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Charging Cables 101

Understanding EV charging plugs

New to the world of electric vehicles, thinking about making the switch but confused about the plug types, charging levels and what it means for you and your EV?

Just like the mobile phone industry, charging cables have evolved and varied from manufacturer to manufacturer and after a staggering 30 + years, the mobile industry is starting to pull together and agree to a single type and specification.


Here’s hoping to a much faster regulatory control of plug types for the electric vehicle charging market, but in the meantime, check out the main types being used here in the UK


Level 1 Charger - UK 3-Pin EV Connector


Providing up to 3 kW of AC power or 5 miles of range for every 30 minutes of charge time, the standard UK 3 pin plug is not the fastest way to charge an EV, but it will do the job. Using just single-phase domestic power which is widely available, it's the quickest way to start charging at home or in the office, but it's important to remember that it has not been designed for extended EV charging use so think of it as a temporary solution whilst you are waiting for a dedicated home charger or have easy access to public charging services.


Typical charge times on a 3-pin, level one charge will take around 12 hours to fully charge your vehicle and whilst this should be perfect for local trips, it could be restrictive for the longer-range trips, especially if you need to frequently make them.

If you are keen to understand and keep on top of charging rates and time to charge, a handy tip is to consider the following:


Size of Battery (kWh) / Speed of Charger (kW) = average time to charge


Type 1 EV Connector


The type 1 connector is a step up from the domestic 3 pin plug but still only requires single phase input. With a power rating of 3-7kW AC or ~12 miles of range for every 30 minutes of charging time, the Type 1 EV charger connector is faster than the 3-pin connector but still relatively slow. As new connectors have made their mark on the industry, the Type 1 plug is starting to be phased out and become less compatible with newer electric vehicles so if you are lucky enough to be driving one of the latest EV’s on the road, its likely you will not see many type 1 cables.

If you are thinking about switching to electric and would like to learn more about how off grid and mobile charging can support your fleet, get in touch with the team at

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