Are all Type 2 charging cables the same?

Are you the proud owner of a brand-new green machine?

Switching to an EV is increasingly popular in the UK, with an estimated 660,000 electric cars on the road in the UK and 445,000 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), according to retail giants heycar.

But the increasing popularity of BEVs and PHEVs may be undone by continuing confusion about charging cables.

So, while you await delivery of your electric car, what do you need to know about Type 2 charging cables?

Is a Type 2 cable the same as a Type 1?

Unfortunately, recharging cables come in three main varieties – Type 1, Type 2, and 3-Pin – none of which are the same.

Type 1 charging cables

Type 1 charging cables are more popular with older BEVs, like the Nissan Leaf (2012-2017) and in countries such as Asia, Japan, and America.

You can tell if you have a Type 1 cable by counting the plastic pins in the connector – it should have five to be a Type 1.

Another way to tell is to look for a latch at the top of the connector, which fixes the cable more securely and stops it from coming loose during charging.

Type 1 charging cables can have either a Type 2 or 3-pin connection at the other end, allowing users to recharge using recharging units or the domestic energy supply.

Type 2 charging cables

The most common cables in use in the UK are Type 2 charging unit-specific cables and 3-Pin charging cables that connect you to the domestic energy supply.

Type 2 charging cables designed to be used with dedicated charging units will have two Type 2 connections, one on either end, while cables designed to connect to the domestic energy supply will feature a three-pronged UK plug on one end and a Type 2 connection on the other end.

Type 2 charging cables have seven plastic pins within the connector – which matches with a seven-holed plug that it connects into to charge the vehicle.

  • If you use a single-phase energy supply, with a domestic home charger, for example, five of these seven pins will contain metallic pins, leaving the bottom two empty.
  • If you use a three-phase energy supply, with a superfast charger, for example, all seven of these seven pins will contain metallic pins.  

Type 2 charging cables are popular with most of the key manufacturers including, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, KIA, Range Rover, Renault, Mercedes, Mini, Nissan, Smart, Tesla, Toyota, and Volkswagen, but we recommend you always check before purchasing.

Will a recharging cable come with my car?

Sadly, whether your BEV comes with a charging cable of any kind will depend on the manufacturer and retailer.

It is pretty safe to assume, however, that if they come with one, it will be a 5-metre, Type 2 charging cable – as they are much newer and more popular.

Some EVs will come with a Type 2 to 3-Pin charging cable, some will include a Type 2 to Type 2 charging cable, and others will come with nothing – it’s best to ask specifically when ordering so at least you know.

If your BEV does come with a recharging cable, it might still be prudent to purchase another, longer cable – as the universal standard of 5 metres can be a touch too short unless you are lucky enough to have a charging unit on your driveway.

Will it be a tethered or untethered cable?

It is also pretty safe to assume that any included Type 2 charging cables will be untethered, that is, designed to be used as and when and then put away.

Tethered charging cables are permanently attached to a domestic charging unit – so they can’t be used in any other charging situations.

Find Type 2 charging cables from EV Cable Shop

With a wide range of Type 2 charging cables to consider, hopefully, this guide has gone some way to clear up the matter for you.

If you are shopping for Type 2 charging cables, EV Cable Shop guarantee to beat or match any UK retailer on price and offers free next-day delivery on all orders.


If you have any questions, give us a call to speak to a person or email us and we’ll be in touch to make purchasing your Type 2 charging cables a little easier!   


  • Gavin Johnson

    Gavin Johnson is a dynamic entrepreneur and the visionary force behind EV Cable Shop. With a passion for environmental sustainability and automobiles, Gavin has created a brand in the market by providing high-quality, eco-friendly charging solutions for the growing electric vehicle (EV) landscape. His commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction has propelled EV Cable Shop to the forefront of the EV charging industry.

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