Plugs and cables
Cars are fitted with a male vehicle inlet, whilst charging station are fitted with a female outlet, either directly on the outside of the charging station, or via a flexible cable with permanently attached connector on the end. A charging station with a permanently fixed cable can be attached directly into the vehicle inlet, similar to using a petrol pump.
When no fixed cable is available, a separate male-to-female cable is used to hook up the vehicle. When a separate male-to-female charge cable is purchased, there are a number of things to look out for:
- The different characteristics of available plugs
- AC versus DC charging
- Charge capacity and
- Length and colour
At the Laadkabelfabriek.nl we support different combinations of plugs and cables. By using the configurator, which is a tool presented on the website www.laadkabelfabriek.nl/configurator, different combinations can be selected and ordered. This tool supports users in putting together their desired plugs and cable types. The tool prevents unexperienced users from selecting wrong combinations. After ordering, delivery takes usually place within 4 days.
Regretfully, there isn't a universal connector for all types of electric vehicles and the different charge stations. For electric cars two main standards have emerged for the male vehicle inlet.
The Type 1 plug standard came first and is originally developed on the basis of the electricity network of the US but to a lesser extent available than the Type 1 plug.
The Type 2 connector is a broadly used plug in Europe for charging electric cars. The Type 2 connector system was originally proposed by Mennekes in 2009 leading to the colloquial name of Mennekes. Type 2 connectors can handle higher power ratings than Type 1 connectors and in fact the European-wide universal socket for charging electric cars. You can charge any type of car from it as long as you have the appropriate charging cable.
In Europe, the outlet of a public charging station is a Type 2 female socket. In Italia and France, a Type 3 standard has been proposed but this has was not adopted and seems a vanishing standard.
DC charging versus AC charging
The above mentioned plugs are based on AC (Alternating Current) charging. AC is readily available in electric distribution networks and at power outlets. Another way of charging (with increased power) is DC charging. Why bother with two types of charging – why not choose a single method for charging?
While the name for a (AC) charging station might suggest that the actual charging is done by the station, in fact an (AC) charging station is not much more then a outlet to provide AC power.
The actual AC charger is in the car. It converts the AC to DC in the correct voltage and current for the batteries to be charged. For increased power, the AC to DC converter will need to be bigger, heavier and more expensive. Keeping the AC/DC charger in the car is not practical or economical viable anymore. Therefore dedicated DC charging stations are needed. The AC/DC charger be shared by more cars. The tipping point is around 30 Kw.
As the power of DC chargers is very high, special (fixed) charging cables are needed. DC chargers always have a tethered cable with dedicated plug. Also the communication between charger and car is different: The DC chargers communicates directly with the Battery Management System of the car to prevent over charging.
FluxDrive doesn’t provide DC charging cables because they are a fixed part of the infrastructure of the DC charger,
Preferably the charge cable is optimally tailored to the charging capacity needs of the car.
If you are not sure what the charging capacity of your car is, you can use the tool on www.laadkabelfabriek.nl on our website.
The plug and cable type determine mainly the charge capacity of the charging cable. For example:
- a Type 1 connector can support a charge capacity of 37kw and 7,4 kw.
- a Type 2 connector can support a charge capacity of 3,7kw, 7kw but also 22kw.
If a charging cable supports charging with 22 kilowatts you can charge more than 100 kilometres (distance) per hour.
It is possible to have an estimation of the charging speed in kilometres per hour. Therefore the charging speed (for this charging cable that would be a maximum of 22 kW) has to be divided by the (estimated) consumption of the car. So if a car consumes 15 kilowatts per 100 kilometres, you can charge another 146 kilowatts in one hour with 22 kilowatts connection. (22/15 * 100 = 146.7 km)
Different Lengths and Colours
Laadkabelfabriek.nl sells charging cables from one meter to over thirty meter and from experience we can tell that all sizes have their pro’s and cont.’s.
Three meters is a practical and handy length for a charging cable. No fiddling with too long a cable that often lies on the ground, gets dirty and takes up a lot of space during transport.
At the same time, three meters is long enough not to have to park tightly along a charging station. By parking in the right way, three meters of cable is also long enough if the charging opening is on the side of the car.
Four meter is the traditional length of charge cables. In the early days of electric driving, manufacturers of electric vehicles and their suppliers provided one cable. This cable had a length of four meters. Even though they soon realised not everyone could charge with this length, probably cost and logistic prevented the manufactures from providing various cable length to suite many common situations.
The average length of a car is five meters. With a charging cable with a length of five meters it is therefore at most places easy to park close enough at a charging station.
Depending on personal and local circumstances any other length can be a logical choice. It is always a matter of consideration. A longer cable offers more flexibility when parking in the vicinity of a charging station, but is also often more expensive and heavier in weight. Be aware: a 32A charging cable is heavier and stiffer than a 16A charging cable.
If there are wishes with regard to the design, there is a choice of different shapes and colours of both cables and plugs. We sell both plugs and cables in various colors such as orange, blue, black and white. Different combinations are possible such as orange plugs with blue cable and the other way around. An interactive designed webpage allows the selection of any valid combination. Have a look at www.laadkabelfabriek.nl/configurator and build your own cable.
Of the Shelf is cheaper
Off-the-shelf products are also offered by FLUXDIVE. These are standard charging cables that are purchased from manufacturers abroad.
These are available in limited lengths and colours but cheaper than the custom-made cables for which logistic and assembly is more intense.