Anyone who has spent years filling up their car's tank will need to adjust when switching to an electric vehicle. Out goes the fuel, and in comes the electric charging. Plugging in a charger at your home is much easier than visiting a petrol station, but a few things take some getting used to, such as the different types of chargers. For instance, what is a Type 2 EV charger? That's a question many new EV owners have, and we've put this guide together featuring everything you need to know about Type 2 EV chargers and their role in charging your car.
Ok, so why is the charger type so confusing?
If you’re used to filling your car up with petrol or diesel, then you’ll be accustomed to the same nozzle, regardless of the fuel type. They’re essentially the same, no matter which car you own. Electric vehicles, however, can have different plugs. Therefore, it can be a little confusing hearing about Type 1 and Type 2 chargers, especially if this is your first foray into EVs.
What is a Type 2 EV charger?
When buying an electric vehicle, expect to hear about Type 1 and Type 2 EV chargers. It can quickly become confusing, especially if you're new to the EV market and are unsure which charger is the best option for your vehicle. Fortunately, most of the decisions will be made for you, and you don't need to worry too much about finding a suitable charger type.
That's because the Type 2 socket is a Europe-wide, universal socket designed to charge electric cars. It's the primary charge type in the UK, and you can use it to charge any electric vehicle as long as you have the correct charging cable. Type 2 chargers have a 7-pin design and accommodate both single and three-phase mains power.
How fast is a Type 2 charger?
Pretty fast, but there's a catch. A Type 2 EV charger is capable of charging at a level of up to 43kW, which is considered rapid charging. Sounds good, right? Well, it is, but only if you're using a public charger to give your EV some juice. Chargers found on residential streets, supermarkets, hotel car parks and service stations may offer rapid charging, but it's a different story at home.
If you've installed an EV charger in your garage, then you'll likely have a Type 2 charger capable of 43kW. Only you won't get those speeds because UK standard charging power at home is 7.4kW. Therefore, it'll take a little longer to charge your EV at home than in public.
Of course, you have the benefit of charging from the comfort of your home without needing to source a public charging station. Plus, it's cheaper to charge your EV at home than in public.
What’s the difference between Type 1 and Type 2?
A Type 1 charger has a 5-pin design and is a single phase providing charging outputs between 3.7kW and 7.4kW. They're more common in the United States and Asia, although you might have one if you buy an imported electric vehicle from an Asian manufacturer, as they tend to use Type 1 chargers.
Type 1 chargers have a latch in place that keeps the plug secure and prevents it from dislodging, while Type 2 chargers don't have the latches. Instead, they utilise a locking pin that locates and secures the plug in place.
How do I identify a Type 2 charger?
Type 2 chargers feature seven pins, which makes them easily identified compared to other charger types. The connector is circular in shape and has a flattened top edge, with two pins at the top, three larger ones in the middle and two even bigger ones at the bottom of the circular shape.
Again, Type 2 charging cables come with a locking pin to keep the plug in place while it charges. Only the owner can unplug the charging cable from the car, making it more secure, which is especially helpful when used at public charging stations.
Where can I buy a Type 2 charger?
Electric vehicles come with a charger suitable for charging the particular car make. In most cases, this will be a Type 2 charger, although some still come with Type 1 options. You can buy Type 2 chargers anywhere that sells EV chargers, including Argos, Halfords and directly from the charging brand. If you're purchasing an EV charger for your home, then you'll want to get a qualified electrician to install it, regardless of the charging type.
How much does it cost to install a type 2 EV charger?
The cost of installation varies depending on the effort involved in connecting your charger to your fuse box. You can get up to five free quotes on Rezigo, from local EV installation specialists in your area to find out the cost. You might expect to pay anywhere between £100 and £1000 for the installation of a type 2 EV charger.
Summary: charge it up
Type 2 chargers are more common in Europe and the UK, and you can expect your EV to come with this type of charging cable. This is also true for public charging points scattered around the UK. However, some EVs still feature Type1 chargers, although it is rare as they have been mostly superseded by the Type 2 variety.
When it comes to installing the charger at home, the electrician fitting it will ensure that the right equipment is utilised so that your car charges without any issues. Always be sure to get EV chargers installed by vetted, qualified tradespeople such as those you can find on Rezigo.