Type 1 and Type 2 charging cables both serve the same fundamental purpose – letting you charge your EV – they differ in significant ways, including their design, performance, and geographical usage.
In this article, we compare the Type 1 EV cable with the Type 2 EV cable. We look at their features and performance, and help you determine which charger might be the best fit for your specific electric car.
Type 1 Vs Type 2 EV cable
The table below provides an overview of the main differences between the Type 1 and the Type 2 electric car charger:
|Type 1 EV cable||Type 2 EV cable|
|Typical region||North America, Asia||Europe, Australia, |
South Africa, New Zeland
|No of pins||5-pin plug||7-pin plug|
|Official standard||SAE J1772||62196-2|
|Plugs/Cable||Type 1 plug (vehicle side) and Type 2 plug (charger side)||Usually a socket, cable is separate with Type 2 plugs on both ends|
|Phase type||single-phase||single or 3-phase|
|Max home charge kW||Up to 7.4kW||Up to 22 kW (single-phase) |
Up to 43 kW (three-phase)
|Locking type||Manual latch||Automatic locking|
Type 1 and Type 2 EV chargers both serve the purpose of recharging electric vehicles, but they differ in key ways.
The Type 1 charger operates on a single-phase connection and can deliver charging speeds up to 7.4 kW. It typically comes with an attached cable that has a Type 1 plug on the vehicle side and a Type 2 plug on the charger side.
It’s most commonly used in North America and some parts of Asia.
Type 2 chargers can operate on both single and three-phase connections, offering charging speeds up to 22 kW on single-phase and up to 43 kW on three-phase. These chargers usually have a socket and require a separate cable with Type 2 plugs on both ends. They’re frequently found in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
While Type 1 connectors do not have shutters on the vehicle side and some have a latch locking mechanism, Type 2 chargers feature a shuttered socket and a latch locking mechanism on both connectors for enhanced safety.
What is a Type 1 charging cable?
A Type 1 EV charger is predominantly used in Asia and the US. The US and Asia use Type 1 chargers because their residential power supply is lower than in Europe and other parts of the world. This region’s supply starts at a lesser voltage that can only achieve a maximum of 7.4kW power in a residential charging setting.
EV owners in the US and Asia are unlikely to be able to upgrade to a three-phase electricity supply like residents in the UK can, and therefore cannot benefit from the 22kW max charging power offered by Type 2 chargers.
The plug on a Type 1 charging cable will have 5 pins. The plug features a fastener that secures the plug to the socket and ensures it is not knocked out of place during the charging process.
Type 1 chargers must be compliant with the US standard for EV chargers – the SAE J1772 specification. The SAE J1772 provides the safety framework that Type 1 charger manufacturers must adhere to, this covers the voltage systems, the shock protection and the release mechanism.
What is a Type 2 charging cable?
A Type 2 EV charger is the standard type of EV charging cable used in Europe. The Type 2 charger is alternatively referred to as a Mennekes charger (the company that first developed type 2 chargers in 2009).
It was produced as an alternative to the Type 1 charger in order for EV manufacturers to take advance of the increased electricity power supply found in Europe. The main difference between a Type 2 and Type 1 charging cable is the power it can handle. The Type 2 can charge at power of up to 22kW in a residential setting (providing the supply has been upgraded to 3-phase power).
The plug on the Type 2 charging cable has 7 pins (5 large and 2 small – an earthing pin, signalling pins and power supply pins).
Unlike the Type 1 charger, the Type 2 charger does not need a manual latch to attach to the car when charging as it will automatically lock into place once EV charging is commenced.
Is there a Type 1 to Type 2 EV charger adaptor?
It is possible to buy an adaptor to convert a type 1 cable to a type 2. The adapter essentially acts as a bridge between the charging station’s Type 2 plug and the vehicle’s Type 1 socket.
The 32A cable will have a type 1 socket on one end and a standard type 2 plug on the other. This will allow you to use any legacy type 1 charging equipment you have to charge a type 2 electric vehicle.
This type of adapter is often used to connect a Type 1-equipped electric vehicle to a Type 2 charging station, which is common in Europe.
Is there a Type 2 to Type 1 EV charger adaptor?
You can use an adaptor to convert a type 2 charger to type 1. This type of adapter is often used to connect a Type 2-equipped electric vehicle to a Type 1 charging station, which is common in North America and parts of Asia.
This will allow you to charge type 1 and type 2 from the wall charger, the 32A cable will have a type 2 socket on one end and a standard type 1 plug on the other.
Which Electric Cars use a Type 1 charger in the UK?
In the UK, most EVs use the Type 2 charging cable as standard. However, there are a few EV models that still may have the Type 1 charger. Here are some electric cars that use a Type 1 charger in the UK:
- Nissan Leaf (1st generation)
The Nissan Leaf initially came with a Type 1 connector in the UK, although newer models have transitioned to Type 2 connectors.
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, in its early models, was equipped with a Type 1 charging port in the UK.
- Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid (1st generation)
The first-generation Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid used a Type 1 charging port in the UK.
It’s worth noting that as electric vehicle technology evolves, manufacturers are increasingly adopting the Type 2 charging standard as the norm. Therefore, the number of electric cars with Type 1 connectors in the UK is gradually decreasing, with most new models opting for Type 2 connectors.
If you are looking to buy a second-hand electric vehicle with a Type 1 connector, make sure you can pair it with your local charging infrastructure with a Type 1 to Type 2 adapter.
The final word on Type 1 Vs Type 2 charger
Type 1 and Type 2 chargers are very different because they have evolved in separate geographical regions with very different electricity power networks and supplies. Understanding the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 EV chargers is crucial for electric vehicle owners and prospective buyers.
The choice between Type 1 and Type 2 chargers depends on various factors, including geographical location, vehicle compatibility, and available charging infrastructure.
While Type 1 and Type 2 chargers have their set geographical regions, it’s important to note that the industry is gradually shifting towards the adoption of Type 2 connectors due to their compatibility with European charging infrastructure. The key feature that brings the Type 2 charger on top is charging power. The Type 2 charger has been developed to charge at higher power and benefit from the 3-phase supply available in Europe. This allows Type 2 chargers a maximum residential supply of 22kw Vs the 7.4kW available to Type 1 charger users.
Whether you require a Type 1 Vs Type 2 charger will depend on your vehicle and the region in which you charge your car. When considering a charger, it is essential to ensure it fits with your specific electric vehicle and that you understand the charging infrastructure in your region.
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John is the Editor and Spokesperson for Electric Car Guide.
With over 20 years of writing experience, he has written for titles such as City AM, FE News and NerdWallet.com, covering various automotive and personal finance topics.
John’s market commentary has been covered by the likes of The Express, The Independent, Yahoo Finance and The Evening Standard.