What does the plug used both by the Mini D project by Vattenfall al and BMW and the "e-mobility" project by RWE and Smart look like? Just like the one pictured above, which is a creation of a company called Mennekes. Getting all the interested parties to agree on a standard plug isn't an easy thing, so some initiatives had been taken to make the Mennekes plug the standard model, at least in Europe.

The plug works both for single phase 230-Volt connections, the vast majority of European outlets, as well as three-phasing up to 63 amps and 400 Volts, which results in a much shorter recharging time. It includes not only a connector, but also communication interfaces. A "plug present" contact, for example, turns on the immobilizer and a "Pilot Control" contact facilitates the exchange of data between the vehicle and charging station. In the U.S., the J1772 connector will likely be the new standard for plug-in vehicles.

[Source: Auto News]