The name Mennekes may not ring any bells with you now but you have certainly seen it sometimes in garages and pavements. With the looks of a Pixar futuristic movie, it really is an out of the ordinary plug but it is the standard plug commonly used in Europe in electric-vehicle charging processes. You still don’t have a Mennekes in your garage?
If you didn’t know what a Mennekes is it is because you are not fully plugged into the world of electric vehicles. This is one of several types of connectors currently existing in the market for charging these vehicles, with the exception that the plug Mennekes or Type 2 connector was selected in 2014 as the official charging plug within the European Union. For that reason, it has since become the most common charging plug in Europe, and it is used by many automobile manufacturers.
Its peculiar name, which has been generally adopted for this type of plug, refers to the first company to bring this plug to the market. The Mennekes connector allows up to 16A single-phase charges (3.5 kW -slow charging) and up to 63A three-phase charges (44 kW -fast charging).
With a 55 millimeter-diameter, it has two more pins than Type 1 connectors, which correspond to the two additional phases necessary for three-phase charging.
The Mennekes connector (IEC 62196-2), also known as ‘Chamaleon’, is based on the IEC 62196 standard and it can be male or female. Obviously, apart from being the connector used in hoses and lines for electric vehicles, this standard also applies for charging sockets.
Leaving aside today’s top item, there are other types of connectors for electric vehicle charging which are Schuko, Type 1 (SAE J1772), Type 3, CHAdeMO and Combo 2 Connector (IEC-62196-3)
We don’t know if the Mennekes connector will be given the leading role in the next Pixar animation movie; what is clear is that it will certainly be a protagonist in our lives, as we will see it more and more in our city streets.