Understanding Electric Car Charging Cables

electric car charging

Not All EV Charging Cables Are Created Equal, But The EV Industry Is Moving Towards Greater Harmonization For Charging Protocol

We suspect, by now you have seen a few EV charge points in your city or neighbourhood, with zero-emission or ultra-low-emission vehicles (ULEVs) charging.  Some of you may already own an EV and have become experts in charging at home or at public EV charge points, to include workplace charging.  

However, for those of you, still trying to understand electric car charging and in particular, the cable types & connectors, this is a simple guide.  We would also recommend you read the following articles on the e-zoomed Electric Living Blog:

EV Charging Cables: The Basics

  • When do you need an electric car charging cable? Quite simply when you need to charge your EV, either at home or at a public charge point.  If your home charge point has a tethered cable, then you will not need to use another cable for charging at home.  However, you will still need a cable in your car for charging at a public charging point.  We recommend you always carry one.  For avoidance of doubt, all types of electric cars will require a charging cable to charge, to include, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEVs) and battery-electric-vehicles (BEVs).
  • It may seem ‘silly’ but choice of colour is also important.  For some reason, the EV community does not discuss this much.  No I am not talking about buying a cable that matches your wardrobe or car colour.  In general, the majority of cables currently used by electric car drivers are black in colour.  No doubt, black is smart, but I fear I am rather practical.  I would recommend buying  brightly coloured cables instead.  As you are aware, when charging at public points, to include on-street charging, the visibility of the cable will avoid any potential public liability issues, like an individual tripping over the cable. In particular, when charging during low light and night conditions.  We at e-zoomed can help you buy a brightly coloured EV charging cable.  Just follow this link to the e-zoomed store to buy either a bright blue or bright green charging cable
electric car charging cable carry bag
Electric Car Cable Carry Case
  • As is the case with any new technology, the EV industry has yet to harmonize charging cable protocols, hence the reason why different ‘types’ exist.  However, there is good reason to cheer, as the majority of new EVs are moving to Type 2.  Also, most public charging points and non-tethered home chargers have a Type 2 socket. The Type 1 plug allows for charging up to 7.4 kW. The Type 2 plug can charge up to 22 kW and even higher. The other plug types include, Combined Charging Systems (CCS)and CHAdeMO (more on these in another article).
Zen X Type 2 Portable Charger 6-10A Fixed Connector
Type 2
  • Your electric vehicle will have either a Type 1 or Type 2 car inlet socket. Type 1 inlet is the American and Japanese standard (J1772). Type 2 inlet is the standard in Europe (IEC 62196).  Both have pins to carry power, a safety ground and communication.
Euro Series Charging Cable Type 2 to Type 2
EV Charging Cable: Type 2 to Type 2
Charging Cable Type 1 to Type 2
EV Charging Cable: Type 1 to Type 2
  • Therefore the EV charging cable needs to ‘fit’ the vehicle socket.  If confused just check the EV manual for the ‘Type’ of charging cable required.
Charging Cable Type 1 to Type 2
Euro Series Charging Cable Type 2 to Type 2
  • EV cables come in different ‘current ratings’, usually a 16 amp or 32 amp.  We recommend buying a 32 amp cable if suitable for your needs. Older EVs are fitted with a 3.6 kW onboard charger as standard that needs a 16 amp EV cable. However, newer electric cars have a 7kW charging capability that requires a 32 amp cable. Also, EV cables are either single phase or 3 phase.  So before you splash out on a 32 amp cable, make certain your EV is capable of taking advantage!

We at e-zoomed are more than happy to assist you with all your EV needs to include:

And more!  Do sign up to our e-newsletter to learn more about electric cars. Also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. 


Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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