How to
Charge an electric vehicle


Charging modes

There are four ways to charge your electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, which are referred to as “modes” by charge point and vehicle manufacturers. Different manufacturers also fit different types of charging connectors on their vehicles, which your charging lead will plug into.

Mode 1

Mode 1 is not an officially recognised or safe way to charge your vehicle and does not use any standard charging units or leads supplied by vehicle or charge point manufacturers. Mode 1 is where someone charges an electric vehicle’s battery using their own charging leads, which are connected to their home’s power supply. This practice is not recommended in the UK as it is not safe and may invalidate the warranty on your vehicle. 

Mode 2

A 13 amp charging lead which delivers only the slowest speed of charge. It can be plugged into a standard household 13 amp socket (e.g. in your garage), or into a specially fitted exterior 13 amp socket in a location that is more convenient for charging your vehicle. Please note that these sockets are not eligible for OLEV grant funding.

The vehicle inlet end of the lead must have the correct type of connector that fits your chosen electric vehicle.  A Mode 2 charging lead will generally be provided with your vehicle, but if not, you can find out which connector you need and select your EVCP, using the Energeasy drive product selector, then you can purchase a charging lead.

Mode 3

The most common method of charging an electrical vehicle is via a dedicated charge point installed at home or in a work place or public location (e.g. car park). This is the preferred and safest solution for charging.

In a domestic installation these can be supplied with a fixed (tethered) lead or a standard 7 pin electric vehicle charging socket which can be used by all electric vehicles.
This means that if any friends/family come to visit who also have an electric vehicle, they will be able to charge up.
You will need to buy this lead, but it will be the same lead that your will require to charge your vehicle when you are out and about. 

Publicly available charge points and those installed at your place of work can also come with a tethered lead, the standard, 7 pin socket, or both.

Remember, the vehicle inlet end of any charging  lead you buy must have the correct type of connector that fits your chosen electric vehicle.
You can find out which connector you need, purchase a charging lead, and also select your EVCP, using the Energeasy drive product selector.

Mode 4

A more powerful charging charge point, powered by DC current, which charges at the fastest rapid speed of charge possible via a tethered lead. Only vehicles with a Mode 4 vehicle inlet connector type can use this type of charge point.

Mode 4 DC Rapid chargers were historically 50 kW however there are now DC Rapid chargers avaialble from 22 kW right up to 400 kW and even to 600 kW to provide a short high-power boost with flash charging 15-20 seconds.

Charging connector types

Manufacturers of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles vary the types of vehicle inlets that their vehicles have, which you plug your charging lead into in order to charge the battery. Currently your electric vehicle will come with either a Type 1 or a Type 2 inlet (see below). Some manufacturers offer you the option to add an additional second inlet (called a CHAdeMO), which will allow that vehicle to be plugged into a more powerful rapid speed charge point and charged at a rapid speed.

More electric vehicles are now coming onto the market with a new type of combined socket called a CCS Combo, which allows you vehicle to use both slow, fast and the more powerful rapid charge points.

Always check with your vehicle manufacturer to confirm what type of vehicle inlet it has and the maximum speed of charge it can accept.

Type 1 - J1772 (also known as Yazaki connector)

A 5 pin AC connector generally found on American and Asian vehicles.

Maximum 230V AC, 32 amp, single phase (7.4kW)

Used in vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Nissan Leaf, and Vauxhall Ampera.

Vehicles with this type of connection can accept a charging speed of up to ‘fast’, but not a ‘very fast’ or a ‘rapid’ charge. Some manufacturers will offer you the option to add an additional second inlet (called a CHAdeMO), which will allow the vehicle to be plugged into a more powerful rapid speed charge point and charged at a rapid speed.

Type 2 – IEC62196 (also known as Mennekes connector)

A 7 pin AC connector generally found on European vehicles.

Maximum 400V AC, 63 amp, 3 phase (43kW)

Used in vehicles such as the Audi A3 e-tron, BMW i3 and Volvo V60 PHEV.

Vehicles with this type of connection can also accept a charging speed of up to ‘very fast’,

Some manufacturers offer you the option to add an additional second inlet which will allow the Type 2 socket to also accept a rapid speed charge. This is called a CCS Combo – see below. ,

CCS Combo

More electric vehicles are now coming onto the market with a new type of combined socket called a CCS Combo, which allows you vehicle to use both slow/fast and more powerful rapid charge points. It simply adds two high-powered DC connectors underneath a standard Type 2 AC charge connector reviewed above.

So, vehicles with this type of connection can accept a charging speed all the way up to the maximum ‘rapid’ charge.

Rapid charging CHAdeMO

A 2 pin DC connector generally available for Asian vehicles.

Maximum 230V DC, 63 amp, three phase (62.5 kW)

CHAdeMO is the trade name of a quick charging method for electric vehicles, delivering up to 62.5 kW of high-voltage direct current via a special electrical connector. CHAdeMO was the first DC rapid charging connector and are generally used by vehicle manufacturers from Asia, especially Japan.

Some manufacturers offer you the option to add this as an additional second inlet, which will allow your vehicle to be plugged into a more powerful rapid speed charge points and charged at a rapid speed. This may be a good option, if your vehicle is not able to be fitted with a CCS Combo vehicle inlet – see above.

Charging leads

You will need a charging lead to charge your vehicle when you are on the go. The lead will plug into your vehicle inlet and the charge point you are using, which in the UK is a 7 pin Type 2 socket. Not all vehicles come supplied with this lead, so you may need to purchase one separately. 

Knowing which connector type your vehicle has is important, to ensure you purchase the right type of charging lead . Also, you need to ensure that you buy the correct type of charging point for your home, as domestic charge points can come with a tethered lead attached which cannot be removed.

Find out which connector you need and select your EVCP, using the Energeasy drive product selector.

Your Energeasy Drive installer will also be able to advise you.