EV Charger Types: CSS, CHAdeMO, and More | Compare.com (2022)

Written by Nick Versaw

Updated February 18th, 2022

EV Charger Types: CSS, CHAdeMO, and More | Compare.com (2)

Wouldn’t it be great if every electric vehicle was compatible with every type of charger? There may come a time when universal chargers are a thing, but for now, EV drivers need to be prepared to deal with several different charger types.

Some automakers have their own connector types — such as Tesla’s Supercharger — but you can buy adapters for use on other charging networks.

Choosing the right EV charger type will ensure that your battery charges at the optimal speed, whether you use Level 1, Level 2, or fast charging.

Here’s what you need to know about the EV charger types currently available for battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in the U.S.

What Are the Main EV Charger Types?

When we talk about EV charger types, we’re really talking about the type of plug or connector you use to plug into a charging station.

(Video) What are the Different Standards of EV charging?

After all, the term “charger” is often used interchangeably to describe the home or public charging unit (known as electric vehicle supply equipment, or EVSE), and the onboard charger that connects directly to the battery.

This article is all about the connector types on either end of the charging cable. You can learn more about types of home charging units here.

How Many EV Charger Types Are There?

It’s hard to give an exact number of how many EV charger types there are because EV charging standards vary widely around the world. For example, you’ll have a different set of options if you buy an electric car in Europe or China than if you buy one in North America.

One group of scientists at Purdue University is even working on a charging system that can charge EVs through the surface of the road.

Fortunately, most of us don’t pack our cars in our carry-on luggage, so you won’t need to carry around every type of connector that’s available.

We’ve focused this article on EV charger types used in North America so that you can choose one or more connectors that are common in your region.

Standard Electric Vehicle Charging

Standard electric vehicle charging includes Level 1 and Level 2 charging because they use the same connector type. Level 1 charging refers to a 120-volt wall outlet (the slowest charging method). Level 2 charging refers to 240-volt home chargers and public charging stations that use alternating current (AC charging).

But which charging connectors do you need for this type of charger, and what kind of charging speeds do they support?

SAE J1772

In North America, the most common charging plug for Level 1 and 2 charging is the SAE J1772 charger. It has five pins and can deliver up to 7 kW of power.

Most home charging stations are compatible with this type of connector. However, since it’s a single-phase cable, you can’t use it for multiple charging speeds.

Type 2

The Type 2 connector is more common in Europe than in North America. It has seven pins and a locking feature that delivers a more secure connection.


It can switch between three power phases and can even communicate with your EV’s battery to detect when it’s plugged in.

Like the SAE J1772, you can only use the Type 2 connector for Level 1 and 2 charging, so you’ll need a different connector to use a DC fast charger.

DC Fast Charging

EV Charger Types: CSS, CHAdeMO, and More | Compare.com (3)

Standard chargers are great for home and workplace charging, where you have the time to leave your EV plugged in all day or all night.

But if you’re heading out on a road trip, you’ll want to take one of these charger types so you can access fast charging stations wherever you go.

CCS (Combined Charging System)

The Combined Charging System, or CCS connector, can be used for multiple types of charging, including Level 1, Level 2, and direct current charging (DC charging).

It has a seven-pin plug with an additional two-pin attachment. CCS chargers are some of the fastest EV charging options available, with the ability to reach 350 kW charging speeds on some networks.

Which automakers use CCS chargers? You’ll find them on new cars by Volkswagen, BMW, and General Motors, among other brands.


CHAdeMo is a common EV charger used on vehicles made in Japan. You’ll find this connection type on the Nissan LEAF and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Most of the other chargers don’t use a separate socket, but the CHAdeMO connector does; that means you’ll find two sockets side-by-side when you open up the onboard charging port on your vehicle.

CHAdeMO connectors can support speeds of up to 400 kW — more than any existing EV can handle. That means you’ll be limited by the speed of your charging station or onboard charger, not by the CHAdeMO connection.

(Video) CCS Combo2 Explained! | ABC...EV

Tesla Charger

Finally, you can use the Tesla charger for all charging levels, but it’s only compatible with Tesla wall chargers and the Supercharger network.

The good news is that Tesla provides a J1772 adapter with every Tesla model, and you can buy a spare for $50 on their website. That will allow you to plug into most home or public charging stations without any issue.

As for DC fast charging, you’ll want to pick up a CHAdeMO or CCS connector (or both) if you’re traveling through a region without many Supercharger locations.

Which EV Charger Type Should You Use?

If you plan to do most of your charging at home or at Level 2 charging stations, there’s only one EV charger type that you need: the SAE J1772 charger. This is actually the best charging option since it puts less strain on your battery than DC charging.

For fast charging, your automaker will make the decision for you: European and U.S. brands tend to use CCS chargers, and Japanese brands use CHAdeMO. Most popular EV charging networks, such as ChargePoint and Blink, have both CCS and CHAdeMO chargers, so you won’t need to worry too much about compatibility.

Tesla vehicles use their proprietary charger for all charging levels. Technically, it’s the only charger you need, but you won’t be able to use CHAdeMO or CCS chargers without an adapter, so it may be worth getting one just in case.

Unfortunately, the reverse isn’t an option yet — there aren’t any adapters for non-Tesla vehicles to use the Supercharger network at the moment.

How to Find EV Charging Stations

Whether you’re looking for Tesla charging stations in Texas or CHAdeMO chargers in California, EV charging infrastructure is more widespread than ever.

You can download an EV charging app to see which charging stations are available in real-time and even reserve one in advance.

Some states offer tax incentives for installing a home charger, and you can always ask your boss to consider installing a charging station where you work.

Choose the Right EV for You

EV Charger Types: CSS, CHAdeMO, and More | Compare.com (4)

(Video) Tesla Charging Guide: CCS Vs. CHadEMO Instead of Superchargers

Choosing a new EV can be a bit of a crash course in charging options and connection types. But before you install a home charging station or purchase a J1772 adapter, it’s important to find an EV that you’ll actually want to drive.

From seating capacity to miles of range, there are many things to consider before buying an electric vehicle.

Check out our electric car guides to learn more about the right type of EV for you, then use our handy search tool when you’re ready to go for a test drive.

Compare EVs Near You

EV Charger Types: CSS, CHAdeMO, and More | Compare.com (5)

Nick Versaw Managing Editor

Nick Versaw leads Compare.com's editorial department, where he and his team specialize in creating educational content about insurance and other related topics. As an award-winning writer, Nick has seen his work published in countless renowned publications, such as the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and U.S. News & World Report. He graduated with Latin honors from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Digital Journalism.

(Video) Combined Charging System (CCS) explained

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Which is better CCS or CHAdeMO? ›

More and more new EVs are favouring CCS. However, CHAdeMO does have one major technical advantage: it is a bi-directional charger. This means electricity can flow both from the charger into the car, but also the other way from the car into the charger, and then on to the house or grid.

What are CHAdeMO type 2 and CCS? ›

CCS is a version of type 2 with two additional power contacts. It allows very fast charging. CHAdeMO can be found in Asian cars and allows for high charging capacities as well as bidirectional charging.

What is CCS and CHAdeMO charging? ›

CCS, on the other hand, is a straightforward acronym for "combined charging system," referring to its capacity for running both alternating currents (AC) and direct currents (DC). The CHAdeMO plug runs only DC, so cars with this format must also have a separate J1772 port for AC.

Can you use CCS and CHAdeMO at same time? ›

"All chargepoints include multiple DC and AC connectors so no matter what your car, you're covered. Two drivers are able to charge simultaneously at each site 24/7." This strongly implies both Chademo and CCS can charge at the same time...

Is CHAdeMO charging bad for battery? ›

Charging your Tesla at a fast-charging CHAdeMO station over time will reduce battery efficiency and you may even spend more time at a Tesla Supercharger than before.

What CHAdeMO means? ›

“CHAdeMO” is an abbreviation of “CHArge de MOve,” equivalent to “charge for moving,” and is a pun for “O cha demo ikaga desuka.” in Japanese, meaning “Let's have a cup of tea while charging.”

Is CHAdeMO or CCS more common? ›

As mentioned, CCS is another connector that's used for rapid-charging electric vehicles. It's an open international standard, meaning car manufacturers all over the world use it — unlike CHAdeMO, which tends to be favored by Japanese manufacturers.

Which EVs use CHAdeMO? ›

The Nissan LEAF and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV are the only electric vehicles that use the CHAdeMO EV charging connector type.

Is CCS charging AC or DC? ›

The CCS combines single-phase AC, three-phase AC and DC high-speed charging in both Europe and the US – all in a single, easy to use system. The CCS includes the connector and inlet combination as well as all the control functions.

Can you charge leaf with CCS? ›

Connector type and charging rates

You can charge your Nissan Leaf with a Type 2 connector at home, work or at a public charging point. There is also a CCS connector for rapid charging.

Are all EV chargers the same? ›

“Though all EVs use the same standard plugs for Level 1 and Level 2 charging, standards for the DC charging may vary among manufacturers and regions.”

What are the 3 types of charging? ›

In order to charge an object, one has to alter the charge balance of positive and negative charges. There are three ways to do it: friction, conduction and induction.

What are the four types of EV? ›

There are four types of electric vehicles: Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), Hybrid (HEV), and Hydrogen Fuel Cell. Each type varies greatly in range, charging and/or refueling cost, and engineering & design.

Is CHAdeMO a fast charger? ›

CHAdeMO is a fast-charging system for battery electric vehicles, developed starting in 2010 by the CHAdeMO Association, formed by the Tokyo Electric Power Company and five major Japanese automakers.

Is CCS fast charging? ›

CCS is a direct current (DC) fast charging protocol that is Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) certified, and is featured on vehicles produced by European and American car companies.

Is Tesla a CC or CHAdeMO? ›

These adapters are still available online from resellers, but Tesla has stopped selling them as CCS has become the official standard in North America.

Is CCS the same as CHAdeMO? ›

Where CCS connectors differ from CHAdeMO, is that they allow for AC/DC charging on the same port. CHAdeMO-equipped EVs require an additional J1772 connector cord to achieve Level 1 or 2 charging.

How fast is CHAdeMO charging? ›

CHAdeMO stations enable charging at up to 43 kW or 108 km of range per half hour.

Is it better to slow or fast charge a car battery? ›

You don't need to charge your car fast. A slow charge is much better, as batteries tend hold the charge for a longer period of time with this method. The trickle charger has an electric cord with a plug and two jumper cables with alligator clips.

What is EV CCS? ›

The Combined Charging System (CCS) is a standard for charging electric vehicles. It can use Combo 1 or Combo 2 connectors to provide power at up to 350 kilowatts.

Is CCS charger faster than CHAdeMO? ›

When it comes to charging speed, CCS currently has the edge. Some of Electrify America's CCS chargers can deliver up to 350 kW of power (a level which few of today's EVs can support), whereas its CHAdeMO chargers are limited to 50 kW (still plenty fast to top up your EV while you enjoy a nice cup of tea).

What type is CHAdeMO? ›

CHAdeMO is a DC charging standard for electric vehicles. It enables seamless communication between the car and the charger.

Is CCS better than Tesla? ›

Today, the CCS connector supports charging speeds up to 350kW. For comparison, Tesla's latest v3 Superchargers can currently charge at speeds up to 250kW, although Tesla plans to update v3 Superchargers later this year to support up to 324kW.

Does CHAdeMO charge to 100%? ›

No problem using chademo, provided you do not often charge to 100%, and never let the SOC stay below about 10% for a long period. Just keep the SOC between about 20 and 80% unless you have a long journey planned.

How many CHAdeMO cars are there? ›

The CHAdeMO Association announced recently that the number of plug-in vehicles that are equipped with the CHAdeMO DC charging inlet has reached one million, globally, as of October 2020.
The future of CHAdeMO.
MakeMitsubishi Nissan
Tagsglobal sales chademo fast charging
5 Dec 2020

Can all EVs use all charging stations? ›

All electric cars can be charged with level 1 and level 2 stations. These types of chargers offer the same charging power as the ones you can install at home.

Is Tesla type 1 or type 2? ›

Tesla Supercharger plugs

Nonetheless, its connectors are based on Type 2 and CCS charging plugs, with older examples of the Model S and X using Type 2, while the Model 3, Y, and newer examples of the Model S and X use the CCS socket.

How many kW is a DC fast charger? ›

Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC)

Summary: DCFCs are the fastest chargers available with a maximum output of 350 kW. DCFCs are designed to fill an EV battery to 80% in 20-40 minutes, and 100% in 60-90 minutes.

How many kW is a fast charger? ›

Fast chargers are typically rated at either 7 kW or 22 kW (single- or three-phase 32A). The vast majority of fast chargers provide AC charging, though some networks are installing 25 kW DC chargers with CCS or CHAdeMO connectors.

Does LEAF still use CHAdeMO? ›

Furthermore, the Nissan team told us that the 2022 LEAFs will still feature the ill-fated CHAdeMO charging plug, which has become a deterrent for consumers as it is much harder to find a compatible charger these days.

What kind of chargers do Nissan LEAFs use? ›

Level 1 charger - 120-V standard outlet

The Nissan LEAF has three main charging options: level 1 charging for standard 120-V outlets for trickle charging, level 2 charging for standard home and public charging, and level 3 for public DC fast charging.

Can I leave my LEAF charging overnight? ›

It is almost always completely safe to leave one's EV plugged in. Electric vehicles have systems in place to prevent the battery from being overcharged. Thus, leaving it plugged in is totally cool.

What is the most common EV charger? ›

The J1772 charge connector is the most common on EVs in the US. The big pins correspond to the blades of a common 120 or 240 volt household power outlet, while the small pins handle communication between the car and the charge source.

What is a Level 3 charger? ›

Level 3 charging is the fastest type of charging available and can recharge an EV at a rate of 3 to 20 miles of range per minute. Unlike Level 1 and Level 2 charging that uses alternating current (AC), Level 3 charging uses direct current (DC).

What is a Type 2 charger? ›

Tip: The “Type 2” socket is the Europe-wide, universal socket for charging electric cars. You can charge any type of car from it, so long as you have the appropriate charging cable for your car - much the same as charging Apple or Android phones from a wall socket.

Is CHAdeMO the same as CCS? ›

Difference Between CHAdeMO and CCS is in standard from different organization. CHAdeMO is from Japan Electric Vehicle Fast Charger Association, and CCS (Combined Charging System) is from European Automobile Association.

Why is CHAdeMO being phased out? ›

This action helps to reinforce the automotive manufacturers' convergence on a single standard, reduces customer confusion, reduces capital and operating costs, and ultimately is expected to lead to increased EV adoption.” Those are all good things if we want to move the EV revolution forward.

Does Tesla use CHAdeMO or CCS? ›

Tesla has long offered a CHAdeMO adapter for Tesla drivers who want to be able to charge at CHAdeMO fast charging stations. But CHAdeMO is all but dead, as almost every EV on the market now uses CCS fast charging.

What vehicles use a CHAdeMO charger? ›

Nissan and Mitsubishi cars use the Japanese standard CHAdeMO, and virtually every other electric vehicle uses the CCS charging standard.

Which EV cars use CHAdeMO? ›

EV models that use CHAdeMO rapid charging include the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. CCS compatible models include the BMW i3, Kia e-Niro, and Jaguar I-Pace.

Can I charge a Nissan Leaf with a CCS charger? ›

Connector type and charging rates

You can charge your Nissan Leaf with a Type 2 connector at home, work or at a public charging point. There is also a CCS connector for rapid charging.

Does Nissan Leaf still use CHAdeMO? ›

CHAdeMO remains a thing in Japan, but the only EV on sale in the US that still uses CHAdeMO is the Nissan Leaf, and that model is reportedly not long for this world. Consequently, CHAdeMO chargers may be harder to find, but every Electrify America location should include at least one CHAdeMO plug.

How long will CHAdeMO be available? ›

Tom Moloughney, writing in InsideEVs, reports that Electrify America's Cycle 3 ZEV National Investment Plan specifies that the company will no longer install CHAdeMO connectors on its charging stations outside of California, beginning in January of 2022 (the beginning of EA's Cycle 3).

Is Nissan Leaf CHAdeMO or CCS? ›

However, not much else has changed compared to previous model year LEAFs, including the decision to stick with the lame duck CHAdeMO charging port. The LEAF sits at Nissan's lone BEV offering for sale, despite its reign as one of the longest-running electric models in the US, debuting back in 2010.

What voltage is CHAdeMO? ›

As of 2022, CHAdeMO remains popular in Japan, but is being equipped on very few new cars sold in North America or Europe. First-generation CHAdeMO connectors deliver up to 62.5 kW by 500 V, 125 A direct current through a proprietary electrical connector, adding about 120 kilometres (75 mi) of range in a half an hour.


1. Sold the CHAdeMO adapter and did the CCS upgrade!
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2. Why CHAdeMO over CCS (at least in the UK)
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3. CCS vs Tesla | EV Fast Charging Infrastructure Explained
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4. Supercharger adapter for other EVs
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5. Charging a Tesla Model Y with CCS!
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