Whether you're new to EVs or a battery powered veteran the different charging types, cables and standards can get a little confusing. Here we'll try to break things down into the different charging scenarios and then move on to the plugs, cables and charge points available today.
Charging From Home
Most people charge their cars at home. This usually requires off-street parking or a space very close to your home. Many EVs come with a cable with a domestic 3-pin plug at one end and a plug for your car at the other. There will also be a box of tricks about the size of a house brick in-line with the cable. This is often called an EVSE or Granny Cable. Charging from this cable is slow but it does give you the ability to charge anywhere you can find a 3-pin socket.
A home charge point offers a faster and more convenient way for charging from home. Ideally installed by a qualified electrician, these can be bought in tethered or untethered versions. If tethered it will have a cable and plug ready to connect directly to you EV, untethered simply has a socket and you'll need a separate cable.
When not at home you may need to top up, you may not have access to a home charge point or you might be a visitor to our island. There are a number of reasons that public charge points are vital to EV adoption and are extremely useful.
Here on the Isle of Man there are a small number of destination charge points. Some are provided by local authorities in partnership with Manx Utilities and others are offered by local businesses, such at the Isle of Man Motor Museum. To use any of these chargers on the island you'll need the right cable and/or adapters. Take a look at the map for up to date details on the available charge points.
Off-island there are a number of charge point providers in the UK and Ireland. You'll usually need the correct cable and they are often activated by an RFID card or app. Before planning a trip we would recommend checking a charge point map for your route and destination.
On the Road
Rapid chargers offer a quick way to charge your car. There are no rapid charge points on the Isle of Man, they are usually found at motorway service stations in the UK and Ireland but can be found elsewhere such as Ikea stores. There are three main standards for rapid charging; CHAdeMO, CCS & AC with the addition of Tesla only Superchargers. Each has its own connector type.
This can be quite confusing for people due to the variety of charging standards and connector types. Your vehicle will be capable of using at least one or a combination of the connectors listed below.
3-pin, 13 amp
A type of connector often found at camp sites or Quay sides. On the Isle of Man many of the public charge points still have at least two of these sockets and some older charge points ONLY have these. You would usually need an adapter to connect your 3-pin EVSE/Granny Cable to these. Not technically an EV connector but one often found outdoors.
Single and three-phase vehicle coupler also known as Mennekes and preferred by European manufacturers and often found on public charging points. Used on vehicles such as the Renault Zoe, VW e-Golf and the 2018 Nissan Leaf. This connector can be used for rapid charging at 22Kw or 43Kw depending on the charger.
A rapid charge connector found on mainly Japanese vehicles such as Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi Outlander. This is a very large plug and the most common at the moment for rapid chargers.
CCS or Combined Charging System
In Europe Tesla uses the Type 2/Mennekes form factor for both AC slow/fast charging and DC rapid charging. When using a Tesla Supercharger DC is used. A Tesla Supercharger or destination charger senses if a Tesla is connected and can't be used by any other vehicle. Some Tesla destination chargers with a white sign can be used by any vehicle that can accept a Type 2 connector, the red signed chargers can only be used by Teslas.
As mentioned previously, this cable allows you to charge from any domestic 3-pin socket. Often shipped with the car, but not always.
Type 1 to Type 2
Type 2 to Type 2