There are still different plug types across Europe, each with different properties. Some are suitable for both rapid and standard charging, while others are only suitable for one of the two variants. We provide a brief overview and compare the CSS and type 2 plugs.
Plug types, characteristics and distribution
Type 2 plug and CCS plug what is the difference?
The CCS system (also known as the combo 2 plug) is the most widespread plug system for direct current in North America and in Europe. The CCS plug is a variant of the type 1 and type 2 system, which is extended by two poles and therefore only requires one socket instead of two on the vehicle side.
This means that both direct current and alternating current can be used for charging via this one connection. This essentially makes the CCS plug an all-purpose charger throughout Europe. The combined charging system (CSS) can theoretically achieve a charging power of up to 350 kW. In practice, however, the values are usually lower.
Which plugs will prevail?
There is now a clear tendency of trying to see which types of plug will prevail at European charging stations and electric cars. Well-known manufacturers, such as BMW, Ford and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche, are working intensively on developing and expanding the rapid-charging network in Germany. They are exclusively using CCS plugs for these stations, which means that this plug system is becoming even more established.
As a result of the increased expansion of CCS rapid charging stations by car manufacturers, it is mainly the expansion of the CHAdeMO system that is suffering in Germany. Tesla is also equipping its Model 3 in Europe with the CCS system. For the existing Model S and Model X, the American manufacturer offers CCS adapters. This allows Tesla drivers to charge at other network providers’ charging stations. At least for Europe, it is clear that the CCS plug will prevail when it comes to rapid charging stations.
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