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The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Your Type 2 Charging Cable

Why You Need to Know About Type 2 Charging Cables

Ah, electric vehicles! You’ve probably heard the stats already: According to McKinsey & Company, the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road is expected to reach over 100 million by 2030. Whether you’re a proud EV owner or someone who’s planning to jump on the electric wagon, the technology around charging these road warriors is, quite frankly, overwhelming. But worry not! This article serves as your ultimate guide to understanding one of the most pivotal components of EV technology: the Type 2 Charging Cable. So, grab a cuppa and get comfy, because we’re about to unravel the intricacies of this game-changing technology.

Type 2 Charging Cable: A Brief Overview

A Type 2 Charging Cable, also referred to as the “Mennekes,” is the European standard for electric vehicle charging cables. These cables facilitate alternating current (AC) charging, enabling a seamless power transfer from the electrical grid to your vehicle’s battery. Usually, these cables can support charging speeds ranging from 3.7 kW to 43 kW, depending on the model and its specifications. Their versatility makes them a fan-favourite, especially in the European EV market.

How Does It Work? The Science Behind Type 2 Charging

Don’t fret, I won’t get all “Einstein” on you. But you gotta understand some basics to truly appreciate this nifty piece of tech. Essentially, Type 2 cables use a seven-pin connector on both ends. The pins are responsible for different types of data and power transfer:

  • L1, L2, and L3: These carry the main electrical load.
  • N: The neutral pin.
  • PE: Ground or Earth.
  • CP: Control Pilot, for digital communication between the car and the charger.
  • PP: Proximity Pilot, which tells the car the maximum current available from the charger.

There, that wasn’t too bad, was it?

Advantages: What Makes Type 2 Cables So Great?


One of the best things about Type 2 cables is their versatility. Unlike their Type 1 counterparts (sorry, America), Type 2 cables can handle both single-phase and three-phase charging. That means you can use the same cable for a wide array of charging stations, ranging from your basic home setup to more powerful commercial stations.


Did you know that Type 2 cables have built-in safety features like overcurrent protection and overheating detection? Yeah, it’s like having a guardian angel for your EV. A 2019 study from the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) even showed that Type 2 connectors are among the safest options available for EV charging.


The Type 2 standard has been adopted by most major car manufacturers, including but not limited to BMW, Tesla (in Europe), and Volkswagen. So, no more lugging around multiple cables like it’s some sort of twisted treasure hunt.

Common Myths Debunked

It’s Only for Europeans

Wrong! Although it originated in Europe, the Type 2 cable is quickly gaining ground worldwide. Even Tesla has adopted this format for its European vehicles.

It’s Too Expensive

Nah, not really. Prices range from £100 to £300 depending on the length and features. Plus, given its longevity and durability, it’s a worthy investment for any EV owner.

Faster Charging Equals Better

Slow down, speedster! Higher charging speeds can be taxing on your battery in the long run. Type 2 cables offer a balanced charging speed, ensuring a longer lifespan for your battery.

Your Roadmap to a Cleaner Future

By now, you should be well-equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions about your EV charging needs. The Type 2 Charging Cable isn’t just a tool; it’s your gateway to a cleaner, greener future. It offers a blend of safety, versatility, and compatibility that’s hard to beat.

So the next time someone tries to bamboozle you with technical jargon about EVs and charging cables, just throw them a knowing smile. You’ve got this.