So you want to know which is the right charging cable for your EV, and the choices you have are a bit bewildering and you are trying to find your way. There are a few options you’re going to be faced with when choosing a Type 1 to Type 2 adapter and we’re going to help gauge you through the process.
Type 1 and Type 2 EV charging are very common and in this article, we will discuss the difference between the two so you can choose what works best for you.
Type 1 to Type 2 Charging Cable: Which is the Right Choice For You
If you’re new to EVs, you’re probably wondering which type of cable you need to buy for your vehicle – a type 1 to Type 2 adapter. Your choice will depend on:
- Tethered or Untethered Charger
- Connector type and how you choose the right one
- Power rating
- 3-Phase or Single-Phase
Tethered or Untethered Home Charger?
The question of whether to purchase a tethered charger or an untethered charger is slowly becoming redundant as there are already a handful of products which offer both options interchangeably, such as the Sonic.
Let’s explore more about tethered and untethered EV chargers and discuss their pros and cons.
These EV chargers have charger cables that are permanently connected to the EV charger unit. Many EV owners consider these chargers a convenient option because there is no need for them to uncoil the charger cable after plugging it into the vehicle. It’s quite similar to how you would use a petrol pump.
However, a tethered charger means you are limited to the cable lengths offered by the manufacturer, which is usually five metres as standard.
You’ll also need to ensure the cable matches your vehicle’s plug socket. This is because EVs have different plug sockets on them for charging at home – either Type 1 or Type 2 – so you have to make sure the tethered charger will “fit” your electric car in advance.
It’s a bit like the different charging connections on an iPhone versus other smartphones. Or VHS and BetaMax if you’re old enough to remember those – VHS tapes only work with a VHS player and vice versa with BetaMax.
Luckily, almost all modern electric cars are Type 2 nowadays so this issue does not affect most drivers. However, if you do happen to have a Type 1 electric vehicle (such as the older Nissan Leaf) then you will need to specify a Type 1 EV charger if you want a tethered unit. Keep in mind that if you have visitors with a Type 2 vehicle or you decide to change your EV in future to a Type 2 vehicle then your existing unit will not be compatible.
For drivers of Type 1 vehicles, an untethered unit may be best for future-proofing.
Pros and Cons of Tethered Chargers
- More convenient – simply uncoil the cable and plugin
- More secure – the cable is part of the unit so it’s harder to be forcibly removed
- Cable included – which may mean you do not need to purchase a charging cable separately
- Lack of flexibility
- Restricted to charging Type 1 vehicles only or Type 2 vehicles only
- Limited choice of cable lengths
Untethered EV chargers
An untethered EV home charger has no cable permanently attached to the unit itself. Instead, it has a socket, hence why they are sometimes called “socket-only” EV chargers.
Untethered charge points will require you to plug the car’s charging cable into both the home charger and the vehicle.
They don’t usually come with a cable as standard, so you will need to source your own cable if your car does not come with one already. To be honest, we’d always recommend purchasing an EV cable anyway to keep in the boot for public charging.
You may be wondering why someone would choose an untethered electric car charge point. After all, it sounds a lot less convenient.
An untethered charge point offers more flexibility. It can charge any electric vehicle because the socket is universal and you are also not restricted on cable length – simply measure up and buy a suitably long cable.
Some customers also think they are neater because there aren’t any cables on show when the charger isn’t in use. Of course, this does come down to personal preference – would you rather bundle the cable into your boot and get it out each time you use the charger (but have an arguably neater look when not in use) or need to coil/uncoil the tethered cable on each use, but save time plugging in and not needing to place a potentially wet cable into your car?
Pros and Cons of Untethered Chargers
- Works with all-electric cars
- No cables permanently on display
- Option to choose your charging cable length
- Potentially less secure as the charging cable itself is easier to access
- You have to supply your own charging cable
- You need to store the cable somewhere after each use
- The cable may be wet or dirty before storing away
Discover more about this topic: Tethered or Untethered Chargers – Which One To Choose?
Why Do Need A Charging Cable?
If you have an untethered home charger, then you’ll need a cable to connect the car to the charger. A lot of public chargers and destinations like supermarkets, gym car parks, and other public areas will be untethered chargers and you would need your own cable to use them.
If you don’t have a charging cable, you won’t be able to charge. If your car doesn’t come with a charging cable then it will be supplied with a 3-Pin or Type 1 which you can plug into a standard socket charge.
But if you need to use a public charger and you have an untethered charger, you’re going to find that you’re out of luck and you will need a cable. So that’s the reason why having your own charger should be of interest to you.
If you’re ever going to use chargers in those scenarios, it is probably not worth spending the money. But personally, you’d find peace of mind knowing that there’s one in your trunk such that if you ever find yourself somewhere unexpectedly, like in a supermarket or at work, you can plug in and charge.
Generally, one end of the cable will always be Type 2. The socket that you will be plugging into on the wall or the charging port will be Type 2. It’s the other end – the one that gets into the car – that takes some consideration.
There are two types of charging cables commonly sold in Europe – these are Type 1 and Type 2, and you need to know which one is for your car.
Type 1 Cable
What cars use Type 1 chargers? A Type 1 cable tends to be for cars such as the older, first-generation car brands such as the first-generation Nisan Lief, Mitsubishi Ion, plug-in hybrid and the like. You will need a Type 1 – Type 2 charging cable for these cars. And this is very important for you to have the right type for your car.
Type 2 Cable
The vast majority of EVs use a Type 2 cable and that’s why Type 2 is the most common type that’s available. So make sure you pick the right one. If you’re unsure of which cable type you need for your car, take a look at the charging port and check if it matches the type you prefer.
You have two choices when it comes to looking for a cable – 16 amps or 32 amps. This will, again, depend on your car. For example, if your car can only charge at 3.6 kW or 16 amps, a 16 amp cable would be sufficient for it.
But there are backwards compatibility like a 32 amps cable will work well on your car and you don’t need to buy a 16-amp charger just because you have an older vehicle that charges slower. The vast majority of newer EVs charge at 32 amps of 7 kW and therefore a 32 amp cable is what you’ll need.
We recommend that you always buy a 32-amp cable. Because if you buy a 16 amp cable now because that’s what your car is capable of, you might save a little bit of money but in the future, if you change a car that needs faster charging, you’re gonna have to buy another cable.
So we recommend you stick to a 32-amp cable because it’s more future-proof and you’ll only buy it once and you can use it for every new car you have.
Maybe if you have a Type 1 car and a 62 amp that is cheaper, that may do you well because the next car you buy may not be Type 1, the choice is still up to you. This is a choice you will often be faced with when you’re buying a cable.
The vast majority of EVs on the market charge at 7 kW single-phase. So a single-phase 32 amp cable would be sufficient for them. But there are some like the Reno Zui which will charge a lot faster at 22 kW or three-phase. So take full advantage of the charging capacities of the cables.
To find out what maximum charging speeds your vehicle supports, you can simply look at your vehicle’s user manual or check online. This should help you decide whether you’re going to buy a single-phase or three-phase cable.
Again, this is an opportunity for you to future-proof, by buying a three-phase cable. But if the cable you have only had a 7 kW or single-phase, you want to save a lot of money and mix cables a little bit later since these cables can be a little bit heavy, then choose the type that suits your budget.
Charging cables tend to be sold at 5-meter or 10-meter lengths. You sometimes get 3-meter cables and sometimes 7 ½-meter cables. Ultimately it’s all going to depend on how far you’re gonna have to park in order to plug in.
For most normal circumstances, a 5-meter cable is the standard length which tends to be supplied by the vehicles that come with them. It’s what the dealership will tend to sell you if you buy one of their cables. Most of the time, the standard length is fine.
Quite a lot of people like the 10-meter length because if you’re in situations where you’re prone to find a charge point a lot and you’re not sure about where you’re going to park in order to plug in, then it’s best to have a couple of meters more on your cable’s length to ensure easy access.
So the 10-meter cable or longer should be of interest to you. It does cost a little bit more – 5 meters is usually £149 and the 10-meter one is £189. It’s definitely up to you to decide whether it’s worth the extra cost.
But remember that you can always take advantage of a 10-meter cable if you’re parking far away from the chargepoint. There may be situations wherein there are cars parked in between your car and the extra length can really come in handy. So if you’re going to buy a charging cable, you might as well make it a 10-meter one.
The cost of the electric car charger will be the main consideration for most, particularly after prices have increased somewhat since the electric vehicle home charge scheme (or OZEV Grant) ceased in March 2022.
When it comes to choosing the best EV charger, most people have a price point that they will be happy with or at least a limit that they don’t want to go beyond. For this reason, we sell and install a range of chargers to suit different budgets, starting from around £200.
It is important to note, though, that website prices are a guide only and are just there to give you an indication of prices so you’d know which chargers are more expensive than others.
The prices on the website do include the cost of the charger itself, or what we call a “tip code installation”, and they include the OLEV grant. Bear in mind that the OLEV grant from the government can change at any time so it’s crucial to update yourself with the current grant rate.
If you aren’t eligible for a government OLEV grant, then that does mean you’ll need to cover the difference yourself. Click here to find out more about the OLEV grant – take note that the value may change: The OLEV Government Grant: UK’s Future Runs On EVs
In terms of charger price, it’s low cost and simplicity you’re looking for, then look further than Pumpt’s Sonic. The Sonic is a smart EV charger with an app that’s very easy to use. And because it will sync with your energy current, you can set this charger to charge at the cheapest time of the night. The design is fantastic as well so you can great features from the low end and the top end.
Style and Other Unique Features
Although EV home chargers are functional devices first, there’s no shame in wanting something that looks nice. After all, it is very likely going to be on the front of your house for all your neighbours to comment on.
When choosing a charger to suit you and your home, consider:
- Style – which types of chargers do you just like the look of?
- Location – think about where you’d like your charger to be located. This might affect your choice – if it’s out of sight, then perhaps you won’t be so bothered by the looks, but if it’s in front of your house for all to see then maybe you’ll want something a bit more stylish.
- Dimensions – some chargers are larger than others, so consider this alongside the charger location.
Are there any specific features you must have, as this could supersede all other considerations?
Most smart chargers offer similar functions and features nowadays, such as helping you monitor your charging costs on your energy bills, smart charging and scheduling, among many others, but some still have unique offerings.
Or perhaps you have poor WiFi reception where your charge point installation will be located? Most chargers that have some sort of smart functionality use WiFi to connect to your home internet, but many are increasingly including a mobile data connection as a backup.
If you have a ropey WiFi signal, but a strong mobile signal then it’s worth considering the Hyper as it utilises both to maintain a steady data connection for its smart features.
That’s virtually everything you need to decide which cable is the best one for you. For most of us, it will be a combination of all the above factors that will help whittle your choice down to select the best EV charging point for home installation that best suits your needs.
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