Skip to content
Do all electric cars use the same Charger?

Do all electric cars use the same Charger?

By James Fisher

Well, the short answer is: yes, most electric vehicles (EVs) and electric vehicle charges in the UK can work together just fine. However, for non-rapid charging, you typically need to use the cable which comes with your electric car or access one, if it doesn’t. 

However, as we’ll soon discover, it’s often not just a matter of finding a compatible charger and wall outlet. 

How do I know which charger my EV is compatible with?

Even though all electric cars use the same standard plugs (more or less) for both Level 1 and 2 charging, standards for DC charging can vary between different manufacturers and regions. 

To understand the subject of EV charger compatibility properly, we must familiarise ourselves with the three unique levels of EV charging, which represent different power outputs (and hence, charging speed), which are available to charge your EV.

You’ll find that at each level, you have unique connector types which have been manufactured for low or high power use, as well as for managing AC or DC charging. 

120-volt AC – Level 1 Charging

Level 1 chargers come with a 120V AC plug; all you need to do is plug it into a standard electrical outlet and you’re all set. This can be done through a Level 1 EVSE cable – that’s your standard 3-prong household plug on the end which goes into the outlet, and a regular J1722 connector which goes into your EV. 

When hooked up through this plug, the charging rates vary between 1.4kW and 3kW, taking anywhere between 8-12 hours to charge your car, depending on the battery’s current state and total capacity. 

240-volt AC – Level 2 Charging

Level 2 charging is generally used for charging at your EV at public stations. Even though most Level 2 chargers are found in commercial settings, places of work or public parking lots, they are also available in residential areas and gated communities. With that said, you do need to have Level 2 charging equipment installed at home. 

This requires a professional installation where charging is done via 240V AC plugs. Charging typically takes 1-11 hours, again, depending on your battery’s capacity, and the charging rate ranges from 7kW to 22kW, using a Type 2 connector. 

DC Fast Charging – Level 3 Charging

This is the quickest way to charge your EV. Even though they’re not as common as Level 2 chargers are in public and commercial areas, they can still be found in just about any highly populated area. However, unlike Level 2 charging, Level 3 chargers may not offer compatibility with some electric cars. 

Much like Level 2 charging, Level 3 chargers also require professional installation, where charging can be done either through DC plugs or 480V AC ones. Charging time usually varies between 20 minutes and an hour, where the charging rate is 43kW to over 100kW using a CSS connector. 

As with all things that need charging and not just cars, it’s important to use the right charger with your EV. If you’re not precisely sure which charger applies to your specific model, let us know. 

Written by James Fisher
Share this Article

Get a free no obligation quote.

Get a instant quote from our UK wide team of dedicated EV installers. Receive multiple quotes and choose the installer you feel most comfortable with. It only takes 30 seconds.