By now you’ve probably found out that charging your electric car and fueling up is a completely different thing. For starters, charging your car won’t get your hands as dirty and smelly as loading up with fuel. But there’s a lot more to know. We made you this overview of what’s what to get you started on your best charging experience. To charge like a pro you need to know a few basics. First of all, you have different kinds of chargers. Think of it like petrol stations with unleaded petrol, diesel and gas. So, it’s good to pay a bit of attention when you’re charging the first few times. Not every car matches every charging station.
Get in the mode
The Mode 3 charging cable is the one you mostly use on public charging stations or if you have a charging station at home. It connects your car to the charging station and is set in Europe to be a Type 2 plug mostly. The type 2 plug is also known as the Mennekes plug, but in this article we’ll call it Type 2 plug. To keep it simple: Mode 3 cable = Type 2 plug (a.k.a. Mennekes plug)
Charging at home
Some cars still come with a charging cable which you could use at home to plug into your domestic sockets. Charging is usually extremely slow though and not the safest, charging parts could get really hot. It’s much advised to get a home charger with a type 2 plug. This is the safest and the fastest method to charge at home.
Surprisingly so, not only a great band. Here is what you need to know about AC and DC charging. AC Charging is slow, up to 22kW and DC charging is 22kW and more.
A power grid at home or at the office is always AC and the car battery is always DC, so this requires an AC/DC converter (this is your on board charger). Why is this particularly good to know?
Example: PHEV’s only have a Type 2 plug, which is not a DC plug, they cannot fast charge (DC). CCS and CHAdeMO are DC plugs.
The I-pace that struggled with the 1 phase
1 phase, 3 phase; it can be confusing. But there are some factors determining the charging speed of your car. We’ve listed them all for you:
- The maximum capacity of the on-board charger of your car (1 phase/2 phase/3 phase, 16amps/ 32 amps)
- The power capacity of the charging station used (1 phase/2 phase/3 phase, 16amps/ 32amps / 64amps)
- Occupancy of the charge pole (number of cars connected)
- The capacity of the power grid
To give you an example; the new Jaguar I-pace is only able to charge 1 phase. Therefore, charging at a regular public or home charging point with 3 phases is restricted to 1 phase charging.
We have simplified this for you with a scheme, to see what this means for the power that can be absorbed by your car.
A quick plug overview:
The Type 2 Plug
- Regular Charging
- Most European electric cars use this plug
- Most used in Europe
- Charging power: up to 43 kW/AC
- Cars: F.e. Renault Zoe
The CHAdeMO Plug
- Fast Charging
- Common for Japanese brands
- Charging power: up to 100 kW/DC – and counting
- Cars: F.e. Nissan Leaf
Tesla Model S and model X can fast charge on a CHAdeMO with a Tesla CHAdeMO adaptor.
The CCS Plug (Combined Charging System)
- Fast and High Power Charging
- Enhanced version of the type 2 plug
- Charging power: Maximum 350-400
- Cars: F.e. Audi E-tron, Tesla Model 3
Good to know: Tesla model S and model X can also fast charge with CCS but they need an adapter at Allego fast chargers. These CCS adapters are unfortunately not yet available for the cars in Europe. However, Tesla Model 3 was delivered with a CCS plug. Which means the Tesla users can fast charger at Allego Fast and High power chargers using the CCS.
Tesla Supercharger (Modified Mennekes plug)
- High Power Charging
- Only usable at Tesla chargers
- Charging power: Around 120 kW
- Cars: Tesla
Pro (fast) Charging tip
When your battery is almost empty it’s easier to charge it up, it charges faster between capacity of 20% and 80%. First 10% and the last 10% are the slowest. Therefore, it’s best to fill up to 80% and then continue your way.
Become a Pro
Allego is a specialist in charging EV’s and we aim to make charging as seamless as possible. In our next Pro Charging articles, we will dive deeper into charging passes and useful apps. Can’t wait to read more? Go ahead and check the FAQ of Allego or read our article on chargers.