Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular. Not only are they better for the environment, but they can also save you money in the long run. As the demand for electric vehicles rises, so does the need for quick and convenient charging solutions such as home charging points.
A critical component of an EV charge point is the charging cable. A charging cable connects the electric vehicle to the charging points. The length and connector type can be an essential consideration for EV owners as it determines the flexibility and convenience of charging options. There is a range of EV cables available on the market, so let’s look at one that is best for you.
Tethered and untethered chargers
Before diving into charging cable lengths and key considerations when deciding your charger cable length, you must understand the difference between tethered and untethered chargers.
A tethered charger also referred to as a fixed socket, is a charging device with a cable permanently attached to the charger. This means that it is either quite difficult or impossible to replace the cable. However, tethered chargers are very convenient and easy to use.
A universal charger, also known as a universal socket, features a socket that allows for the attachment and detachment of a charging cable. Additionally, these chargers are often equipped with a convenient locking mechanism that enables secure locking and unlocking of the cable to the charger.
Key considerations when deciding your cable length
When determining the appropriate cable length for an EV charging system, several factors should be considered. When choosing your EV charging cable length, you should consider the following:
- The location you plan to install the charging point
- The orientation that you park your car relative to the wall or post you’re considering fixing the charge point to.
- The potential obstacles that may affect cable reach between the charger and the car
It is essential to ensure that the length of a charging cable allows for convenient and safe charging without any strain or risk of damaging the EV charging cable. You should also ensure that your EV charge point and cable are located in a safe area to avoid any safety hazard of people tripping on the charging cable.
What is the standard length of charging cables?
EV cables are available in various lengths to accommodate different charging scenarios.
The length of a charging cable typically ranges from around 4 to 8 meters (13 to 26 feet). Providing suitable cable length options to charge your EV at home and public charging points.
Cable considerations when charging at home
When charging at home, a shorter cable length is usually sufficient.
A shorter cable length allows EV owners to connect their vehicles to a home charge point typically mounted on a wall. A shorter cable length also reduces the risk of the cable becoming tangled and makes cable storage more convenient when the charger is not in use.
If your vehicle is parked further from the designated charger spot, some chargers offer long cables as an upgrade option.
Cable considerations when charging in public
In public charging scenarios, longer charging cables are often required. Since public charging stations allow multiple vehicles to charge at once, a longer charging cable may be needed to reach various parking spots. Fast and rapid chargers are commonly found at public charging points.
A longer cable length provides the necessary flexibility for EV owners to park their vehicles and easily connect electric cars to public charging stations.
Cables are sometimes provided at public charge points. However, some public chargers will expect you to bring and plug in your charging cable.
Extension cables and adapters
If you already have purchased an EV tethered charger, extension cables and adapters are available on the market. Extension cables and adaptors can bridge the gap between the charge point and the vehicle. Adaptors can be used to change a socket from type 1 to type 2 or type 2 to type 1.
However, it is crucial to exercise caution when using extension cords or adaptors, as they can increase the risk of overheating and voltage dropping. This can affect the charging speed of your charging station and can be a safety hazard. It is recommended to consult the EV charge point manufacturer or a certified EV charge point installer to ensure the safe and proper use of your extension cords and cables.
If you have an untethered charger, you can simply purchase and plugin a new EV cable.
Frequently asked questions about charging cables
1. What is the difference between a Type 1 and Type 2 charging connector?
Type 1 and Type 2 connectors are different plugs on the end of the charger cable attached to an electric car. For most electric vehicles produced in the UK from 2018 onwards, the type 2 EV charging plug is the most commonly used.
It is always worth checking what plug your electric car requires before purchasing a home charge point.
2. Can I lock my cable to my EV charger?
Some untethered charging points will allow you to lock a charging cable to a charging point when home charging.
3. How do I find the right cable for me?
Finding the right EV charging cable does not have to be complicated. The right EV charging cable depends primarily on the distance between your car charger and where you park your car. Of course, there are other factors to consider, such as connector type and safety considerations.
4. What charging speed is right for me?
There are three types of chargers – slow, fast and rapid charging. An ideal home charger is a fast charger with a power output of 7kW charger. Any higher power output chargers need a three-phase power supply, which is not commonly found in homes. Upgrading to a three-phase power supply can be costly.
5. Where can I purchase a separate charging cable?
Simply have a quick search online, and you will be able to find the website that sells new charging cables.
The length of an EV charging cable is an important factor to consider when purchasing a home charger. When making a decision, you should consider the location and distance between the car and the charger. When purchasing an EV charging station and cable, you should also ensure you pick the correct plug for your electric vehicle.