different types of electric car plugs

What Are the Different Types of Electric Car Plugs?

There are four types of electric car plugs in North America. Each plug is compatible with different electric vehicles (EVs) as well as capable of providing a certain amount of power. 

Knowing which plug your EV can accept is critically important as not all charging stations carry all the different types of electric car plugs. Just like how the iPhone has one plug and Andriod phones have another, the same goes for EVs. 

Fortunately, the auto industry has recently moved towards a single plug standard with the exception of Tesla. 

This article will describe the different types of electric car plugs, which popular cars has them, how much power they provide, and which charging networks carry them. Let’s get started. 

DC Fast Charging basics
DC Fast Charging Basics

The Four Different Types of Electric Car Plugs:

1. J1172

J1772 Plug

The J1772 is the most popular electric car plug for Level 1 and Level 2 charging. While the name is hard to remember, the plug is the standard for every EV made today. 

All electric cars are capable of charging with a J1772 plug. The one caveat is all Tesla vehicles need an additional adapter to charge with a J1772. This adapter costs around $85 on Amazon. Though it should be noted this comes standard with new Tesla vehicles.

Through the J1772 plug, EV drivers can expect around 1.5 to 10 kW charging depending on Level 1 or Level 2 charging. In other words, drivers can expect to charge at a rate of 4 to 40 miles per hour. 

As such, Level 1 and Level 2 charging is the typical way EV drivers charge their car overnight. The J1772 plug comes standard with every home EV charger. 

Level 1 chargers come with the new EV, however, for faster Level 2 charging, a separate purchase is required. Level 2 Home EV chargers cost around $400 to $700. Popular home EV chargers include the Enel X Juicebox Pro, Clipper Creek HCS-40, and Grizzl-E EV Charger

Feel free to check out nearby charging stations with J1772 plugs below. 

2. CCS Combo

CCS Combo Plug

The second of four electric car plugs is the CCS (Combined Charging Standard) Combo. As hinted, this plug is the universal standard plug for DC Fast Charging (DCFC)–also known as Level 3 charging

Level 3 charging is the fastest way to charge an electric car. With power up to 350 kW, DCFC can provide an 80% charge in around 30 minutes. This is the preferred method of charging while on a long road trip. 

The “combo” in CCS Combo gets its name from using a few of the pins from the J1772 port. Therefore, the CCS plug requires little additional hardware from a J1772 port. 

Just about every all-electric car has a CCS port. The exceptions are most plug-in hybrids since they have gas as a backup and Tesla. Instead, Tesla use their own proprietary plug–see next section for more information. 

The CCS Combo plug is only found at DCFC stations. Due to the high power output, these charging stations are only at public areas and cannot be installed in residential buildings. Popular charging networks with the CCS plugs include Electrify America, Chargepoint, and EVgo. 

Below is a map of charging stations with CCS plugs.

3. Tesla

tesla plug supercharger
Tesla plug

In their own unique way, Tesla has created their own electric car plug known as the Tesla plug. This plug is capable of Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 charging. It is the one plug to rule them all kind of thing. 

The Tesla plug is proprietary to only Tesla vehicles, therefore, no other EV may use a Tesla charging station. 

There is one workaround (just like the J1772 plug for Teslas) for non-Tesla EVs to use a Tesla plug, however, this adapter is limited to just Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations. This adapter can also be purchased on Amazon for around $160.

For Tesla’s DCFC stations, known as Tesla Supercharger stations, only Tesla vehicles can use the plug–no exceptions. Like other DCFC stations, Superchargers can provide over 200 kW of power, which makes charging sessions under 30 minutes. 

See below to search for nearby Tesla charging stations. 

4. CHAdeMO

CHAdeMO Plug

The fourth and final of the different electric car plugs is the CHAdeMO. Unlike the others, this plug is on its way out. In the early 2010s, this plug became highly popularized with the success of the Nissan Leaf. However, over time, more and more car makers have shifted towards CCS plugs as the DCFC port. 

As of today, the CHAdeMOport is only found in two EVs–the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. As you may have noticed, these two car makers are Japanese. The CHAdeMOplug is still widely popular in Japan. For North America, it’s time is just about up. 

The CHAdeMOplug is a DCFC port. Unlike the CCS plug, all CHAdeMOchargers are limited to 50 kW. In the early 2010s, this was an acceptable charging speed, however, as the technology advanced, chargers became quicker and quicker. Unfortunately, ChaDeMO chargers did not. 

While there are still thousands of CHAdeMOcharging stations in operation, they are soon to become the minority as CCS and Tesla plugs dominate the DCFC market. 

In any case, see below for a map of nearby charging stations with CHAdeMOplugs. 

Closing Thoughts

No matter which EV you own, it is important to know the differences between these four different types of electric car plugs. Each different plug is compatible with different vehicles and can provide a limited amount of power. 

To help you further, see the below chart to know which plugs you will need to familiarize yourself with depending on which EV you own or plan to purchase. 

ManufacturerLevel 1 PlugLevel 2 PlugLevel 3/DCFC Plug
TeslaTesla, J1172 (with adapter)Tesla, J1172 (with adapter)Tesla
Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevy, Ford, GMC, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mercedes Benz, Polestar, Porsche, Rivian, VolkswagenJ1772J1772CCS
Nissan, MitsubishiJ1772J1772CHAdeMO
Manufacturers not listed either do not produce any EVs or do not have an EV with a DCFC port

If this is still hard to grasp but you are wanting to switch to electric, feel free to schedule a free consultation with us as your very own EV consultant. Through our products and services, we will work with you one-on-one to help you learn the electric car basics. 

We will go over charging in further detail as well as provide vehicle recommendations. By the end of working with us, you’ll know everything you need to know about EVs as well as which model is right for you. 

Get started today for free by scheduling an appointment

2 thoughts on “What Are the Different Types of Electric Car Plugs?”

  1. The Tesla plug shows is NOT the American Tesla plug. If you use the wrong stock photo, you may confuse people. Also, in the article you say the adapter for J1772 to Tesla is $85. While this is true, one is included with every Tesla for free.

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