Which plug for my electric car?

Jerome Faissat April 11, 2018

This question comes back often amongst our customers and partners so we’ve put together this little form to help you select your plug type for your electric car!

 

Plug type selector

Select your make then your model *:

 

* We aim to update this tool regularly but if your car model is not listed, please drop us a line and we’ll add the missing model!

The different plugs

For residential charging, I will only be talking about type 1 (aka SAE J1772) and type 2 (aka Mennekes).

Broadly speaking type 1 is the standard in Asia and North America and type 2 is the standard in Europe. So if your car is from an Asian maker (e.g.: Mitsubishi or Nissan) it’s likely that you’ll need a type 1 connector with your charging station.

However, it’s not always the case as some manufacturer such as Renault has models which have type 1 and type 2. That’s why we put this tool together, so it’s easy to get an answer.

What about fast charging?

Fast charging is usually not applicable for residential use (especially in the UK) because you need more power when you fast charge and UK households are usually not equipped for that.

Technically you probably don’t need to bother with the fast charging plugs for now but if you insist, there are 3 fast charging plugs:

CSS plug: Started in Europe the idea was to allow type 1 and type 2 to use Direct Current (DC) for fast charging. Mainly manufacturers in Europe and the US support this standard.

CHAdeMO: Started in Japan, it transforms Alternative Current into Direct Current. Only Asian manufacturers support this standard.

Tesla Supercharger: Uses a modified version of the type 2 plug. Only available for Tesla cars.

As you can see fast charging is even more complex as your car maker will adhere to one standard and you’ll need to find the right charging station with the right connector.

My car comes with a cable, what difference does it make?

Good question. And the answer is in the cable itself. When you buy an electric car and the manufacturer includes a charging cable, it’s usually a mode 2 (potentially mode 1) cable. Which can be translated as “a cable that will charge your car slowly”.

This is because mode 1/ mode 2 cables can be connected to a standard household plug which means that you are limited in the power you can draw directly from the plug. If you draw too much power for long period of time then you run the risk of tripping the fuse board, overheating (then fire) and electric shock.

So what should I do?

Without getting into the technical details, you can use the cable that comes with your car if you’re happy to charge slowly. If you’re opting for a residential charging station then you’ll only need to know if you need a type 1 or type 2 plug by using our widget.

About Jerome Faissat

Jérôme is the co-founder of Andersen and is passionate about electric vehicles. Taking a pragmatic approach, he likes to post on the impact of electric cars on our day to day life and what are the constraints for EV adoption.