This article will explain the different modes of charging an electric vehicle. Modes also have an effect on the speed of charging. See How Fast is Fast when Charging?
Sometimes Mode is interchanged with Level.
This is simply an extension cord that plugs into a standard domestic 10A socket. Max power is limited to 8A / 2kW. Actively discouraged as no safety protection for the socket or user. Only really suitable for E-Bikes.
Slow charging speed.
Mode 2 charging is a smart extension cord that has electronics in line to communicate with the car under charge and associated safety features. This is known as an IC-CPD (In Cord – Control and Protection Device). Better than Mode 1, but still very limited charging capacity for larger batteries. For example a Tesla X with an 100kW battery will take about 3 days to fully charge using a Mode 2 charger!
Slow charging speed, commonly called trickle charge, is limited to 8A or 1.8kW. Really only suitable for emergency top ups. Won’t be practical going forward with EV batteries greater than 30kW.
Refer to Can I use a 10A domestic outlet to charge my EV for more information.
While 12A can be drawn from a commando style plug, but if you are paying to install a commando plug, please consider the faster speed available from a higher power Mode 3 charger.
Juicepoint used to supply the JuiceCord which is a Mode 2 charger.
Mode 3 is single or three phase AC fast charging up to 22kW. These chargers are hard wired into your home or building. However do note that some Mode 3 chargers are limited to less than 22kW.
DC Fast or Rapid Chargers. While these EVSEs can fast charge your vehicle, they are also the most expensive. JuicePoint can also supply DC Rapid Chargers.
Rapid chargers charge at up to 50kW, Ultra Rapid at 175kW – 475kW.