Here we brought you an in-depth study regarding the main types of charging stations and charger connectors for electric vehicles.
So, an electric car can be charged both from a direct current system and from an alternating current system. There are various current and voltage configurations for charging. The first standards for electric charging appeared in the United States. Therefore, we will begin by considering the American classification.
Charging stations – American classification
In the United States, charging stations are divided into three types, here are the types of EV chargers in charging stations in the US.
- Level 1.
- Level 2.
- Level 3.
The time required for a full charge depends on the level used.
AC charging stations
Let’s start by looking at the AC charging system. This charge is provided by an AC source, so this system needs an AC to DC converter, which we considered in the Current Transducers post. According to the charging power levels, AC charging can be classified as follows.
- Level 1 chargers: Level 1 is the slowest charging with alternating current 12A or 16A, depending on the circuit ratings. The maximum voltage is 120V for the United States, and the maximum peak power will be 1.92 kW. With the help of level 1 charges, you can charge an electric car in an hour to travel up to 20-40 km.
Most electric cars charge at such a station for 8-12 hours depending on battery capacity. At such a speed, any car can be changed without special infrastructure, simply by plugging the adapter into a wall outlet. These features make this system convenient for overnight charging.
- Level 2 chargers: Level 2 charging systems use a direct network connection via Electric Vehicle Service Equipment for electric vehicles. The maximum power of the system is 240 V, 60 A, and 14.4 kW. Charging time will vary depending on the capacity of the traction battery and the power of the charging module and is 4-6 hours. Such a system can be found most often.
- Level 3 chargers: The charging of the level 3 charger is the most powerful. The voltage is from 300-600 V, the current is 100 amperes or more, and the rated power is more than 14.4 kW. These level 3 chargers can charge the car battery from 0 to 80% in under 30-40 minutes.
Did you know: Why level 3 chargers only charge up to 80%?
Charging from 80% to 100% at the level 3 charging system is either not possible at all, or comes with significantly lower power, for example, like in charges of the first or second level. This is because in order not to damage the battery.
DC charging stations
DC systems require special wiring and installation. they can be installed in garages or at the charging stations. DC charging is more powerful than AC systems and can charge electric cars faster. Their classification is also made depending on the power levels that they supply to the battery and it is shown on the slide.
Charging stations – Europian classification
Let us remind you that we have now considered the American classification. In Europe, we can see a similar situation, only another standard is used, which divides charging stations into 4 varieties – not by levels, but by modes.
- Mode 1.
- Mode 2.
- Mode 3.
- Mode 4.
This standard defines the following charging capacities:
- Mode 1 chargers: 240 volts 16 A, the same as Level 1 with the difference that in Europe there are 220 V, so the power is twice as high. the charging time of the electric car with its help is 10-12 hours.
- Mode 2 chargers: 220 V 32 A, that is, similar to Level 2. The charging time of a standard electric car is up to 8 hours
- Mode 3 chargers: 690 V, 3-phase alternating current, 63 A, that is, the rated power is 43 kW more often 22 kW charges are installed. Compatible with Type 1 connectors. J1772 for single-phase circuits. Type 2 for three-phase circuits. (But about connectors we will talk about a little bit later) There is no such type in the USA, it is fast charging with alternating current. The charging time can be from several minutes to 3-4 hours.
- Mode 4 chargers: This mode allows fast charging with direct current, allows 600 V and up to 400 A, that is, the maximum rated power is 240 kW. The recovery time of the battery capacity up to 80% for an average electric car is thirty minutes.
Wireless charging systems
Also, the innovative wireless charging system must be noted, as it is of interest due to the provided amenities. This system does not require the plugs and cables that are required in wired charging systems.
Also, the advantage of wireless charging is the low risk of malfunction in a dirty or humid environment. There are various technologies that are used to provide wireless charging. They differ in the operating frequency, efficiency, associated electromagnetic interference, and other factors.
Incidentally, it is very inconvenient when each company has its own, patented system that does not work with devices from another manufacturer. An inductive charging system can be considered as the most developed This technology is based on the principle of magnetic resonance or inductive energy transfer Although this type of charging is non-contact, it is not wireless, nevertheless, it is still referred to as wireless. Such charges are already in production.
For example, BMW launched the GroundPad induction charging station. The system has a power of 3.2 kW and allows you to fully charge the battery of the BMW 530e iPerformance in three and a half hours. In the United States, the researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory introduced a wireless charging system with a capacity of as much as 20 kW for electric vehicles. And more and more such news appears every day.
Types of EV charging connectors
In addition to the operating modes of the charging stations, it is necessary to know the types of connectors which are adapted to the operation of each of them. Currently, despite the fact that electric cars have already been mass-produced for more than 10 years, there is no single standard for either charging stations or connectors.
European automakers are more likely to use chargers such as Mennekes and CHAdeMО American – CCS and J1772. China also has its own standards. And all this because each developer was sure that it was his version of the connector and charging system that would be better and win the technology race.
Type 1 connector
Type 1 connector is a five-pin standard connector for electric vehicles and it is typical for most electric vehicles of American and Asian production Recharging takes place using a single-phase AC network with a maximum voltage of 230 V, a current of 32 A, and a maximum power of 7.4 kW.
Electric cars using the Type 1 connector (J1772):
- Audi A3 Sportback E-Tron: charging power up to 3.7 kW.
- Old versions of the BMW i3: charging power up to 6.6 kW.
- BMW i8, 330e, and X5e: charging power of 3.7 kW.
- Mercedes C-Class C 350 e and S500 e: charging power of 3.7 kW.
- Nissan Leaf 24 and 30: charging power of 6.6 kW.
- Porsche Cayenne and Porsche Panamera hybrids: charging power of 3.6 kW.
Type 2 connector
Type 2 or Mennekes is a seven-pin connector typical mainly for European electric vehicles. The feature of the connector is the ability to use a single-phase and three-phase network, with a maximum voltage of 400 V, a current of 63 A, and a power of 43.5 kW.
Electric cars using the Type 2 connector:
- Hyundai Ioniq: charging power of 6.6 kW.
- Kia Soul EV: charging power of 6.6 kW.
- Opel Ampera-e: charging power 7.2 kW. (single-phase connection)
- Renault Zoe: charging power of 22 kW.
- European Tesla Model S and Model X: charging power of 11 or 16.5 kW.
- American Tesla: charging power up to 120 kW.
GB/T standard is characteristic only for cars made in China. Visually, it is similar to European Mennekes but is technically not comparable with it. There are two types of connectors for this standard, one for slow and one for fast charging.
CHAdeMO stands for “charge de move” French “charge for movement”. CHAdeMO is a two-pin DC connector. It can be used to charge most Japanese, American, and a number of European electric vehicles. It is designed for use on powerful DC charging stations. Its maximum voltage is 500V, the current is 125A and power is 62.5 kW. Although now, its characteristics are increasing.
In 2018, the association published information on the creation of the new CHAdeMO protocol, which allows charging electric cars with power up to 400 kW. This should significantly increase the charging speed.
Electric cars using the Type 2 connector:
- Kia Soul EV: charging power of 50 kW.
- Nissan Leaf 1 and 1.1, Nissan e-NV200: charging power of 50 kW.
- Citroen Berlingo: charging power up to 50 kW.
- Renault ZOE: charging power up to 43 kW.
- Daimler Smart ED: charging power up to 22 kW.
- The European version of the old Tesla Model S: charging power up to 22 kW.
- Mercedes B250E: charging power of 11 kW.
CCS combo connector
CCS Combo is a combined type of connector that allows us to use both slow and fast charges. The operation of the connector is possible thanks to inverter technology, which converts direct current to alternating current.
The advantage of the standard is the ability to connect to conventional networks. CCS Combo connectors are not the same for Europe, the USA, and Japan. For Europe, they offer a Combo 2 connector compatible with Mennekes, and for the USA and Japan Combo 1 is connected to J1772.
Charging with CCS Combo is designed for 200-500V at 200A and a power of 100 kW. This standard with power up to 50 kW is supported by such cars as Volkswagen e-Golf and Volkswagen ID, KIA Niro, Hyundai electric SUV, Daimler EQ, AND Focus Electric.
Of course, the Tesla standard must be noted separately. Cars of this brand use their own connector that is incompatible with anything. Station connectors vary by the region of use.
In the USA, they have three connectors, in Europe – it is five, which significantly complicates the operation of the company’s electric vehicles imported from America to European countries.
Tesla’s own supercharges are designed for power up to 150 kW but so far is tuned for the power of 135 kW. By the way, in the spring of 2019, Tesla introduced an updated version of its charging station. Supercharger V3 is capable of delivering power of 250 kW. And thus, for example, Model 3 Long Range can add 290 kilometers to the run in 15 minutes.
Most of the electric cars can be charged from both alternating and direct current. In the first case, 3 types of AC charges are separated, which differ in power characteristics.
DC charging is considered high-speed charging. because they have more power than AC charging. They are also classified according to the power levels that they supply to the battery. The absence of the need to convert the alternating current of the power supply network into the direct current of the electric vehicle battery allows reducing the charging process by several times.
But high-speed charging has a huge drawback, because of which the technology is not as widespread as the “slow” and “accelerated” charging. A battery that is constantly charged in this way fails faster. Therefore, it is recommended to use high-speed technology only periodically, alternating it with conventional recharging from the network.
We have considered various types of connectors that are adapted to work with different operating modes of charging stations and various types of electric vehicle charging stations and chargers. We hope that everything was as simple and clear as possible. In case you have any questions, you can ask them in the comment section below. Goodbye!