How to buy the correct charging cable for your EV

If you are new to the world of BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles), you can be forgiven for finding it all a bit complicated.

How do you know if you need a Type 2, 3-pin charging cable, or merely a Type 1?

Read on to find out once and for all, which is the correct charging cable for your EV.

Can BEVs use any charging cable?

While it would make it much easier if every cable fit into every EV and charging point – it’s just simply not the case.

To make sure you get the right charging cable for your BEV, you need to ensure you know three things before you can look to buy, including:

  • The type of EV cable
  • The style of EV cable
  • The speed of the EV cable

1.      Types of EV charger

The main tripping point for EV owners is the type of charging cable they need, so we’ll start there.

When discussing the type of charging cable you need, we are actually referring to what is on the end of the cable.

Each car model will use either a Type 1 or Type 2 connection that you plug into your car. On the other end of the cable, it will have another connection that goes into the power source, be that a Type 1 or Type 2 connection, or a 3-pin connection to utilise the domestic electricity supply without an EV charging unit.

You may have a Type 1 – Type 2 EV charger or potentially a Type 2 – 3-pin charging cable.


Type 1 charging cable

Type 1 charging cableshave 5 pins, as seen in the image above, and also commonly include a latch that stops them from being accidentally dislodged from the charger.

This type of charger is much more common in Asia, Japan, and America and is common with manufacturers and models including:

  • Citroen C-Zero
  • Ford Focus Electric
  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
  • Kia Soul EV
  • Nissan Leaf 2012 – 2017
  • Peugeot (uses both types)
  • Toyota Prius
  • Vauxhall
EV Charging Cables

Type 2 charging cable

Type 2 charging cables,on the other hand, have 7 pins, as above, and usually feature a separate locking pin to stop them from coming away from the socket.

This type is most popular in Europe and the UK and is most common with the manufacturers and models below, including:

  • Audi Etron
  • BMW i3
  • Hyundai
  • Jaguar
  • KIA
  • Range Rover
  • Renault
  • Mercedes Benz EQC
  • Mini Countryman
  • Nissan Leaf 2018
  • Porsche
  • Smart
  • Tesla
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo XC T8
Type-2-to-Type-2-Charging-Cable-3 (1)
Type-2-to-Type-2-Charging-Cable-3 (1)

3-pin cables

If you don’t have a specialist EV charging unit, chances are you will be recharging using the domestic 3-pin connection that can fit into plug sockets in your house.

On the other end of the 3-pin charging cable, you will find either a Type 1 or Type 2 charging cable connection, whichever is compatible with your electric car.

If you are unsure about what kind of connections you need, you can:

Consult your vehicle handbook – to find out which connection will fit into your car, check your handbook, you’ll find the answer there.

Check your charging device – if you are charging from your house, you’ll need a 3-pin plug connection, otherwise, check your charging unit details.

2.      Styles of EV cables

The style of your charging cable generally refers to either tethered or untethered cables.

Tethered cables

Tethered cables are permanently connected to the EV charging unit and unless broken, cannot be removed.

Benefits of a tethered cable:

  • You will always know where they are, and they are nearly impossible to lose
  • Much less likely to be stolen
  • Included in the cost of the charging unit

Complications with a tethered cable:

  • You’ll be limited to the cable length your manufacturer produces
  • You can’t use public charging points or domestic energy supplies without purchasing another cable
  • If you change cars, you may need a different cable, which can only be installed by a professional

Untethered, or universal cables

Untethered, or universal cables, are not permanently attached to a specific charging unit unless in use and can be taken with you wherever you go.

Benefits of an untethered cable:

  • Generally cheaper to replace if they become lost, or damaged, or you change vehicles – you don’t have to buy a new charging unit
  • Can use any corresponding charging unit, private or public
  • Able to be stored away so your house will look neater
  • Can be stored in protective charger bags and taken with you wherever you go 

Complications with an untethered cable:

  • Not included in the cost of a charging unit
  • Takes slightly longer to plug in and begin charging

3.      Speeds of EV charging cables

Each charging unit charges at a different rate – the lower the wattage, the slower the charger.

This will then increase the number of hours a full charge will take – meaning a charge could take as little as 15 minutes on an ultra-rapid 350kW charger, or as long as 24 hours if using a domestic three-pin plug.

The charging cable you purchase should correspond with the speed of the charging unit you intend to use or purchase. This allows you to recharge your car at the highest speed.

The most common domestic EV chargers (shown below in blue) are either 3kW, 7kW, or for homes fitted with 3-phase electricity, 22kW.

Rated PowerCharger TypeAverage Time to Full Charge
3kWDomestic 3-pin plug12 hours
3kWSlow home charger12 hours
7kWFast home charger6 – 8 hours
22kWFast public & home charger3 hours
50kWRapid public chargerJust over 40 minutes
350kWUltra-rapid public chargerJust over 20 minutes

Although more often associated with public EV chargers in supermarkets, commercial properties, or motorway service stations, opting for a 3-phase compatible fast EV charging cable from the very beginning could make charging faster and save you time and money in the long run.

This is because you can use your compatible charging cable to access the more powerful public chargers as well as also installing a 3-phase fast charger at home with a specialist EV charging unit – vastly reducing recharging time.

Buy the EV charger you need from EV Cable Shop

So, there you have it!

You now have everything you need to ensure you buy the correct EV recharging cables to keep your green machine road-ready – whether you need a Type 2 charging cable, a type 2 – 3 pin charging cable, or anything in-between.   

Find everything you need and plenty of expert advice from the EV aficionados at EV Cable Shop. Enjoy finance from Klarna, a 5-year warranty on all cables, and our price match promise – ensuring you never pay more than you have to for a high-quality EV charging cable.

If you have any questions, email us or fill in our quick enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.  


  • 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.

Leave a Comment

  • Ev cable price promise
    Price Match Promise
    We Beat/Match UK Retailers On Price
  • Free delivery with all EV cables
    Free Next Day Delivery
    Free Next Working Delivery on all orders
  • 0% interest on all ev cables
    Finance Available
    Split your payments monthly with Klarna
  • Long warranty periods
    Up to 5 Years Warranty
    Upto 5 Years Warranty On EV Cables