Did you know that rising sales of electric vehicles (EVs) are one of the most important trends in the automotive industry today?
On a global scale, more than 6.75 million battery-powered cars were sold in 2021 alone. This means that more electric cars were sold in a week in 2021 than in the whole year of 2012.
However, ev charging infrastructure is still not at par with the level of uptake in these vehicles. This is, without a doubt, this is the biggest barrier to their widespread adoption.
Most drivers prefer to charge their vehicles at home using a domestic EV charging station and electric car charging cable because of the lower cost and increased convenience. Nevertheless, some face various problems when using a domestic charging point, querying if they can extend EV charging cables being one of them.
So, is it safe to extend EV charging cables?
In this article, we will explore what kind of ev charging cables are there and find out how to extend your electric car charging cable.
How to extend an EV charging cable
The easiest method of extending an EV charging cable is to use an extension cord. These come in different lengths and specifications.
Besides being the simplest, this solution is also the safest way to go and can provide drivers with the peace of mind they need.
It is much safer to use a specific electric car extension cable because each cable features very secure connections and the cables themselves are adequately IP rated, meaning that they can withstand water and dust/grit ingress.
The extension cable connects to the male connector at one end and the female one at another side. This makes the connection with the stock charger easy and very simple.
There is a range of charging extension sockets available for any model of EV sold in the UK, including Tesla, Renault, and other popular EVs, with the necessary power rating to ensure users and their vehicles are kept safe.
Top tips for EV extension cables
It is crucial to have a cable with an appropriate power rating and circuit breakers that can cope with the sort of power EV charging units and electric car charging cables require. The simplest way to ensure this is to only use EV-specific cables, both for standard charging stations and to extend your charging cable.
Another important thing that should be kept in mind is that charging cables themselves cannot be used as extension cables. In other words, charging cables cannot be chained together to form a larger cable as they don’t form a tight enough connection, which then leads to a compromised connection.
Here at EV Cable Shop, we have a range of Type 2 to Type 2 extension cables. These include 5m, 10m, and 15m options and can come with hardback carry cases to ensure your cables are kept in tip-top condition when storing or travelling with them.
Can you extend a 3-pin charging?
Another possible method utilizes a standard 3-pin charging cable and extension cables.
Many owners know 3-pin charging as slow charging since it charges the car at a pace that is slower than using a Type 2 to Type 2 EV charger.
Although this has certain risks associated with it, they are not as significant as when using a faster domestic charger. This is because the voltage is not as high and charging speeds are quite low.
However, this does not in any way mean that you should be reckless when using an extension cord with a 3-pin charging cable. Just like with any other electrical device, unsafe usage can lead to potentially dangerous situations and life-threatening hazards.
Using EV extension cables safely
It is essential you follow all the guidelines and safety procedures that are included with your extension cable. Many of these tips are common sense but following them will help preserve and keep safe your car, your home, and your electricity supply.
You should avoid using tangled or knotted extension cables, as these can increase the likelihood of overheating and can cause short circuits or electrical fires. You should never exceed the safety threshold of the extension cable.
You should also make sure you use a 13amp, heavy-duty extension cable that is waterproof and regularly check your equipment, including the socket, extension cable plug, and the extension cable itself for signs of overheating throughout use.
Finally, you should never charge your car while you are sleeping or working as you will not be able to check on it regularly and may miss signs of overheating.
Can a tethered charging cable be extended?
As mentioned earlier, there are numerous ways of charging an electric car at home. Some wall box chargers use tethered charging cables, while others rely on untethered variants.
Despite serving the same purpose, unplugging a tethered charging cable is not possible as it is fixed to the charging unit.
To extend these cables, a standard Type2 to Type 2 extension cable will be perfectly sufficient.
With a tethered cable, drivers will encounter problems when travelling as they will not have a compatible charging cable available. To get around this, some choose to buy a longer untethered Type 2 to Type 2 charging cable that they can keep for emergency use at public charging stations.
How fast will the extension cable charge?
Another main concern that many EV owners have is whether the usage of expansion cables would affect the charging speed.
This is a valid question, as the charging speed for all extension cables tends to fluctuate over a certain degree.
However, using an extension with a higher power rating will minimize potential energy losses. This is a thicker wire that can handle more amps.
|EV Charging Cable||Extension Cable Amperage||Charge Speed|
|10amp (2.3kw)||16amp (3.6kw)||10amp (2.3kw)|
|10amp (2.3kw)||32amp (7.2kw)||10amp (2.3kw)|
|16amp (3.6kw)||32amp (7.2kw)||16amp (3.6kw)|
|16amp (3.6kw)||16amp (3.6kw)||16amp (3.6kw)|
|32amp (7.2kw)||16amp (3.6kw)||16amp (3.6kw)|
|32amp (7.2kw)||32amp (7.2kw)||32amp (7.2kw)|
As you can see from the charge speed table, the car will always be limited to the lowest charging speed. So, by ensuring your EV cable extension is the same amperage as your EV cable, you can guarantee that your car will charge as quickly as it normally does.
Are ev extension cables waterproof?
The answer to this question depends on the extension cable in use.
EV charging stations need to be used in all weathers, so ensuring your extension cable is waterproof is important.
Many manufacturers claim their extension cables are both waterproof and weatherproof. However, there is a distinct difference between these two terms and the structure of some cables can contradict their claims. Many sockets have a thermal vent to let out excess heat, which unfortunately helps the water penetrate them easily.
Should I choose a weatherproof or a waterproof extension cable?
Weatherproof generally means that it will provide some protection from water but may admit water in harsh conditions and heavy downpours.
Waterproof, on the other hand, refers to the inability of water to enter, usually for a certain amount of time or to a certain depth.
Therefore, looking for sockets that are labelled as waterproof rather than weatherproof may be a good idea. This may help avoid short-circuiting and other issues, just in case your cables encounter water.
Similarly, you could check the IP rating of all cables you buy.
IP ratings explained
An IP code consists of two numerals, for example, IP27. The first numeral refers to the level of protection against solid objects and is given on a scale from 0-6. The second number gives the level of protection from liquids, on a scale of 0-9.
All cables from EV Cable Shop have an IP rating of at least IP55, providing good protection for EV cables, especially necessary when used in a wet country like the UK!
We suggest this is the same standard you should look for when purchasing EV cables.
A word of advice
Extending an EV charging cable should be your last resort since most car manufacturers in the world discourage this practice.
If you decide to use a domestic extension cable to extend your Type 2 to 3-Pin charging cable, you should make sure to follow all the guidelines and safety procedures, both that are included with the cable and those we discussed above.
It is much safer to use specific EV extension cables, such as the Type 2 to Type 2 extension cable, or buy longer untethered cables to allow you to charge your electric car without including extension cables at all.
Get in touch with EV Cable Shop
Looking to purchase an electric vehicle extension cable? Look no further.
Here at EV Cable Shop we have a massive variety of quality ev extension cables available as well as type one and type two ev charging cables, adaptors and other accessories.
Simply view our range online, or get in touch to discuss your requirements.