Do All Electric Cars Use the Same Charger?

Electric cars are being used increasingly, but owners still feel the anxiety of finding a charging station before their battery runs out. You may wonder whether all-electric vehicles can use the same charger or not. We’ll explore the answer to this and the different types of charging levels in this article. 

All electric cars can use the same charger for Level 1 and Level 2 charging. These two are the most commonly found chargers for EVs. The chargers for DC fast charging or Level 3 charging differ depending on the brand of the vehicle. 

Charging is just another aspect you need to consider when you are going to invest in an electric vehicle. You will be happy to know that these are usually universal for Level 1 and 2 charging. However, fast DC charging or Level 3 charging can vary for different manufacturers and regions. 

3 Different Charging Levels For EVs

There are three different levels of electric vehicle charging depending on the speed and voltage at which you will set your car. Each of these levels has dedicated connector types designed for high and low power usage and managing both DC and AC charging. 

These chargers are the same for Level 1 and Level 2 chargers with their adapters. However, separate plugs are required for fast DC charging for different brands of EVs. Let’s take a look at these levels in a nutshell in the table below and then in detail afterwards:

Charging Level Charging Power (kW)Tentative Charging Time (On Empty Battery)
Level 1 1200 km – +/- 20 hours 400 km – +/- 43 hours 
Level 23kW to 20kW (6kW in practice)200 km – +/- 5 hours 400 km – +/- 11 hours 
Level 3 – Fast DC Charging20kW to 50kW80% of 200 km – +/- 30 min 80% of 400km – +/- 1 hour 

Level 1 Charging 

Level 1 is the slowest level of charging, and these chargers can be plugged into the standard 120-Volt AC socket you see in your home. Charging can be done using a simple Level 1 EVSE cable with a three-prong home plug on one end and a standard J1722 connector for the car. 

This kind of charging can cover between 1.4kW to 3kW and can take up to 8-12 hours to completely charge the car, depending on the battery’s capacity and condition.

Level 2 Charging 

Level 2 charging is available in public areas like residential areas, parking lots, workplaces, and commercial areas. Some people also have Level 2 charging equipment and setup in their homes. This level of charging requires a unique setup and 240V AC plugs.

Charging duration on this level takes up to 11 hours at a charging rate of 7kW to 22kW using a Type 2 connector. 

Level 3 (Fast DC Charging) 

This is the fastest way to charge an EV. Like Level 2 chargers, these are also found in public areas. There are EVs that aren’t compatible with Level 3 charging. These chargers require proper installation and charge the vehicle through 480V AC or DC plugs.

Since it is fast charging – it can charge a car within an hour with a rate of 43kW to 100+ kW with the use of a CHAdeMO or CCS connector

Types Of EV Charging Plugs

The plugs at these charging stations also vary depending on the type of current required to charge the vehicle. 

AC Plugs 

Type 1 Plug 

This is a single-phase electric plug usually found in American and Asian households. It can charge your vehicle at a charging power of up to 7.4kW

Type 2 Plug 

This is the standard triple-phase plug with three extra wires for a faster charge and flow of current to the vehicle. 

In private places, these plugs can charge at 22kW, and the charging power can be up to 43kW on public stations. Almost all public charging stations use type 2 sockets. 

Electric cars can be charged using both type 1 and type 2 plugs using all kinds of mode 3 charging cables. 

DC Plugs

Type 2 Combo or CCS (Combination Charging System) 

CCS plugs are amped-up versions of the type 2 plug with five pins in total for even faster charging. It can handle AC and DC power of up to 170kW. In practicality, the charging power is usually not more than 50kW

CHAdeMO Plug

These 10-pin plugs are used at fast charging stations. These Level 3 chargers can supply up to 50kW with a high voltage current of up to 125A

Different Types Of Charging Cables For EVs

There are two different types of cables used for charging an EV depending on the charge level and plug. Let’s look at these in detail:

Mode 2 Cables

These are supplied by the manufacturer and are usually meant for domestic charging. A box called ICCB, In-Cable Control Box is added to allow the connector and the vehicle plug to communicate. 

Mode 3 Cables

These vary in design and type in different regions and are designed to connect your vehicle directly to a charging station. Most charging stations have Type 2 plugs installed to allow all vehicles with Type 1 and Type 2 connectors to charge through them. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Can All Electric Vehicles Use Tesla Chargers? 

It is possible to use a Tesla charger even if your electric vehicle is not a Tesla. There are limitations to this usage, and only Tesla cars can use the supercharger.

Tesla is currently working on an upgrade that will make it possible for non-Tesla cars to charge their superchargers in the near future. 

2. How Long Does It Take To Charge An EV? 

It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours to fully charge an electric car. The duration depends on the speed of the charging point and the car’s battery. 

3. How Long Can An Electric Vehicle Run On A Full Charge? 

An average electric car can run for approximately 250 miles on a fully charged battery. However, cars produced by some high-end brands like Tesla can go for up to 600 miles.

Refer to our charging summary table above for more details on charging times. 

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, if you are an EV owner, know that you can charge your car using any charger as they’re usually universal except the fast charging ones.

We hope that our little guide to charging levels, plugs, and cables equips you with enough knowledge you need to power up your car in any setting or situation.

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