How to chose the right cable for your EV ?

How to Choose the Right Charging Cable?

The advent of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) represents a revolution in how we use cars. To get the most out of these technologies, it is crucial to choose the right charging cable. This choice might seem complex at first, but by understanding a few key principles, you'll be able to select the most suitable cable for your needs, ensuring an efficient and safe recharge of your vehicle.

Understanding the Different Types of Charging

The first step in choosing a charging cable is to understand the different types of charging:

  • Mode 1 corresponds to charging from a standard household outlet without power control or dedicated protection. The cable used is often provided with the car, limited to low power generally 1.6kW or 2.2kW.

  • Mode 2 corresponds to charging from a reinforced, dedicated, and specially protected outlet. The cable used is a portable charging station, which contains the necessary protections to allow a higher power (up to 3.7kW).

  • Mode 3 allows for much faster charging and is possible at a home charging station or public charging station. The power ranges from 3.7kW to 22kW.

  • Finally, Mode 4 corresponds to rapid and very rapid charging at public stations. In this case, the cable is always attached to the station and adapted for high power.

In this article, we are specifically interested in Mode 3 charging cables.

Identifying Your Vehicle's Needs

Each vehicle has specific charging needs. It is essential to know the type of connector compatible with your vehicle (Type 1 or Type 2, for example) as well as the capacity of its battery to determine the necessary charging time. In Europe and for several years now, only Type 2 is used on new vehicles. However, be sure to check in case of used or imported cars from other countries.

Selecting the Right Cable Length

The length of the charging cable is an important factor to consider. A cable that is too short could limit your parking options, while a cable that is too long could be cumbersome and difficult to manage. The cable does not plug in the same location on all cars, and you never know if it will be possible to park optimally. To be sure of being able to connect in all situations, we recommend taking a cable longer than the car, 7 meters will be suitable in most cases.

Considering the Necessary Charging Power

The charging power, measured in kilowatts (kW), determines the speed at which your vehicle can be recharged. It's important to choose a cable compatible with the maximum power your vehicle can handle. This information is indicated in the vehicle's description when purchasing. Choose a cable with the same maximum power as your car: 7.4kW, 11kW, or 22kW to charge as quickly as possible. The effective charging power will be that of the most limiting element between the car, the cable, and the station.

Safety First: Choose a Certified Cable

Opting for a charging cable certified by European safety standards is paramount to avoid any electrical risk. Certifications guarantee that the cable has been tested and approved for safe use.

The Impact of Weather on Your Choice

Your charging cable will often be exposed to the elements. Choosing a cable resistant to weather and temperature variations is crucial to ensure its longevity and reliability. The IP and IK ratings will help you differentiate cables based on their resistance to moisture, dust, and impacts.

The Little Extras

Some cables offer additional features, such as the presence of a button to stop charging and open the charge port of Teslas.

Some cables are easier to handle than others, with a coil or memory shape for quick storage.

Conclusion

Choosing the right charging cable for your electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is essential. By taking into account these various criteria, you can select the most suitable cable for your needs.

Have a look at our charging cables

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