The EV charging infrastructure in the UK is developing at a rapid pace. There are over 42,000 charge point connectors for electric vehicles and hybrid cars in the country — more than petrol stations. However, many EVs come with a 7-metre or 10-metre charging cable, which could be short when charging electric cars outside public charging stations.
Here’s where extending your charging cable comes into the picture. Here’s all you need to know about extending your EV charging cable.
Can You Extend an Electric Vehicle Charging Cable?
Yes, you can extend your EV cable. Most EV chargers are around 10 metres long, which is an ideal length for charging your EV at home. However, you could face difficulties charging your EV on a sidewalk or at a public charging station. If you charge your EV outside, it’s best to have a long EV cable.
There are two ways to extend your EV charger. The first way is to buy a new, longer charger. Nowadays, you can get EV chargers up to 25 ft long. The second way is to use an extension, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
How to Extend Your EV Charging Cable?
The easiest and most popular method to extend an EV charging cable is by using extension cords. One end of the cord connects to the main charger, and the other links to the car charging port. These cords are similar to mobile connector chargers and extension boards we use in our daily lives.
The biggest benefit of using these cords is flexibility. They are available in a wide range of lengths. You can select the size as per your requirements. Besides, these chords come in various power ratings. You can find a cord that has the same power rating as your main charger. You can also choose good-quality extension cables based on other specifications you need.
Please note that you shouldn’t extend an EV charging cable with another charging cable. It could lead to a loose connection. Always use a cord based on plug types to extend your charger.
Extending a 3-Pin Charging Cable
If you need a longer charging cable, you can use a three-pin charging cable. Although these cables have a low power output and require a long charging session to charge your EV, they have extra length. This makes them an excellent pick for EV owners who tend to charge their cars at places where the distance between the socket and the parking location is big.
Another benefit of using a three-pin cable is that it’s easy to extend. Unlike type-1 and type-2 chargers that must be extended using a dedicated extension cord, a three-pin charger doesn’t require any special accessories. You can extend it using a standard extension board you use in your house but be careful if using this device outside as standard extension cables are not water resistant.
However, a three-pin cable will take a lot of time to charge your EV, and you’ll need to leave it plugged in for several hours or even overnight. Using an extension lead recklessly for long hours can cause damage, short circuit, and other hazards. Hence, be extra careful when using an extension cable for home charging.
Extending a Tethered Charging Cable
Tethered charging cables have many benefits. They are more convenient if you charge your EV primarily at home. However, extending them could be challenging, as the cable is tethered to the charging box. You can’t unplug it and take it with you to a charging station.
The good news, however, is that the charging mechanism for tethered cables is the same. You can use electric car extension cords to extend tethered charging cables. However, they carry a fair amount of risk, so it’s better to purchase a longer tethered cable instead of extending it.
Should You Extend a Car Charging Cable?
The answer is definitely yes. Long cables are always better, as they offer more flexibility and convenience. You can park your car a bit far away from the charging station and still charge it seamlessly. Many buildings have charging stations in the basement parking; however, you may not find a parking spot near the charging point. In such cases, an extension cord can be a lifesaver.
However, choosing the right extension cable is important. Most manufacturers supply an EV charger with a high power-rating to allow fast charging. However, many extension cords have a low power rating. Extending your EV charger using extension cables with a low power rating isn’t advisable.
When you connect your charger with a low-power extension cord, the power supplied to the EV will be equal to the power rating of the extension cord. Hence, less power will reach your EV battery, and more energy will be lost. Your EV will, therefore, take more time to charge. Also, frequently using low-power extension cords can cause damage to your charger.
Hence, it’s essential to use extension cords with a similar rating and circuit breakers as your primary charger. This will ensure that there is no power loss, and electric vehicles will charge quickly. Using an extension with a suitable power rating will also keep your charger healthy and increase its life.
Does an Extension Cable Reduce Charging Speed?
One of the primary concerns among EV owners is whether an extension cable reduces charging speed. The answer is — yes, there could be a reduction in the charging speed. However, the difference is negligible if you choose the right cable.
Let’s understand how the charge speed changes. The charging speed depends on the power rating of both the EV cable and the extension cable. The final charging power output will be equal to the charger or cable with lower power output.
Let’s say your EV cable has a charging current of 16 amp and the cable has an output of 10 amp. The final charging output, in this case, will be 10 amp. Now, suppose your charger has an output of 10 amp, and the extension cord has a power rating of 16 amp. Even now, the final charging output will be 10 amp.
To ensure the best charging speed, find an extension cord with more amps than the main charger. This will make sure there is no reduction in the charging rate.
Are Electric Car Extension Cords Waterproof?
If you live in an area prone to rain and snowfall, you must ensure your extension cables are waterproof. Many companies sell waterproof, weatherproof, and heavy-duty charging extension cords. These cables have IP ratings and can withstand water, dust, and wind.
That said, avoid exposing your cables to extreme conditions, like too much water, even if they are waterproof. Most cables are splash-resistant, so they can withstand only a few splashes of water. If you immerse them in water or expose them to heavy rainfall, they may incur some damage.
Using extension cables to extend your EV charger can be helpful. Almost every EV company sells an electric vehicle with a short charger, which is suitable for home charging but not outdoor charging. With extension cables, you can extend your EV cables and charge your car without any hassles. However, be sure to buy an extension cable with a high power-rating to avoid voltage drop.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you extend an EV charge cable?
Yes, you can extend an EV cable using an extension cord. These cords can be up to 50 ft long, and you can use them with both home and public chargers. Extension cords come with different power ratings, so it’s crucial to find a cable with a rating equal to or higher than your EV charger.
How long can an EV charger cable be?
There is no limit to how long an EV charger cable can be. However, the longest EV charging cable is 25 ft. You can extend it further with an extension cable. The longest cable available for sale (at the time of writing) is 50 m. Most extension cables are 10-12m or 30-40 ft. long.
Can you extend a Type 2 cable?
Yes, you can extend a type-2 EV cable using an extension cord. However, please note that you can’t extend a regular type-2 cable using another standard type-2 cable. You’ll need to use an extension cable to extend a type-2 charger.