Trying to identify which charging cable your customer needs can be difficult. There are many different cables and most customers are completely lost when it comes to the different types of cables. No worries – we totally get how hard it can be. But guess what? We’re here to make it easier for you! We set up a step-by-step guide to help you ask the right questions to your customers to determine which cable your customer needs.
1: WHAT TYPE OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE DO YOU DRIVE?
The first and most fundamental question is identifying the type of electric vehicle the customer drives. EVs come in various shapes and sizes, from compact electric cars to SUVs and electric trucks. The type of EV may affect the connector type and charging capacity required, so understanding the vehicle model is crucial.
As we explained in a previous blog, there are charging cables with a 5-pin connector (Type 1) and those with a 7-pin connector (Type 2). If your customer is unsure about the connector type of their vehicle, ask them to consult the car’s instruction manual. If the customer doesn’t have the manual, don’t worry – nowadays, instruction manuals can also be found online.
Electric Power of the Vehicle (kW) or Ampere (A):
Kilowatts refer to the electric power your electric vehicle can absorb during charging. This power determines how quickly your vehicle’s battery can be charged. It’s best to use a cable that matches your car’s recommended kW for optimal safety, efficiency, and performance. Using a cable with a lower kW than what the car can handle will result in slower charging, while using one with a higher kW can potentially cause damage or overheating. The manual should provide detailed information about the car’s charging capabilities, including the maximum kW it can safely handle.
2:WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED CHARGING SPEED?
EV charging cables come in different categories based on charging speed. Some customers prioritize rapid charging, while others are comfortable with slower, more affordable options. Clarify the customer’s preferences to match them with a cable that suits their needs.
Several aspects determine the maximum charging speed:
- Ampere (A) Rating: The ampere rating of the charging cable is one of the most essential factors that determine the charging speed. This rating indicates how much electrical current (amperes) the cable can safely carry. A higher ampere rating means more current and, thus, faster charging. However, both the vehicle and the charging station must be compatible with this higher current.
- Voltage (V): The charging speed is influenced by the voltage of the vehicle and the charging station. For a given current (amperes), higher voltage (for example, 400 volts instead of 240 volts) results in faster charging. This is why fast chargers often operate at higher voltages.
- Charging Capacity (kW): Charging capacity, expressed in kilowatts (kW), is the product of current (amperes) and voltage (volts). This indicates how much electrical power is transferred from the charging station to the vehicle. A charging cable with a higher ampere rating and a charging station with higher voltage can together provide higher charging capacity, resulting in faster charging times.
- Vehicle Capacity: The vehicle itself plays a significant role in determining the charging speed. You can usually find specifications such as the maximum charging capacity in kilowatts (kW) in the car’s manual.
- Charging Station Capacity: The type of charging station used, as well as its specifications, influences the charging speed. Look for information about the maximum charging capacity in kilowatts (kW) and/or amperes (A). This label is usually located on or near the charging station itself.
3: WHERE DO YOU PLAN TO CHARGE YOUR EV?
Understanding the customer’s charging habits and locations is essential. Some customers might charge their EV at home, while others rely on public charging stations or workplace charging. Knowing the primary charging location can help determine the cable length and connector types required.
4: DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC SAFETY REQUIREMENTS?
Safety is paramount when it comes to electric vehicles and their charging equipment. Some customers may have specific safety requirements or concerns, such as durable, weather-resistant cables or features like surge protection. Address these concerns to ensure a safe and reliable charging experience.
5: WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?
Charging cables come in a wide price range, so it’s essential to determine the customer’s budget. This will help narrow down the options and find a cable that aligns with their financial expectations while meeting their requirements.
6: DO YOU HAVE ANY UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES OR PREFERENCES?
Finally, inquire if the customer has any unique circumstances or preferences. Some may require extra-long cables for specific parking situations, while others may have specific preferences for cable materials or aesthetics.