Understanding EV Charging Plugs

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 if there is an industry standard.

Level 1 Chargers

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, 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.

Level 2 Chargers

Since Level 1 chargers are of limited use for those who use their cars often or in apartment buildings and condos, many consumers want a Level 2 charger, which can charge at a rate of 20-65 miles per hour. The plugs for Level 2 chargers are different from plugs for Level 1 chargers and require different cords and equipment than what comes with your new car.

In North America, all-electric vehicles use the J1772 plug for Level 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. For more information on international plugs please download this EV plug guide.

Tesla Level 2 Chargers

The Tesla connector is standard for all Tesla vehicles. The company sells an adapter that can be used on the vast majority of chargers in the U.S. including the Blink IQ 200 and the residential HQ 100. Although Tesla charging stations only accommodate Tesla plugs, aftermarket adapters have recently become available making Tesla chargers more compatible with other automotive brands.

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 an EV up to 80% in 30 minutes, making it ideal for highway and interstate applications. DC fast charging plugs are not standard. There are currently three types of DC fast plugs: CHAdeMO, SAE Combo (CCS), and Tesla supercharger plug. The good news for EV drivers is that DC fast chargers have both the CHAdeMO and CCS plugs available for use ensuring you can get on your way fast at a DC fast charging station.

Blink Charging: Understanding EV Charging Plugs


The CHAdeMO plug is for use at DC fast chargers and are compatible with Nissan, Mitsubishi, Kia, Fuji, and Toyota.

SAE Combo (CCS)

Quickly becoming the industry standard, the SAE Combo (CSS) 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 Supercharger

Again, Tesla created a proprietary plug for the charging of their electric vehicles. The Tesla plug is only available at Tesla charging stations; therefore, if you have any EV other Tesla, you will need to charge at another company’s Level 2 or DC fast charging station.

Blink Network

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.

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