Motorists looking to switch to electric cars are confused by a number of things, including which is the best electric car charging cable and what is the difference between different EV charging cables – combined with general uncertainty about public charging infrastructure.
Although electric cars are increasingly seen as an improvement over petrol and diesel cars for a range of reasons, users now have charging cables and home charge points to get their heads around.
Things that customers should look out for include:
The Plug-In Cable Experience
The need for charging speed is paramount if battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are to become mainstream modes of transport, which is why care must be taken when making a cable selection.
What can cause confusion is the technology behind the various charging cables on the market, thanks to the different connector types and some strange acronyms etc. For example, the electric cars we buy today have either a Type 1 or Type 2 connector and CHAdeMO or CCS fittings for DC rapid charging.
Type 1 is usually a basic cable of the three-pin plug variety that comes supplied with the vehicle. This will serve for slow home charging or in an emergency, but the limitations are becoming increasingly obvious. To replace this, BEV users will choose to buy a replacement cable, matching the car’s connector, enabling top-ups at public charging points, the majority of which have a Type 2 socket. All DC rapid charging stations have a cable attached. The knowledge base surrounding cables is broad these days and there is ample information about choosing the right lead for the job. That said, another crucial issue is one of quality and safety.
Consideration should be given to the cable length. Will it reach home charging equipment and still be fit for purpose at public points and at places of employment? Shorter cables may be easier to store, but a five-metre cable should cover all eventualities. Further, some potential buyers have expressed concern about charging in wet weather; well, equipment of this type must be waterproof and charging cables have an IP Rating for the purpose. The most common IP rating for EV cables can be seen with their meaning below:
|Rating||Relates to the first number – SOLIDS||Relates to the second number – LIQUIDS|
|IP44||Protected from solids greater than 1mm||Protected from water spray|
|Protected from limited dust ingress||Protected from water spray|
|Protected from limited dust ingress||Protected from high pressure water jets|
|Protected from total dust ingress||Protected from low pressure water jets|
Regulations require that any form of outdoor electrical equipment should be constructed to certain specific standards and in Europe these standards are high. Cable buyers will want to see that the product meets EN 50620, which is the current standard. The inner wiring should be protected by a strong rubber exterior capable of resisting any fluid ingress or abrasive handling, to the point of having a car wheel rolling over it, for example.
As is normal for any product, buyers will want to see that any EV equipment is covered by a substantial warranty and, if in doubt, check out product reviews on dedicated forums and impartial websites. All that being said, the EV accessory market seems to be sound and reports of problems are few. Buy from a trusted retailer and all will be well.
Other good reasons for buying the best charging cable include selecting equipment that offers the latest technology, including the ability to lock a cable in place, because, inevitably, cables can be attractive to thieves. It is now also possible to monitor the process via hand-held or smart devices like tablets and phones. The latest products allow for remote control and apps are available to schedule charging times to suit the user.
So, the key to happy electric motoring is to choose the right equipment from the outset. Different BEV variants have different power level thresholds and electric current types that they can accommodate, and this capacity is determined by battery size. Further, charging speeds are getting faster and some models can now be topped up to around eighty percent in under half an hour at rapid chargers. That is why it is important to buy the best quality charging cable that can charge to a vehicle’s maximum efficiency and also keep pace with developments: future-proofing, if you like. Buy the right cable from the outset and get motoring with confidence.
From the EV Cable Shop