We emphasize how easy EVs are to charge- you simply plug in and go. But many consumers are concerned about what type of plug they need, whether they can use the Level 1 plug that comes with their EV, and how to charge at Level 2 and DC fast chargers. Here’s what you need to know.
Level 1 & 2 Chargers
In North America, all-electric vehicles use the J1772 plug for Level 1 and 2 charging, except Tesla, which has its own plug. The J1772 has been adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers as the standard plug for Level 2 AC charging. The connector has several types of shock-prevention standards for use in rain and the elements.
Level 2 plugs differ in various parts of the world. When visiting Europe or Asia. If you rent an electric vehicle internationally, rental car companies will supply you with the proper cables to fit their EVs.
NEMA 5-15, the standard 15 amp & 125V plugs most likely found in your home, are for large appliances, such as refrigerators and clothes drivers. These plugs work well with Level 1 chargers and charge at the slowest rate. NEMA 5-20, the 20 amp, 125-volt plug is similar, but more often found in office buildings than residences.
The cord which comes with your EV is a good choice for use with a Level 1 charger. Level 1 chargers are easy to find and use, inexpensive, and reliable. For a single-family home with a plug-in hybrid EV, a Level 1 charger may meet drivers’ needs. Level 1 chargers charge at a rate of 4-5 miles per hour. They work best if a driver is able to plug in and let the vehicle charge overnight on a regular basis. The equipment that comes with your new car will fit any Level 1 charger.
Since Level 1 chargers are slow, many consumers want a Level 2 charger, which can charge at a rate of 20-65 miles per hour. EV owners who live in a single-family home who want to upgrade to a Level 2 home charger can plug into the NEMA 14-50 plug or have an electrician hardwire the station. If you don’t have access to a home garage or are unable to install your own station, you can also use one of the thousands of Level 2 commercial charging stations available at workplaces, multifamily homes, retail, and other properties.
DC Fast Charging
Although not all EVs come with DC fast charging as a standard feature, it’s often available as an upgrade package and well worth the investment. DC fast charging can charge a fully electric EV up to 80% in 30 minutes, making it ideal for highway and interstate applications. However, DC fast charging plugs are not standardized. There are currently three types of DCFC plugs: CHAdeMO, SAE Combo (CCS), and Tesla/NACS. The good news for EV drivers is many DC fast chargers have both the CHAdeMO and CCS plugs available for use, ensuring you can charge and be on your way at a DC fast charging station.
The CHAdeMO plug is for use at DC fast chargers and are compatible with Nissan, Mitsubishi, Kia, Fuji, and Toyota. However, this plug is being phased out to be replaced by CCS.
SAE Combo (CCS)
Quickly becoming the industry standard, the SAE Combo (CCS) is to be used at DC fast chargers for all upcoming U.S. and European EVs, BMW, Volkswagon, Chevy, and some Asian electric vehicles.
Tesla (now North American Charging Standard)
Tesla created a proprietary plug for the charging of their electric vehicles. The Tesla plug was initially only available at Tesla charging stations, which meant that drivers with any EV other Tesla needed to charge at another company’s Level 2 or DC fast charging station. However, Tesla recently opened its proprietary connector to other manufacturers, and in 2023, several automakers including Ford and General Motors announced that they would offer the newly renamed North American Charging Standard (NACS) plug in upcoming vehicles.
Blink utilizes the most advanced technology available to ensure cars using our charging stations can charge quickly and safely. Blink chargers can be used with ALL EVs. We use J1772 plugs and Tesla-compatible adapters, perfect for cars charging at any level. Blink has also announced that we will offer NACS connectors for all Blink charging stations.