Several e-drivers are confronted with the problem of owning a charging cable that is too short and doesn’t reach from their vehicle to the charging point. An extension cable seems to be the ready-made solution to this issue, but can it damage your EV and electrical installation.
It is possible to charge your EV with an extension cable, but it is not recommended. Extension cables tend to overheat and can lead to safety issues. You should therefore only use a charging cable specially designed for EVs.
It is important to follow the instructions that come with your vehicle and the charging equipment to ensure safe and efficient usage. If you add an extension cable to your charging cable, this could damage your charging equipment.
When you use an extension cable to charge your electric car, there is a risk of damaging the connector. Extension cables can have greater internal resistance than EV charging cables and this can cause overheating in the connector leading to damage and safety issues, which could render the connector unusable.
Using an extension cable to charge an EV can also lead to a loss in terms of the energy delivered. As the internal resistance is higher in an extension cable, this can lead to a drop in voltage which means less energy is delivered to the car battery itself. The battery will therefore charge more slowly and less efficiently. The amount of energy lost can vary depending on several factors, such as the quality of the extension cable, its length and the conditions in which it is used.
Charging cables for electric vehicles are designed not to heat up when charging an EV battery over a long period of time. What’s more, they are designed to be used outdoors in all safety. Charging cables are sufficiently long to reach the EV’s car-side connector. When you select a charging cable with the right length, you can charge without damaging your charging equipment and electrical installation.
To sum it all up, using an extension cable to charge an electric car can lead to damage to the connector and an energy loss compared to using a charging cable specially designed for EVs. If you do need to use an extension exceptionally or for an emergency charging session, then make sure the cable is of superior quality (with a section of 2.5mm²) and measures a reasonable length. You should also check beforehand that the cable is properly uncoiled and designed for outdoor usage to minimise energy loss. The upshot of all this is that is always best to use charging cables designed specifically for electric vehicles to ensure optimum, safe use.