Are All EV Chargers Universal?

Among the main questions the team at AMS Solutions receives around commercial EV charging installation typically falls around whether electric car chargers are universal or if they differ. In essence, EV chargers are universal and will charge most electric vehicles.

However, electric vehicle charging can be categorised into three differing levels representing different power outputs. These affect the charging speeds. Each charging level has a designated charging connector for low to high power use and AC or DC charging.

The Different Levels Explained

Level 1 chargers use a 120-volt AC plug, known as a three-pin. These are occasionally supplied when you purchase an electric vehicle, consisting of a 3-pin on one end and a type 2 connector on the other. These chargers provide around four miles of charge per hour – not recommended for charging for long periods.

Level 2 chargers use 240-volt AC plus, generally referred to as fast chargers located in public charging locations. These chargers are also home-based units ideal to keep your EV charged up. Level 2 chargers can charge at a rate of 7kW to 22kW, providing roughly 16 miles per hour depending on the EV battery size.

Level 3 chargers, known as DC fast charging, are 480-volt and the fastest way to charge an EV, although currently not as popular as level 2 chargers. Level 3 chargers will be placed in motorway service stations and densely populated locations as they gain popularity, charging at a rate of 43kW to 100+kW and charging your EV in around 20 minutes to an hour.

EV Charging Cables

With different types of chargers, there are naturally different types of cables. Type 1 is a single-phase standard plug for EV cars from the US or Asia. An example of an EV using this type is the Nissan Leaf, which can charge at a power level of up to 7.4kW.

Type 2 is a triple-phase plug and the standard model for Europe. The plug has seven pins and no latch, instead using a locking pin to secure it. This cable can charge a car to a power level of 22kW, with public charging up to 43kW. A CCS (combined charging system) is an enhanced version for DC charging of power levels up to 170kW, although most are around 50kW. These you would commonly find installed at rapid charging stations.

The CHAdeMO is a pin plug for fast charging power levels up to 50kW, found on only a few UK vehicles, including the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius. These will be phased out in preference for CCS.

To understand the EV charging installation Manchester or EV installation needs for your business, contact the team at AMS Solutions for more information.

EV Chargers

Are All EV Chargers Universal?


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