Do all electric cars use the same charging cable? If so, who decided that design? If not, Why?


Do all electric cars use the same charging cable? If so, who decided that design? If not, Why?

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No, they don’t.

When EV (Electric Vehicles) we’re starting to become a thing, there was an effort to try to make one standard plug. Buuuuttttt capitalism being capitalism each company made their own standard and tried to get everyone else to use that, because then they could make more money.

Nowadays due to this lack of uniformity most electric cars either come with or you can buy adapters to let you plug them in to any of the kinds.

But truly just picking one design and forcing that to be a standard would have to be done by the government

There are multiple competing standards around the world but it is getting better. Generally you can split the technologies into two categories, those that support fast charging and those that do not.

One standard that appears to be “winning” over the others is the CCS2 plug which can be used with normal charging and fast charging, it even comes as the generic delivered plug in Tesla cars in Australia for the last two years. Pretty much all new EVs outside of America have this plug.

We’ve come a long way and new standards are created when the older ones cannot be retrofitted with new features. These can include but are not limited to being able to lock the charger cable into the car whilst charging, accepting AC and DC charge, waterproofing and weather proofing, data provisions through the cable and reverse charging.

In January 2013 the European Commission decided that the standard charging cable for all electric cars in Europe should be the IEC 62196 Type 2 connector. And this made it the practical standard for all charging cables in the world. However in North America the Type 1 connector is still popular but is less capable as it only have two wires where the Type 2 connector have four which is why they are smaller. The Type 2 connector also have an optional DC extension for fast charging. So a Type 2 DC cable does not fit a non-DC fast charging Type 2 car. It should also be noted that the standard only involves the plug and some basic control signals. And as you might have experienced with USB-C connectors just because you can plug two devices together does not necisarily mean that they can work together in the way you want. And this is causing some confusion and frustration for some car owners.