Electric Vehicle Charging Cables and Plugs Explained

A driver’s experience with an electric vehicle (EV or vehicle with an internal combustion engine will be the most significant. Filling up a vehicle with petrol or diesel can be done easily, but EVs will require drivers to modify their behaviour if they use the wrong fuel. Converting to electric mobility necessitates understanding new words and regulations, just like with any new technology.

This can sometimes be confusing for new EV drivers. What is the distinction between AC and DC charging? Which are the three levels of EV charging? It’s easy to get lost with so many terms being used, industry leaders, and newcomers adopting technology and terms that work for them.

The most confusing topic for EV drivers is charging cables and plugs. There has yet to be a universal connector that can be used to charge EVs. Charging stations, cables, and plugs come as many sizes and shapes. These vary depending on where you live, what vehicle you drive, and which type of charging station you intend to use.

Choosing the right electric car charger with so many options can be overwhelming. Let’s get to the bottom of what makes a good EV charging cable and which plugs are best for you.

What Is An EV Charging Cord?

While some charging stations already come with wires attached, others require you to supply your own. However, charging cables are essential for charging an electric car. There are four types of charging cables, each designed for a specific type. This can be confusing as the charging level only sometimes corresponds to the mode. This section will explain the differences between Mode 1, Mode 2, and Mode 3, type 2 charging cable, and which one is best for what type.

Types of Electric Car Cables

Mode 1 Charging Cables

A Mode 1 cable allows you to connect your EV to an AC socket outlet using an extension cord or standard plug. This means that the vehicle cannot communicate with the charging point, and there are no shock protection or safety systems. This charging method is good for lighter electric vehicles such as e-bikes or scooters but is not recommended for electric cars.

Mode 2 Charging Cables

An EV purchase typically comes with a Mode 2 charging cord. The cables are made to fit into a typical household socket and the EV’s battery. They also come with an In-Cable Control and Protection Device, which controls and protects the standard wall plug and the EV. This charging method is convenient but can be slow because most household outlets only provide 2.3 kW power. If done wrongly, it can be dangerous.

Mode 3 Charging Cables

Mode The most common way to charge an EV in the world is with three cables. Mode 3 cables connect your car to an EV charging station. These stations can be found in offices, homes, commercial parking lots, and public places. These cables manage the charging process’s communication and protection. They typically connect to charging plugs of Type 1 and Type 2.

Mode 4 Charging Cables

The first three modes supply alternating current (AC) power to the vehicle, which is converted by an on-board AC/DC converter. They are not the same as Mode 4. The Mode 4 charging cables are for direct current charging. They convert power before transferring it to the vehicle. Using DC charging, you can shorten the charging time of an electric vehicle.