The Type 2 plug (also known as ‘Mennekes’) is the most common variety of socket. A separate cable is usually attached to the charge point at one end and to the top portion of the CCS (Combined Charging System) socket on the taxi.
Type 2 connectors provide ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ charging using mains power (AC). At home, a wall box can provide power up to 7kW. On-street this increases to between 7kW and 22kW, depending on the individual charge point. Thanks to its sophisticated on-board charging system, the new TX is capable of charging at the maximum power provided by these posts. The charge point and taxi communicate with each other using a system known as ‘Mode 3’, to optimise the charging cycle.
To recharge in the shortest time possible, on-street rapid chargers provide direct current (DC) at a rate of 50kW. For these chargers, the cables are tethered to the charge point – just like at a traditional petrol station. The European standard connector for rapid-charging is the CCS (Combined Charging System) plug, which uses the same socket as the Type 2 fast charger (shown above) as well as the two lower pins.
The other on-street charge socket available is known as CHAdeMO. This Japanese tethered connector provides up to 50kW DC rapid-charging, just like the CCS, via a dedicated socket. While this connector type is becoming less common for new infrastructure installations, there remains a wide network of existing charging points that use this format, in fact as of August 2017 50% of all rapid-charge points currently utilise a CHAdeMO connector (source: Zap-Map).