EV charging cables serve as an extension of the electric vehicle’s on-board charger and allow an owner to charge their car from any outlet with a standard 240-volt power source, such as at home or work, and even away from home by using public charging stations. Charging cables vary in length and connectors: some types only connect to standard 240 volt outlets while others can also be used for DC fast chargers. The first step is figuring out what type you need for your electric vehicle then choosing one that fits your needs without breaking the bank. It may be wise to have both cable connections available so that you’re prepared regardless of where you need to charge.
The SAE J1772 connector is the standard for Level 2 (240-volt) charging equipment. Many manufacturers offer adapters that allow you to use this connector with 240-volt, three-pronged outlets found at most homes and workplaces or specialized 240-volt outlets. If you’re not sure what your vehicle is equipped with, reference the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer.
CCS (Combined Charging System) connectors on Level 3 chargers are used to charge electric vehicles at speeds over 100 kilowatts at DC fast charging stations. These can be identified by a large red and black X connector symbol.
If your vehicle can use both J1772 and CCS connectors, it’s best to have one of each charging cable available in case you need to charge at a station that uses one or the other connection. The ability to charge at these high speeds is considered an advantage when considering which electric vehicle is right for you. Note: Just because a car has a charging cable that fits a standard outlet, it doesn’t mean the car will charge at that speed. If you’re buying an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid, check with the manufacturer if you want to make sure it’s also compatible and fast charging.