Types of connectors
Nowadays there are different types of connectors for electric vehicles. This diversity may be confusing. In the following paragraphs, there is short description of each type, so that there is no doubt.
This is the connector we have at home or at the office, and it is the most common in Europe. Besides being in the vast majority of our electric appliances, it is very common to be found in motorcycles and electric bicycles. It is also used for some electric cars, such as for the Twizy. However, it is not recommendable for electric vehicle charging, as the maximum current at which they are prepared to operate in most cases is only 10A.
Connector Type 1 (SAE J1772)
This is the standard Japanese connector for electric vehicle charging in alternating current (also adopted by the north American countries, and accepted by the EU). It is mounted on EV models such as, Opel Ampera, Nissan Leaf, Nissan ENV200, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mitsubishi iMiev, Peugeot iON, Citröen C-Zero, Renault Kangoo ZE (type 1), Ford Focus electric, Toyota Prius Plug in and KIA SOUL EV.
It is designed for single-phase current connection: phase, neutral and ground. It also has two pins for communication with the vehicle and and extra protection to lock the connector in order to avoid to be disconnected by a third party.
The maximum current at which it can operate is 32A (single-phase). Which allows a maximum operating power of 7.4kW.
Connector type 2 (IEC 62196-2)
This type of connector is commonly known as the “Mennekes”, which is the name of the first brand that commercialised them. This type of connector is approved as the European standard.
Its an alternating current connector that is mounted on electric vehicle models such as BMW i3, i8, BYD E6, Renault Zoe, Tesla Model S, Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid, VW Golf plug-in hybrid, VW E-up, Audi A3 E-tron, Mercedes S500 plug-in, Porsche Panamera and Renault Kangoo ZE.
Type 2 connectors allow single-phase charges up to 16 A and three-phase charges up to 63 A, which result in a power of 3.5 kW and 44 kW respectively.
Its pin distribution is similar to type 1, but in this case, two more pins are incorporated that correspond to the two extra phases needed for three-phase charging.
Connector type 3
This type of connector was created in 2010 by the EV Plug Alliance association, whose members include Scame, Schneider Electric and Legrand. However, this type of connector has lost the battle with respect to the previous model (Type 2), and it is currently in disuse.
Within this model, one can distinguish two variants:
· 3A prepared to withstand single-phase charges at 16 A (phase, neutral, ground and control pin)
· 3C allows single- and three-phase charges at 32 A (3 phases, neutral, and control pin and presence)
The maximum power allowed for this connector is 22 kW.
This type was developed by a Japanese association formed by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Nissan, Mitsubishi, Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) and Toyota.
It is designed for fast charges in direct current that can supply up to 50 kW of power with an current that can reach 125 A.
It is equipped in electric vehicles such as Nissan Leaf, Nissan ENV200, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mitsubishi iMiev, Peugeot iON, Citröen C-Zero and KIA SOUL EV.
Combo 2 connector (IEC-62196-3)
This model is the European adopted version for direct current charging. As its name suggests, it is a combined connector formed by a type 2 AC connector and a two pin DC connector. This offers the possibility to charge in modes 2, 3 and 4 through a single output. The maximum power at which it can operate in AC is 43 kW and in some cases up to 100 kW. Nowadays, in DC mode, it can operate at 50 kW.
Manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Porsche and Volkswagen incorporate this type of connector.
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