All you need to know about sockets and their associated charging modes
Within electric vehicles, both plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and purely electric cars (BEV) can have their batteries recharged from the grid.
For enabling this process, four charging modes have been settled, each of them with several standards that ensure protection and information from the batteries’ status through electrical plugs.
The international standard IEC 61851 (Electric vehicle conductive charging systems) defines the charging modes for electric vehicles:
Slow charge in alternating current, single-phase or triphasic, with a maximum intensity of 16 A per phase (from 3.7 to 11 kW).
Slow charge in alternating current, single-phase or triphasic, with a maximum intensity of 32 A per phase (from 3.7 to 22 kW).
Slow or semi-fast charging in alternating current, single-phase or three-phase, with a maximum current of 32 A per phase (expandable to 64 A).
Fast charging in direct current, with a maximum current of 400 A.
Standard plug in the USA and Japan, with 5 pins and a maximum current of 80 A.
European standard plug, with 7 pins and maximum current of 16 A (single-phase) or 63 A per phase (three-phase).
Combo 2 (CCS2)
The European standard is an “extension” of the Type 2 connector, enabling two charging modes (Mode 3 and Mode 4) with a single vehicle socket.
This Japanese standard has been adopted by some manufacturers in Europe.