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What is a Type 2 charging cable?

We explain what an electric car's Type 2 charging cable is

A Type 2 charging cable is the European-standard plug-type used by every new electric car. It features a seven-pin connection at both ends, which allows you to easily plug in to every home wallbox, and most public car chargers. This cable allows for slower AC charging (up to 43kW), rather than DC rapid charging, which requires a CCS connection.

The Type 2 cable allows you to top-up at the slower ‘destination’ chargers you typically find in shopping centres, gyms and town car parks. Tesla cars are the exception, as they use a Type 2 connection to rapid charge – albeit at Tesla Superchargers only – this is a network of chargers that are only available to Teslas.

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At any standard, free-to-all Type 2 public charger (which includes every charging point provider other than the Tesla Supercharger network), a Tesla would charge just as slowly as any other electric car. All pure-electric cars come with a Type 2 socket and cable as standard. All plug-in hybrids have a Type 2 socket, but some manufacturers charge extra for a cable.

You can also buy a Type 2 cable from a number of reputable online outlets. They normally cost between £200 and £350, and while most manufacturer-provided cables are around five metres long, eight-metre Type 2 cables are also widely available; these are really useful if you have an awkward distance between your charger and parking space. Other than creating a potential trip hazard, a longer cable doesn’t make any difference to safety or charging speed.

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