Straight vs Coiled EV Charging Cables - Comparison

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Straight vs Coiled Charging Cables

An important component when charging an electric vehicle, is the charging cable. Of course you require a specific type of cable to charge your vehicle; taking into account your charging source and your vehicle's charging type. If you require a fast charging cable (to be used at public charge points, and dedicated charging units) then you have the choice between a straight or coiled.

When it comes to choosing straight or coiled - ultimately, it is a personal preference for you as a consumer. There are multiple factors to be considered, which we will highlight briefly in this blog post!

Appearance

This factor, is purely personal preference and may be something that you don't consciously think about when purchasing your charging cable. A straight charging cable may be seen as more simple or tidier. Or it could be seen as plain - it's completely opinion-based. Coiled cables are naturally bulkier, which can be unappealing to some users, but could also be seen as more practical and visible.

Safety/Trip Hazard

All standard charging cables supplied via 4EV are green rather than black, to help increase visibility and reduce the risk of a trip hazard. If the cable isn't green, it will be listed in the product specifications, on the product purchase page.

Coiled cables tend to be the safer of the two - as the coil often leads to the cable being slightly elevated off the floor during a charge. This makes the cable easier to spot, as it tends to be off the ground. Another positive to take on the coiled elevation; is that the cable is less likely to be stood on or rubbed against the floor - meaning the cable may be seen as more durable and easier to keep clean.

However, as mentioned earlier - the green colouring of the straight and coiled cables allow for both style of cable to be deemed visible and not a high risk to a potential trip hazard.

Length

When it comes to selecting your cable from 4EV - we supply a variety of different length cables. Straight cables are offered at 3, 5, 7.5 and 10 metres. Coiled cables are offered at 2.5, 4 and 5 metres.

Straight cables offer a 'you get what you see' element, as a 10 metre cable can be used at 10 metres or less. Which boasts a practical, simplistic and easy to store advantage.

Coiled cables has a complication to its length. For example, you're paying for 8 metres of cable, that can only be used at a maximum of 4 metres - as the coils restrict the cable from being fully stretched to use at 8 metres. The maximum usable length will also change over time as the coils become more and more stretched after use. They are also bulkier, heavier and may be found difficult to store due to the coils. Also, because coiled cables are generally suspended off the ground between the charging station and vehicle during use, they can also put more strain on the charging sockets.

We recommend the best use for coiled cables is in a fixed position, such as a charging point in your garage at home where it is always used over the same distance. This way it can be kept permanently plugged in and is always over the same distance, before being hung up until its next use.

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Charging your Electric Vehicle - FAQ's Explained and Answered

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What charging cable do I require to charge my vehicle?

When it comes to choosing your EV charging cable, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, you need to find out which charging socket your car uses. This is quite simple really - Type 1 and Type 2 are the possibilities. This information can be found out online, in your vehicle handbook or by visiting the 4EV Vehicle Information page. Alternatively, if you check the charging socket on your vehicle - a Type 1 vehicle charging socket has 5 pins, and a Type 2 charging socket has 7 pins.

Where you are wanting to charge your vehicle would be your next consideration. Whether you are wanting to charge from a 3-pin household socket, public fast charge point, commando socket, CEE socket etc - this determines which cable you need. If you visit the 4EV homepage, there is a vehicle finder feature at the top of the page which will help display all cables compatible with your vehicle. A quick scroll down on your vehicle's page shows the different types of cables & if you're still a little stuck - feel free to get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

Is it difficult to charge your electric vehicle?

No, not at all, in fact charging is quite simple. A lot of EV users may charge their vehicles overnight at home, at public charge points, at work etc – there are a lot of options when it comes to charging. Initially, admittedly it can seem quite tricky; but once you know the basics, you will be good to go!

Charging from home is a great efficient way of ensuring your electric vehicle is ready for your daily commutes – but not everyone has the option to charge from home. Whether it be through a home-installed charging unit, or a simple domestic, 3-pin plug. An alternative way of charging could be at work – which again, some people will not have as an option. Which then leaves the option to use public charging stations, which are quite quick and simple to get going with. Thousands of public charge points up and down the UK, allow for public charging to be quite a viable option, especially given the speed you can charge at.

What speed can you charge an electric vehicle at?

The answer to this question can depend on a few components used during charging. The vehicle, the charging cable and the charging unit.

 

When it comes to charging, you can charge via AC (Alternating Current) or DC (Direct Current). AC charging comes in the form of domestic charging, or public charging. Whereas DC charging offers a higher charging rate, and tends to be found in public areas, but using a CCS cable or CHAdeMO cable fixed (hardwired) into the charging unit.

Slow charging (AC - up to 3.6kW) is capable through a 3-pin domestic charging cable; often supplied by the dealership (sometimes referred to as an 'EVSE' or 'Granny Cable') when you purchase your electric vehicle. A 3-pin cable is a handy solution for EV owners who don't have a charging unit installed at home (they usually feature a built-in control box to make changes to the charge rate and to monitor any potential errors) as it still allows for their vehicles to be charged at home through a domestic socket - just at a slower rate. These cables are available for purchase at 4EV too!

 

Fast charging (AC - 16A 3.6kW / 32A 7.2kW / 3 Phase 16A 11kW / 3 Phase 32A 22kW) is capable from a dedicated charging unit, or public charge station. A standard charging cable is required for this - and tends to be the most popular option for EV owners. Again, sometimes the cable is supplied with the vehicle upon purchase - but 4EV offer these cables to purchase; whether it be for primary use or to have as a spare! Fast charging can occur at different rates between 7kW and 22kW - this again, solely depends on the capability of your charging cable, vehicle and charging unit. It's worth looking into your personal vehicle and charging unit, to see if you're able to charge at a higher kW rate!

Rapid charging (DC - 43kW-350kW) is available from specific public charge stations. The DC charging cable is fixed (tethered) into the charge stations. Referring to earlier in the blog, the cable you require is dependant upon whether your vehicle requires a Type 1 or Type 2 charging cable. Type 1 vehicles generally require CHAdeMO; whereas Type 2 vehicles generally require a CCS cable. Rapid charging is arguably more important when charging full electric vehicles with large batteries during a quick journey, rather than Plug in Hybrid vehicles whose smaller batteries can usually be topped up quick enough on a Fast charge.

Please note - there are exceptions to the CCS/CHAdeMO rule above and not all vehicles are capable of rapid charging either; it is worth looking into whether your vehicle is rapid capable and which charging station you can use.

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