The definition of an electric vehicle is generally accepted as a vehicle with an electric motor as part of the power unit, and this includes pure electric, hybrids, high performance sports cars and of course formula one’s energy recovery system (ERS). One of the challenges facing the electric vehicle market concerns the charging infrastructure. Range anxiety is still a big factor in the slow take-up of electric vehicles, and so having convenient and universal access to charging stations is a key requirement. At Phoenix Contact we offer an extensive portfolio of charging sockets, cables, controllers and peripheral devices, to aid the implementation of such a charging infrastructure.

To help understand the basics of electric vehicle charging here is a brief guide. Types of standardised charging connectors:


Type 1:

  • Standardised in the USA & Japan.
  • AC and DC charging supported.
  • Combined AC/DC charging supported.

Type 2:

  • Standardised in Europe
  • AC and DC charging supported.
  • Combined AC/DC charging supported.


  • Standardised in China.
  • AC and DC charging supported.


Modes of charging according to the standard:

 Mode 1:

  • Charging via a standard AC socket outlet.
  • Limited to 16A.
  • Typically used for domestic charging.

Mode 2:

  • Charging via a standard AC socket outlet with in-cable charge controller & RCD.
  • Typically used for domestic charging.

Mode 3:

  • Charging via a dedicated AC electric vehicle charging socket outlet or tethered charging cable.
  • Typically used for domestic or public/private charging using a wall box or charging post.

Mode 4:

  • Charging via a dedicated DC electric vehicle tethered charging cable.
  • Typically used for public fast charging using a dedicated charging unit.

Mode 3 and 4 charging requires complex control systems to manage the communication between vehicle and charging station to ensure safe and efficient charging. Charge controllers from Phoenix Contact provide the key functions without the need for additional control devices.

Electric vehicles are here to stay.


Duncan Nicol

Market Segment Manager

Device Connections at Phoenix Contact UK

One thought on “A guide to Electric Vehicle Charging

  1. Some years ago I was involved on Electric car design for a delivery propouses. At that time, at least in Mexico, almost nobody knows about the subjet so we had to invent some gadgets in all senses: to charge it, to do electrical and mechanical maintenance and for control the operation. I think that the most important issue is the infrastructure to charge it, because we need special features as wire gauge at the income from the electric line, special conditions inside the depot as ventilation and special trainning for the employees for handling the batteries. In several cases the depot does not have the conditions and is the first step to fail. I think that the electric car is the best solution for air polution in Mexico but first we need to teach the way to manage it and show the real aplications because is easy to fail trying to implement them if we do not know the basics.

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