The issue with chargers and cables.


Okay so its a little messy but I’ll try to make sense of it as best I can. The leaf has two charging ports, one low power and one high power. The high power port is called CHadEMO and is a very impressive large plug with a locking lever. It contains data cables and two giant contacts for direct current. This is quite straightforward, plug it into a professional rapid charger and press go and get charged in 30 minutes, albeit you are not supposed to use these all the time as it shortens your battery life.

The other socket is low(er) power uses alternating current and the Japanese and French i.e. NissanRenault decided to use a plug/socket on the leaf called a Type 1 (or J1772). However everyone else, more or less has gone for a newer design called a Type 2 or Mennekes socket.

So supplied with my car is a cable with a type 1 on one end and a domestic 3-pin plug on the other end. You can charge from a regular plug, it takes 8-10 hours if you’re empty. But often you’re not so it’s faster – it is also meant to be the least harmful to the battery.

Some public chargers have rapid CHadEMO plugs, some have type 2 and some both. The issue is when confronted by a type 2 charger which has the cable and plug attached, like a regular petrol pump has the cable and nozzle attached you cannot plug in to the Leaf as there is no type 2 socket. You cannot use an adapter as the specifications for this technology include resistors in the cables so the computers at either end know you’re linking more than one cable together which is, in theory dangerous. If the charger has a type 2 socket, you can connect it via a type 2 to type 1 cable priced from approximately £165 upwards.

Which leads me to think there are two possible solutions. 1) make an adapter which has a type 2 one-end and a type one plug the other end without resistors so the charging equipment cannot tell it is in the circuit. Or replace the type 1 socket on the car with a type 2 socket. This cannot be that difficult since its only five wires for type 1, and seven for type 2. However no-one on the forum seems to have done either of these things yet, or if they have they’re keeping quiet about it.

However it would be good if the maximum compatibility were available for the lowest price. The charging cables are well made and not commonly available but they are very expensive.

More later depending on what happens, I am more inclined to make an adapter as it is not going to bugger up my car like changing the socket might do.


One thought on “The issue with chargers and cables.

  1. I have a similar problem to the one you describe here. I had a type 2 plug charger fitted to my garage when I intended to buy an i3, but then changed my mind and ordered a leaf. So I had to build an adaptor so that I could charge. It is completed and tested via a car simulator, but my car has yet to arrive so I haven’t tried it for real yet.


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