Everything you should know about electric vehicle charging

Electric car charging explained for those considering buying their first electric car.

MAKING MOBILITY SUSTAINABLE

Future of electric vehicles

Electric mobility and the popularity of electric passenger vehicles has been growing rapidly over the last decade and this trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

However you measure it—EV sales, EVs on the roads, government EV mandates, EVs as a percentage of all vehicle sales, or simply vehicle manufacturers making electric mobility pledges—it’s undeniable that the future is electric and the age of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles is coming to an end.

2020

10 million EVs

2030

125 million EVs

2030

50% total EV share

Chapter 1

Are electric cars worth it?


Benefits of electric cars

As a society, electric vehicles can help us reduce carbon emissions and build a more sustainable future. But as drivers, EVs provide us far more than the ability to reduce our carbon footprint.

A young woman in her bedroom, sitting casually on her bed while looking up information on her laptop.

More cost savings, a superior performance, and a smaller carbon footprint

For one, electric vehicles offer a superior driving experience; instant torque and smooth handling (thanks to a low center of gravity). And let’s be honest, the convenience to charge wherever you park is one you can get used to faster than your average charging session. Next to this, EVs require a lot less maintenance than conventional ICE vehicles.

There are many unanswered questions that (potential) new EV drivers have about EV charging.

For those who are considering buying their first electric vehicle, or those who just bought one, driving an EV—or more specifically charging one—is a completely new experience.

On this page, we intend to tell you everything you need to know about EV charging and clear up the most common questions so that you can feel more confident about switching to electric mobility.

Chapter 2

Electric vehicles vs. gas


EV charging is one of the reasons you should get an electric car

Whether you’re in the market for your first EV or you're considering upgrading, it’s only logical that you’re comparing your options. One of the major differences between owning an EV and a traditional vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE) is how you fill your proverbial tank. Many find switching from putting gas in a tank to charging a battery with electricity the scariest transition; what if you run out in the middle of nowhere? 

But in reality, EV range anxiety has as much to do with psychology as it does with the range of electric cars (or the availability of charging stations). 

Did you know that the majority of current EV drivers don’t encounter any problems at all when it comes to charging their vehicle? In fact, being able to charge your battery is one of the best things about driving an electric car. 

The biggest difference between driving gas and electric is that when you’re driving electric, you can charge anywhere.

EV charging locations

It may sound obvious, but with a gas vehicle, you can pretty much only fill up your tank at a gas station. With an EV however, you can charge your vehicle pretty much everywhere: at home, at the office, at a restaurant, whilst doing your shopping, whilst parked on the street, or you can top-off your car’s battery at a (no-longer aptly named) gas station.

So the decision of getting an EV and thinking about how to charge it go hand in hand. However, because it works a little differently than what we’re all familiar with, it can get quite confusing, especially because there are many new definitions you have to wrap your head around.

A woman wearing casual business attire that's plugging an EVBox Business Line charger into her electric vehicle

Electric car charging explained: why is the terminology so complicated?

As a relatively young, scattered, and rapidly-growing industry, EV charging terminology is all over the place. There are different charging levels, cable modes, plug types (which differ depending on where you are), there are different flows of charge (AC or DC), a wide range of battery capacity possibilities, estimated actual range, distance to empty, power output of a charging station, different charging speeds and a bunch of terms that are similar. For example, how fast is fast charging really? And what is rapid or even ultra-fast charging? 

If you’re thinking about buying (or have just bought) an EV, then it’s understandable that all this new information can feel a bit overwhelming. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about EV charging so that you can start your transition towards electric mobility well informed.

Chapter 3

Where to charge an electric car


EV charging locations

Generally speaking, wherever you can park your car is a potential charging location. So, you can imagine the places you can charge your car are as diverse as today’s available electric car models.

As the world is shifting towards electric mobility, the need for a suitable charging infrastructure network has never been more prevalent. As such, governments and cities across the globe are creating legislation and incentifying the placement of charging stations, while more and more businesses are tapping into this new market.

The number of publicly available charging stations is steadily increasing and will continue to do so to keep pace with the rapidly growing adoption of electric vehicles across the world.

So in the future, as charging stations become more common fixtures on streets the world over, there will be charging stations everywhere, but what are the five most popular places to charge your car today?

A graphic showing the five different locations and the preference of EV drivers across Europe for each. It reads: At home: Total 73%, Belgium 59%, France 69%, Germany 72%, Netherlands 67%, Norway 90%, UK 68%.  At work: Total 40%,  Belgium 45%, France 47%, Germany 38%, Netherlands 56%, Norway 27%, UK 43%. At service stops/fuel stations: Total 36%, Belgium 41%, France 41%, Germany 40%, Netherlands 26%, Norway 15%, UK 46%. At retail locations: Total 31%, Belgium 24%, France 38%, Germany 43%, Netherlands 26%, Norway 15%, UK 46%. At public parking lots/ public charging: Total 19%, Belgium 14%, France 16%, Germany 26%, Netherlands 30%, Norway 8%, UK 24%.

The five most-popular car charging locations

According to our Mobility Monitor report, where we interviewed thousands of EV drivers (and potential EV drivers) across Europe, these are the five most popular places to charge an electric car:

1. Electric car charging at home

With 73 percent, charging at home takes the crown of being the most popular compared to other charging locations. Not surprising, as charging at home conveniently enables electric car drivers to wake up to a fully charged vehicle every day, and ensures that they do not pay a cent more than the electricity they actually consume against the household’s electricity price.

2. Electric car charging at work

Nearly half of the current EV drivers already regularly charge their car at the workplace and many more have stated that they would love to be able to do so, and who wouldn’t? I mean, driving to the office, focusing on your work during business hours, and driving home again after the day is done in a fully charged vehicle sounds super convenient. As a result, more and more workplaces are starting to install EV charging stations as part of a sustainability initiative, employee engagement strategies, and to satisfy their EV-driving visitors and partners.

3. EV charging at gas stations

Charging at home or at the office sounds nice, but what if you’re on the road and looking for a quick top-up? Many fuel retailers and service stations are starting to provide fast charging (also known as level 3 or DC charging) services. Over a third of current EV drivers already charge their car there regularly. Plus, while charging at the office or at home is convenient while you do other things, it can take hours before the battery is recharged. However, with fast charging stations, you can charge your battery a lot quicker (think in minutes, not hours) and be back on the road in no time. 

4. Retail locations or hotels with electric car chargers

Almost a third of EV drivers charge their car at retail locations—if the service is available to them. Think of the convenience: imagine watching a movie, having dinner, meeting a friend for a coffee, or even doing some grocery shopping and returning to a vehicle with more charge than you left it with. More and more retail locations are discovering the growing need for this service and are installing charging stations to meet the demand and acquire new customers.

5. Public charging stations

Each day, more public charging stations are popping up as cities and local governments are investing heavily in charging infrastructure. Today, 20 percent of EV drivers already gladly make use of them, and there is a ratio of 7.5 electric cars per public charging point, which is great. But, as the sales of EVs are rising, so will the number of available public charging stations in our cities.

A young professional wearing sunglasses and an unironed shirt standing in front of a workplace next to an EVBox Business Line EV charging station, while opening the EVBox app on his smartphone.
Chapter 4

Different types of chargers


EV charging levels and all types of chargers explained

Charging can be categorized in multiple ways. The most common way to think about EV charging is in terms of charging levels. There are three levels of EV charging: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3—and generally speaking, the higher the level, the higher the power output and the faster your new vehicle will charge.

Generally speaking, the higher the level, the higher the power output and the faster your new vehicle will charge.

However, charging times are always dependent on a combination between the type of battery and charging capacity of the car, and the power output of the charging station.

A homeowner plugging his Level 2 EVBox Elvi charger into his car, whilst a woman passes by on a bike and curiously looks at him.

Level 1 charger

Level 1 charging is when you plug your EV into the socket with a standard AC power plug. As a standard household outlet only delivers a maximum of 2.3 kW, charging via a Level 1 charger is the slowest way to charge an EV—giving only 6 to 8 kilometers of range per hour (4 to 5 miles). As there is no communication between the power outlet and the vehicle, this method is not only slow, but it can also be dangerous for your safety and your vehicle. As such, we don’t recommend relying on Level 1 charging to charge your vehicle except for in emergency circumstances.

Level 2 charger

A Level 2 charger is any standard AC charging station that you may find mounted to a wall, on a pole, or standing in the ground. Level 2 charging stations commonly deliver anywhere between 3.4 kW - 22 kW and are commonly found at residential, public parking, businesses, and commercial locations. At the maximum output of 22 kW, an hour’s charging will provide roughly 120km (75 miles) to your battery’s range. This is a lot faster than Level 1 charging. Because of this reason, combined with a range of intelligent functionalities, smart connectivity options, and a range of safety features that Level 2 chargers have to offer, many EV drivers invest in an AC charging station for home.

Level 3 charging station (DC fast charger)

Also known as DC or fast charging, Level 3 charging uses direct current (DC) to charge a vehicle’s battery directly, bypassing the AC/DC onboard converter. This allows Level 3 chargers to deliver DC power directly to the battery. As a result, Level 3 charging stations can deliver more power, faster, making them ideal for short-stop locations like gas stations and fleet depots. Charging times vary between different vehicles and power outputs, however, generally speaking, Level 3 chargers can charge a vehicle in minutes versus hours for Level 2 or days for Level 1 charging stations.

AC vs DC power

So, the higher the level, the higher the speed. All clear so far, right? But, when is something AC and when DC, and why is DC so much faster?

Two graphs showing the way electricity flows. The first one shows how alternating current (AC) changes direction periodically, and the second graph shows how direct current (DC) flows in a straight line. AC comes from the grid and DC is stored in batteries.

AC vs DC current

AC stands for “Alternating Current” and it, well, alternates as it changes direction periodically, DC stands for “Direct Current” and flows in a straight line. Without getting too technical, AC can be transported over long distances more efficiently, so this is why it flows out of your socket at your home and office. However, batteries in general are only able to store DC power.

You may have never realized it, but every time you charge your phone (or any other electrical device for that matter), the charger converts the AC power it receives from the grid into DC power to charge the battery in your device.

How do electric cars charge?

The same principle goes for electric cars. The difference between AC and DC charging all depends on whether there is a conversion process or not. No matter how you charge it though, at the end of the day, the battery in the car is always charged with DC.

A visual that shows a DC charging station and an AC charging station both charging the same vehicle through different sockets. The vehicle shows its battery and onboard charger.

With a DC charger, the direct current can flow into the battery directly, while with an AC charger, the electricity has to be converted to DC first. This process will always take more time as the onboard charger can only take so much electricity at a time.

Chapter 5

How long does it take to charge an electric car?


What is the average time to charge an electric car and what affects charging speed?

Once you’ve got your head around where to charge, what the different levels of charging are, and have a basic understanding of the difference between AC and DC, you can now better understand the answer to the number one question: “Okay, so how long will it take to charge my new EV?”.

Level 1 (AC)

10h-40h

Level 2 (AC)

1h-20h

Level 3 (DC)

7min-2 h

Next to the power output of the charging station, how long it will take precisely will depend on your vehicle’s battery size, charging capacity, as well as a number of other situational factors.

A married EV driver that checks the status of her car's battery on her smartwatch. The watch shows the battery is 97% full.

To give you a somewhat accurate approximation, we’ve added an overview of how long it takes to charge EVs below. This overview looks at four average battery sizes and a few different charging power outputs. For a more detailed overview of a specific model, you can have a look at our electric car specifications page.

Electric car charging times

Type of EV

Small EV

Medium EV

Large EV

Light Commercial

Average Battery Size (right)

Power Output (Below)

25 kWh

50 kWh

75 kWh

100 kWh

Level 1
2.3 kW

10h30m

24h30m

32h45m

43h30m

Level 2
7.4 kW

3h45m

7h45m

10h00m

13h30m

Level 2
11 kW

2h00m

5h15m

6h45m

9h00m

Level 2

22 kW

1h00m

3h00m

4h30m

6h00m

Level 3
50 kW

36 min

53 min

1h20m

1h48m

Level 3

120 kW

11 min

22 min

33 min

44 min

Level 3

150 kW

10 min

18 min

27 min

36 min

Level 3

240 kW

6 min

12 min

17 min

22 min


*Approximate time to charge the battery from 20 percent to 80 percent state of charge (SoC).
For illustrative purposes only: Does not reflect exact charging times, some vehicles will not be able to handle certain power inputs and/or do not support fast charging.

What affects charging speeds?


Electric car battery

The bigger the battery, the longer it will take to charge. Simple, right? The state of charge of an EV's battery is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), which is similar to a liter or a gallon but for electricity, and each kWh equals the amount of energy you would use to run a 1,000-watt appliance for an hour. The vast majority of electric passenger vehicle batteries today can hold somewhere between 25 and 100 kWh when fully charged.

Charging capacity of the vehicle

The power output which a vehicle accepts differs from vehicle to vehicle and can even vary depending on the model of the car. Measured in kW, the charging capacity is shown for both AC charging and DC charging and each plays a large factor in how long it takes to charge. For instance, if two vehicles with similar size batteries are charging side by side at a high-power DC charging station, but one can only accept 50 kW of DC power and the other 250 kW, then the latter will charge much faster than the former.

A modern EV driving on a road in the middle of a forest

Charging output of the charging station

The different output of the charging station plays a large factor in how long it takes to charge an EV. The higher the kW output on a charging station, the faster it will charge (presuming that your new vehicle accepts the higher power output).

State of charge

It might sound obvious, but, how much charge you have in your vehicle when you begin your charging session also plays a part in how long it takes to charge. The same as when you’re putting gas in a traditional vehicle, depending on whether you have half a tank or are almost empty, how long it takes to charge will differ.

The DC charging curve

With AC charging, the power flow to an EV is flat (meaning that it will charge at the same speed from 0-100 percent full), whereas with DC charging, the EV’s battery initially accepts a quicker flow of power, and then slowly starts to ask for less power as it begins to fill up. The reason for this is simple: the EV doesn’t want to damage the battery with a surge of power. As a result, with a DC or Level 3 charger, the initial phase of charging (to 80 percent full) goes quicker than the last 20 percent (which may take roughly the same amount of time as the first 80 percent).

Two graphs showing the different charging curves of AC and DC. The first graph represents the curve of an AC charging station, It goes up rapidly, levels out quickly, and moves in a straight line before starting to decline near the end. The second graph represents the DC charging curve, showing a higher peak at the start of the charge, declining gradually on its way to roughly 80 percent where it starts to decline more rapidly.

Weather conditions

Another factor that will determine charging times is the weather. As batteries operate more efficiently in warm weather—say between 20–25°C (68-77°F)—it will take longer to charge a vehicle in colder or extremely warm weather.

A woman and a man standing in front of a cabin in a wintery landscape looking at their white Tesla parked in front of the door. The man holds a charging cable of an EVBox Elvi home EV charger that's mounted to the wall.
Chapter 6

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?


Cost to charge electric car

Just like with how long it takes to charge an EV, the cost of charging depends on multiple variables including where you charge it, or the type of vehicle you drive.

Before we get into it in greater detail, here are the approximate costs of charging four different size vehicles (with battery packs from small to large), at three different types of charging stations, so that you can get a ballpark idea of charging costs for your new EV.

Home charging

$3 - $14

Public charging

$8 - $28

Fast charging

$14 - $47

Average cost to charge electric car

Vehicle type

Battery size

Home charging
cost per kWh: 
$0.15

Public / workplace charging
cost per kWh:
$0.30 + $1 charging fee

Fast charging
cost per kWh:
$0.50 + $2 charging fee

Fiat 500e

24 kWh

$3.60

$8.20

$14.00

Nissan LEAF

40 kWh

$6.00

$13.00

$22.00

Tesla

Model S

75 kWh

$11.25

$23.50

$39.50

Porsche Taycan

90 kWh

$13.50

$28.00

$47.00


Important: Prices for each charging segment are approximations based on our experience and do not represent a real-life situation. These calculations are based on a median guesstimate charging tariff and represent the cost to charge from zero to 100 percent.

Size of the electric car battery

The first thing you need to know when calculating how much it costs to charge your EV is the size of your battery. As shown above, the larger the battery, the more kWhs it can store; the more kWhs it can store, the more power it takes to fill the battery; the more power it takes, the more you have to pay to fill your battery. Simple, right?

Vehicles with a larger battery cost more to charge, but can often drive further on a single charge too.

For instance, a Porsche Taycan with a battery of 90 kWh costs about $13.50 to fully charge at home but has a range of roughly 315 km (195 miles). However, a Fiat 500e with a much smaller battery of 24 kWh, while costing a fraction of the price to charge, its range is only 180 km (111 miles).

Once you know how big your new EV’s battery is (measured in kWh), you can make an approximation of how much it costs to charge at different charging stations. The three main options are at home, at public locations, or at fast-charging stations.

A woman swiping her card at an EVBox Business Line EV charging station with one hand, while she holds the charging cable in her other hand.

EV home charging cost

Charging from home is the cheapest way to charge your new car. Because there’s no middle man standing in between you and the cost of energy, you’ll always get the cheapest rate available to consumers at home.

Electric car electric bill

How much it costs to charge at home is an easy equation. Simply take your latest energy bill and find the price per kWh you pay at home and multiply it by the size of your battery.

On average, residential prices for electricity vary from around €/$0.10 on the low end in Europe and North America to €/$0.32 on the higher end.
At the time of writing this guide, we’ve taken some averages around the world from Energybot (US), the European Union (EU), and Nimblefins (UK):

  • United States: $ 0.10 per kWh
  • European Union: € 0.23 per kWh
  • United Kingdom: £ 0.19 per kWh

That means if you’ve just bought a Tesla Model S with a 75 kWh battery, and you pay $0.15 for electricity, you’ll be set back a whopping $11.25 to fully charge your EV.

However, this calculation is only meant as an example as it doesn’t take into account the battery’s current state of charge, the state of your battery in general, weather conditions, or the type of charger.

Cost of charging electric car at public station

​Public charging stations can range from business office chargers to curbside stations and commercial parking garages to shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels. The truth is that today, there’s no shortage of businesses big and small investing in EV charging. At the same time, cities and governments are investing in EV charging infrastructure to empower their sustainable transformations. When you put both together, you’ve got charging stations springing up all over the place.

Multiple EVBox Business Line EV charging stations in a commercial parking lot. A modern man with a beard swipes a token to start a public charging session.

Public charging stations can be either Level 2 or Level 3 (AC or DC charging stations) stations but, for simplicity, we’ve split them into two categories and will discuss them separately. As there’s a middle man providing the service, public charging stations usually have a marked-up price in comparison to home charging. How much it costs to charge completely depends on how much the provider charges you for the service.

In some cases, like workplaces and offices, the provider is also an employer and will provide EV charging as an employee benefit and may charge less, or even allow employees to charge for free. Others, like parking facilities and shopping malls, will take the price of electricity and mark it up to make a profit on it, like any other service they offer. Some, like restaurants and hotels, may use EV charging as a way to advertise and attract new customers.

Just like the diversity in how much it costs, how these providers will calculate costs also differs greatly. Below is a list of the four most common ways to calculate charging tariffs. 

  • Connection fee: a fixed amount for each session.
  • Energy fee: a certain price per kWh used during the charging session.
  • Time fee: Cost per minute or hour.
  • Service fee: A mark-up for providing the service.

For example, a charging provider might charge $0.30 per kWh with a $1 service fee, and if you’re charging a 75 kWh vehicle like a Tesla Model S, it will cost you $23.50 to fully charge. As we said before, how much it costs completely depends on the provider. That being said, however, public charging is often faster than charging at home, and still cheaper than gas.

Cost to charge electric car at a DC fast charger

Level 3 or DC charging is the fastest way to charge an EV. Depending on the power output and your vehicle’s fast charging capabilities, it will likely take somewhere between seven minutes and one hour to charge your new EV up to 80 percent full. These speeds make DC charging stations perfect like on-the-go locations like highway rest stops, gas stations, or supermarkets.

However, DC charging stations are also the most expensive. To enable these charging times, DC charging stations have to deliver serious amounts of power to a vehicle’s battery—think between 50 and 350 kW rather than 22 kW, the maximum output for most AC charging stations.

DC charging infrastructure is far more expensive to buy and run, and as a result, charging service providers charge not only for convenience but also for the additional expenses incurred by the provider. In some cases, these providers can ask double, or even triple, the cost per kWh—making the costs here similar to the cost of filling up your tank with fossil fuels. Typical costs can range from $0.55 per kWh with a $2 service fee to a flat rate of $0.99 per minute. This means that to fully charge the same Tesla Model S as above, it would be closer to $40 for a full battery. As such, DC fast charging is a convenience that cost-wise comes closest to the cost you’re used to paying for gas.

An areal shot of a busy high-way road with a line of trees next to it.

Cost of electric car vs. gas

One of the questions we hear potential EV drivers ask us all the time is, are EVs cheaper to charge than filling up a conventional fossil-fuel vehicle? While, as you may have guessed by now, the answer to that question is probably, yes. 

Regardless of charging costs for individual sessions, when you take into account that most EV drivers charge at home, occasionally topping up when shopping or at the workplace and reserving fast charging for long-distance journeys; EV charging is usually a lot cheaper than filling a car with gasoline or diesel.

Chapter 7

How far can an electric car go?

Electric car range

Another question which many potential EV drivers want to know before they buy an EV is, “how far will I be able to drive with my new car?” Or should we say, the real question on everyone’s mind is, “Am I going to run out of charge on a long-distance journey?” We get it, it’s one of the main differences with driving an ICE vehicle and it’s a question on everyone’s mind.

An electric car driving in an urban area at night, the image of the car is clear but the city is blurry indicating a sense of speed.

In the early days of the electric mobility revolution, range anxiety gripped many potential EV drivers. And for good reason: Ten years ago, the best-selling EV car, the Nissan LEAF, had a maximum range of only 175 km (109 miles). Today, the median range of EVs is nearly more than double that at 313 km (194 miles) and many EVs have a range of above 500 km (300 miles); plenty for even the longer daily urban commutes.

This increase in range, together with the dramatic increase in charging infrastructure, range anxiety is becoming a thing of the past.

Shortest

135 km (84 miles)

Average

313 km (194 miles)

Longest

637 km (396 miles)

Should I charge my electric car every night?

Most EV drivers won’t even have to charge their car daily. Did you know that in the US, the average American drives roughly 62 km (39 miles) a day and in Europe, the daily kilometers driven by car are on average, less than half of what they drive in the US

The bottom line is that most of our daily commutes won’t even come close to reaching an EV's maximum range, regardless of the make or model, and even back in 2010. For a more detailed overview of the range of any specific model, you can have a look at our electric car specifications page.

Chapter 8

How long do electric car batteries last?

Car battery life

As the battery is the most expensive component of an electric vehicle, it’s only understandable that you want to know how long your new EV’s battery will last.

The dashboard of an Electric Volkswagen vehicle indicates that the car is parked, the left-front door is open, the journey was 56 miles and the estimated distance to empty is 157 miles.

Just like all lithium-ion batteries, and the vast majority of technology in general, EV batteries degrade slowly over time.

Rather than just stopping altogether, which is unlikely, a battery will gradually lose capacity with an average decline across all electric vehicles at around 2.3 percent per year.

That means that if you purchase an EV today with a 240 km (150 miles) range, after five years the battery will have lost 27 km (17 miles) of accessible range. Many manufacturers will also give a warranty on their battery which is usually between five and ten years and some will give a warranty until 100,000 km (62,000 miles).

How long should a car battery last?

After 10 or 20 years, you may need to replace your EV’s battery. However, there are ways to increase the longevity of your battery and as electric vehicles require far less maintenance than their gasoline counterparts, these costs may even out in the long run.

Chapter 9

EV charging cables and charger plugs


EV charging connector types explained

Many of the sections above have answered questions that you may or may not have had before purchasing your new EV. However, we can take a guess that you probably haven’t even thought about charging cables and plugs. While this is not the sexiest topic—unless you're an engineer—the world of EV cables and plugs is as diverse as it is complex.

Due to the infancy of electric vehicles, there’s no universal standard for charging. As a result, just like Apple has one charging cord and Samsung has another, many different EV manufacturers use different charging technology. To get a detailed overview of a specific model, our electric car specifications page shows the type of plug types and other specifications per car.

EV cables

Charging cables come in four modes. These modes do not necessarily correlate to the “level” of charging.

Mode 1

Mode 1 charging cables are not used to charge electric cars. This cable is only used for light electric vehicles like e-bikes and scooters.

Mode 2

When you purchase an EV, it will typically come with what’s known as a Mode 2 charging cable. You can plug this cable into your household outlet and use it to charge your vehicle with a maximum power output of 2.3 kW.

Mode 3

A Mode 3 charging cable connects your vehicle to a dedicated EV charging station and is considered to be the most common for AC charging.

Mode 4

Mode 4 charging cables are used when fast-charging. These cables are designed to transfer the higher DC (level 3) charging power, must be connected to a charging station, and are often even liquid-cooled to deal with the heat.

EV charging plug types (AC)

The charging plug is a connecting plug that you put into the charging socket of an electric car.

These plugs can differ based on power output, the make of the vehicle, and the country the car was manufactured in.

AC charging plugs

Plug type

Design

Power output*

Locations

Type 1

A Type 1 plug for charging an EV with AC power.

Up to 7.4 kW

Japan and North America

Type 2

A Type 2 plug for charging an EV with AC power.

Up to 22 kW for private charging

Up to 43 kW for public charging

Europe and the rest of the world

GB/T

A GT/B plug for charging an EV with AC power.

Up to 7.4 kW

China


*These numbers represent the maximum power output that a plug can deliver at the time of writing this article. The numbers do not reflect actual power outputs as this is also dependent on the charging station, charging cable, and the receptive vehicle. 

EV charging plug types (DC)


DC charging plugs

Plug Type

Design

Power output*

Locations

CCS1

A CCS1 plug for charging an EV with DC power.

Up to 350 kW

North America

CCS2

A CCS2 plug for charging an EV with DC power.

Up to 350 kW

Europe

CHAdeMO

A CHAdeMO plug for charging an EV with DC power.

Up to 200 kW

Japan

GB/T

A GT/B plug for charging an EV with DC power.

Up to 237.5 kW

China


*These numbers represent the maximum power output that a plug can deliver at the time of writing this article. The numbers do not reflect actual power outputs as this is also dependent on the charging station, charging cable, and the receptive vehicle.