Common electric car plug types include SAE J1772, SAE Combo, CHAdeMO and Tesla...all are explained in more detail below.
SAE J1772 – This is the standard plug type for electric vehicles in the United States, developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers. A charger with a SAE J1772 plug can connect directly to most electric vehicles produced after 2000. Although J1772 connectors are not required by federal standards, most electric vehicle manufacturers have adopted this connector. It can be used for AC Level 1 (120VAC) charging or AC Level 2 (240VAC) charging. The connector has several types of shock protection standards included to allow for safe charging even in wet conditions.
SAE Combo – The Society of Automotive Engineers is currently developing a combo coupler version of the standard J1772-2009 connector which has extra pins to allow for fast direct current charging from 200 to 450 volts, 200A and up to 90 kW. The SAE Combo charger would be another competitor to CHAdeMO’s supercharger network, but there are currently only a few SAE Combo supercharging stations. Several upcoming models produced by the likes of Porsche, Mercedes, Audi, Chrysler, Volkswagen and others will have a SAE Combo connector and be able to charge from SAE Combo fast charging stations.
CHAdeMO – These connectors are used for the quick charging stations developed by the CHAdeMO Association which includes several Japanese automakers such as Nissan, Mitsubishi, Fuji, Toyota. They are called Level 3 chargers capable of delivering up to 62.5 kWh of direct current and charging vehicles much faster than Level 1 or Level 2 chargers. At the moment CHAdeMO has installed over 550 quick charging stations in the United States with many more being installed in Japan by TEPCO and in Europe. Many vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi MiEV are compatible with CHAdeMO fast charging stations, but adapters are available for other models that are not directly compatible.
Tesla – The Tesla connector is the standard connector for Tesla vehicles. Tesla sells an adapter that can be used on most electric vehicle charging stations, and Tesla has also installed their own network of superchargers throughout the U.S. and Europe that are compatible with their 85 kWh models and 60 kWh models that have supercharging enabled.
Graphic source: www.chargepoint.com