Charging Cable & Plug Types
Mode 2 cable
The Mode 2 charging cable is the cable that is usually used at home on ordinary household sockets. Mostly car manufacturers deliver such a charging cable ex works already with the delivery of the car, so that the new owners can charge at least at home very slowly. One end of the cable is thus a Schuko plug that is plugged into the household socket, the other end is the plug that goes into the car. In between is a box (in cable control box, ICCB) that is used to communicate between the electric car and the plug.
Mode 3 cable
This cable is not for home use, but for mobile use. It is used as a connection cable between the electric car and public charging stations and allows a charging power of maximum 43 kW, but mostly rather up to 22kW (depending on the cross section, car and charging station). Most charging stations are equipped with such a type 2 socket, therefore electric cars with type 2 plugs as well as with type 1 plugs (with adapter cable) can be charged at these stations.
Type 1 plug
The type 1 plug is used for single-phase charging and is rather uncommon in Europe. It is more common in Asia. The maximum charging power is up to 7.4 kW - i.e. 230 V/32 A. Charging stations in Europe are generally not equipped with a type 1 plug or type 1 charging cable.
Type 2 plug
Confusingly, a Type 2 plug charges three-phase and is now the standard in Europe. Such a plug can handle up to 22 kW (400 V/32 A) for private use, and even up to 43 kW (400 V/64 A) at public charging stations. The advantage: Every Mode 3 charging cable is compatible with a Type 2 plug.
The CCS plug (Combined Charging System) is based on the Type 2 plug. In addition, it includes two large DC contacts, so it supports AC (alternating current) as well as DC (direct current). CCS can reach up to 500 kW charging power, but only a few, mostly high-priced electric cars are able to get a charging power of 250 kW. Tesla models or the Porsche Taycan are able to support such a power. Less expensive electric cars tend to charge at less than 150 kW.
The CHAdeMO plug is a Japanese development. Charging powers of up to 100kW are possible, even though many public CHAdeMO charging stations are only capable of 50kW. Only some specific car manufacturers support CHAdeMO plugs as standard: Toyota, Mitsubishi, BD Fotomotive, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru.
A Schuko socket is the name given to a standard household socket. If the socket is appropriately fused, charging powers of up to 3.7kW (230 V, 16 A) can be achieved. A mode 2 cable can be used for charging at such a socket. If the socket has not been checked by an electrician or adequately fused, charging with more than 2.3kW (230 V, 10 A) should not be carried out, as most sockets are not designed for high continuous currents.
The CEE plug is available in different versions and the blue version is mostly used in caravans, mania trailers and camper vans. The red CEE plugs are three-phase and are often used in industry. For e-cars, the use is therefore rather unusual. A distinction is made between CEE16 (industrial plug small; 11kW, 400 V, 16A), CEE32 (industrial plug large; 22kW, 400 V, 32 A) in the three-phase red version for industrial sockets and as a single-phase blue version, which allows up to 3.7kW (230 V, 16 A).
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