What is a CCS charger?

We explain what a CCS electric-car charger is

The Combined Charging System, more commonly known as CCS, is the European standard plug and socket type used for connecting electric or plug-in hybrid cars to a DC rapid charger.

Almost all new pure-electric cars have a CCS socket. In Europe, it consists of a nine-pin input that’s split into two sections; the upper, seven-pin section is also where you plug in a Type 2 cable for slower charging via a home wallbox or other AC charger.

You don’t need to buy a cable in order to connect your car to a CCS charger. CCS chargers, which are typically found in motorway services, have the cable wired into the station itself. All you need to do is turn up, sort your payment and plug in.

CCS charging is only for DC rapid charging of 50kW or more. The two larger, lower pins on the plug enable the Direct Current connection that forces more electricity into your batteries in less time. 

It’s worth checking which CCS rapid charger you’re likely to be using on your journey, since many charge providers currently require you to sign up via an app or website. Doing so in advance can save a lot of hassle.