHAdeMO and GB/T 20234.3 (IEC 62916-3 configuration BB) DC chargers. However, I don’t know how much implementation it has.
China’s EV Connectors
The Chinese market has its own standards for EV Charging cables and Connectors, the connectors have ended up being known as GB/T.
The GB/T standards are mostly harmonised against ISO, IEC, and SAE standards
- GB/T 18487 – Conducting Charging Systems for Electric Vehicles, corresponding to IEC 61851.
- GB/T 20234 – Connectors for Conducting Charging for Electric Vehicles, corresponding to IEC 62196 and SAE J1772.
- GB/T 27930 – Communication Protocol between Off-board Conductive Charger and Battery Management System of Electric Vehicle, corresponding to ISO 15118 and SAE J1772.
The AC connector is also manufactured by Mennekes, the same as the Type 2 connector, the GB/T 20234.2 AC connector is very similar to the Type 2, but in the other gender. The DC connector is known as GB/T 20234.3
The AC GBT connector uses CP/PP communication while the DC GBT connector uses CAN BUS signalling for control, This is unlike the power line communication (PLC) control protocol used in the competing CCS standard, which originated from the European Type 2 connector and North American SAE J1772 (Type 1) standards for AC charging.