Type 2 charging plug proposed as the common standard for Europe

The EU Commission in Brussels opted for a Europe-wide common charging coupler system for electric vehicles. In the proposed directive published on 24 January, the Type 2 charging plug developed by Mennekes was recommended for use across the whole of Europe.
This proposal is part of a draft bill for a far-reaching EU fuel strategy, which must now be processed by the European committees.

The three global standard systems for electric vehicle charging couplers are not mutually compatible. As Type 1 only allows single-phase charging, it is obsolete in terms of the three-phase European networks. Three-phase networks are only supported by Type 2 and Type 3. Throughout Europe, there were proponents of both systems. From the consumers' point of view, a single system is desirable for Europe, at least, as only a unified connection method allows people to recharge battery packs anywhere, ensuring our mobility internationally.


The EU Commission opted for a Europe-wide common
charging coupler system for electric mobility: the Type 2
charging plug, developed by Mennekes was recommended
for use across the whole of Europe in the proposed directive
published on 24 January.

The solution for the whole of Europe: Type 2 charging couplers with or without shutters are fully compatible with each other, and meet the needs of all market participants across Europe.


Varying requirements
The 16 European vehicle manufacturers of the ACEA, as well as energy producers and grid operators, have already favoured the Type 2 charging coupler. The BdEW (German Association of Energy and Water Industries), VDA (German Association of the Automotive Industry), VDE (German Electro-technology Association) and ZVEI (Central Association of the Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industry) compared the three potentialinternational solutions for charging couplers. The result being that Type 2 is the only suitable solution for Europe. That’s why they have recommended this one as the European standard.
To comply with the local installation practice, certain countries requested a shutter as protection against accidental contact in accordance with IP XXD for charging stations in the private sector. France, for example, favoured Type 3 as it provides the extended contact protection common in household sockets in several countries. This is why a common solution for Europe seemed problematic.

The EU Commission has recommended the Type 2 charging plug, developed by Mennekes, as Europe-wide standard connection of electric vehicles to charging stations.

A solution to the dilemma
In order to comply with common practices in countries with the shutter requirement, Mennekes developed an add-on for the Type 2. This resulted in a modular system that is able to meet the requirements of all European countries: Wherever extended contact protection is required to meet IP XXD, the Type 2 socket with shutter is used; in other countries, the shutter is simply omitted.

Type 2 socket without shutter for most European countries
The Type 2 socket complies with requirements for IP XXB contact protection and therefore is fully compliant with IEC 62196-2. It can be individually installed in charging stations.

Type 2 socket with shutter consulting to country-specific requirements
The Type 2 socket with shutter supports practices in countries with mandatory shutter requirements in household sockets. The shutter provides contact protection in accordance with IP XXD. As the same base model is used for the shutter socket as for the standard model, it also provides all benefits of the standard version.

The solution for Europe
Type 2 charging sockets with and without shutter are fully compatible. They therefore satisfy the requirements of all market participants across all of Europe, by providing increased durability and, where required, enhanced contact protection. Consumers are therefore able to charge their vehicle at using only one single charging cable at any charging station.
Mennekes' development with all its features has now also won over the EU Commission and is recommended in the proposed directive on a far-reaching EU fuel strategy.

Type 2 – developed in Germany by Mennekes
The solution designated ‘Type 2’ by the standardisation bodies was developed by Mennekes and submitted to the IEC as a draft standard at the beginning of 2009. Mennekes made a conscious decision not to patent these plugs and sockets to support efforts towards international standardisation. Based on the standard, other manufacturers are also able to develop their own solutions.
The Type 2 charging couplers from Mennekes also provide a whole range of benefits compared with the other two global standard charging couplers.

One plug size for all charging methods and services
All charging capacities and charging methods up to 63 A three-phase charging are covered by a single plug size not bigger than a 16 A CEE plug. The Type 2 charging couplers are suitable for both DC and AC loads. They enable charging both at home with a conventional grounding type receptacle with a Mode 1 or Mode 2 charging cable, and quick charging of up to 43.5 kW AC or 35 kW DC with a Mode 3 charging cable at AC charging stations. Furthermore, the combo system supports charging of up to 70 kW DC.

Multiple safety levels
In order to make charging electric vehicles safe and easy, the charging couplers provide a multi-level, redundant safety concept. This includes:

  • Immobiliser protection: A separate circuit detects whether the charging plug is attached.
    Accidental or non-authorised removal of the attached charging cable is not possible.
  • Mechanical protection: The charging plug is designed so that even driving over the plug
    poses no risk. Before voltage applies, plug and coupler are locked in the charging
    station or vehicle.
  • Electrical protection: A second circuit, redundant in terms of the immobiliser, detects
    whether the charging plug is fully inserted. Only then is voltage applied.
  • Residual current protection: The residual current protection, already known from home
    installations, is used.
  • Overload protection: Electrical resistances in the charging plugs encode the permissible
    range of the plug.
  • Component protection: An intelligent charging control system continually regulates the
    vehicle's current and voltage requirements and the status of the electrical components.

As a result of the extensive electronic safety architecture, Type 2 requires no safetyrelated movable parts that can wear out. Type 2 is also available with a mechanical shutter entirely in order to comply with installation practises in certain countries.
Omitting movable parts improves both the fatigue resistance and maintenance-free operation of the charging plug, thereby providing increased benefits to customers. The Type 2 charging couplers were designed to accommodate various climatic requirements: They provide secure charging in both ice and snow in Northern Europe as well as in heat and dust in southern Europe.
Given the technical and economical advantages of this solution, the EU Commission decided in favour of the charging couplers developed by Mennekes.

Proven in practice
Mennekes’ charging couplers are now used at over 10,000 charging spots. The current products have built on the experience gained in many pilot projects. Together with electric utilities and car manufacturers, Mennekes has developed solutions that make ‘filling up’ electric vehicles simple, easy and secure.

Further information at European Commission Press Release.


Kirchhundem, dated 30th January 2013
Printing free of charge, copy requested.

Joachim See
Aloys-Mennekes-Str. 1
57399 Kirchhundem
Tel. +49 (0) 27 23 / 41-380
Fax +49 (0) 27 23 / 41-380
E-Mail joachim.see(at)MENNEKES.de