There are many reasons to consider switching to one powered by electricity from a gasoline-powered car. Electric vehicles are quieter, have lower operating costs and produce far less total emissions well to the wheel. Not all electric cars and plug-ins are created equal, however. The EV charging connector or standard type of plug particularly varies across geographies and models.

Norms on North American EV Plug
Every manufacturer of electric vehicles in North America (except Tesla) uses the SAE J1772 connector, also known as the J-plug, for level 1 charging (120 volt) and level 2 charging (240 volt). Tesla provides every car they sell with a Tesla charger adapter cable that enables their cars to use charging stations that have a J1772 connector. This means that any electric vehicle sold in North America will be able to use any charging station with the standard J1772 connector.

This is important to know, because the J1772 connector is used by every non-Tesla level 1 or level 2 charging station sold in North America. All our JuiceBox products for example use the standard J1772 connector. On any JuiceBox charging station, however, Tesla vehicles can charge by using the adapter cable that Tesla includes with the car. Tesla makes its own charging stations which use a proprietary Tesla connector, and other brands' EVs cannot use them unless they buy an adapter.

This may sound a bit confusing, but one way to look at it is that any electric vehicle you buy today can use a charging station with a J1772 connector, and every level 1 or level 2 charging station available today uses the J1772 connector, except for those made by Tesla.

Standards DC Fast Charge EV Plug in North America

For DC fast charging, which is high-speed EV charging that is only available in public areas, it's a little more complicated, most often along major freeways where long distance travel is common. DC fast chargers are not available for home charging, as there are usually no electricity requirements in residential buildings. It is also not recommended to use DC fast charging stations more than once or twice a week, because if done too often, the high recharging rate can adversely affect the battery life of an electric car.

DC fast chargers use 480 volts and can charge an electric vehicle faster than your standard charging unit, in as little as 20 minutes, thus allowing for convenient long-distance EV travel without worrying about running out of juice. Unfortunately, DC Fast Chargers use three different types of connectors instead of just two different connectors, as used in level 1 and level 2 charging (J1772 and Tesla).

CCS (Combined Charging System): The J1772 charging inlet is used by the CCS connector, and two pins are added below. The J1772 connector is "combined" with the high-speed charging pins, which is how it has got its name. CCS is the accepted standard in North America, and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) developed and endorsed it. Just about every automaker today has agreed to use the CCS standard in North America, including: General Motors (all divisions), Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Honda, Kia, Fiat, Hyundai, Volvo, smart, MINI, Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley, Rolls Royce and others.