Electric cars are rapidly gaining popularity as more and more people are switching to eco-friendly transport options. An important aspect of owning an electric car is understanding the charging capacity. It is important to choose a charging cable that allows you to charge your car as efficiently and quickly as possible. Understanding the charging capacity of your EV is important in this regard.

The charging capacity of electric cars

The standard AC (alternating current) charging capacity of an electric car refers to the power at which the car's battery can be charged. This is expressed in kilowatts (kW) and varies depending on the model and manufacturer of the car. It is important to understand that not all electric cars have the same charging capacity. Some can be charged faster than others. This is obviously outside CCS2 fast charging which uses DC (direct current).

Electric cars and plug-in hybrids are typically equipped with a charging capacity of:

  • 3.7 kW - Most plug-in hybrids; such as the Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • 7.4 kW - Smaller and older EV, like the Opel Ampera or just larger PHEV like a Range Rover
  • 11 kW - Most EV, such as; Tesla Model 3, KIA EV6, Kia Niro, Skoda Enyaq
  • 22 kW - Some EV, such as the Renault Zoe, Smart #3 and Lucid Air

There are also some EVs with a charging capacity of 6.6 kW. These actually fall into the same category as the 7.4 kW models.

To determine the charging capacity of your electric car, you can look at the car's specifications or consult its manual. It is also possible to contact the car manufacturer or an authorised dealer for more information. By knowing the charging capacity of your car, you can choose a charging cable most suitable for your needs.

Phases and Amps

The maximum charging capacity of a charging cable depends on the current (the maximum number of amperes) the cable can handle and the number of phases it can be charged with.

Type 2 charging cables for electric cars are typically suitable for up to 16 amps or 32 amps. In addition, charging cables are suitable for 1 phase or 3 phase charging. The type 1 charging cable (for older models) is only suitable for 1 phase charging. The type 2 charging cable is also suitable for 3 phase charging due to the 2 extra poles. This gives 4 possible combinations:

  • 3.7 kW = 1 phase charging up to 16 Amps
  • 7.4 kW = 1 phase charging up to 32 Amps
  • 11 kW = 3 phase charging up to 16 Ampere (3* 3.7kW)
  • 22 kW = 3 phase charging up to 32 Amp (3* 7.4kW)

So this does not mean that for an 11 kW car you necessarily need an 11 kW charging cable. A 22 kW charging cable is also perfectly capable of charging with 11 kW.

Always take the number of Amps into account, though. Charging a 7.4 kW car with an 11kW charging cable will only give you a power of 3.7 kW because of the number of Amps.

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    The importance of matching the charging cable to the car's charging capacity

    It is essential to match the charging cable to the charging capacity of your electric car to ensure optimal charging performance. If you charge an electric car with a charging capacity of 11kW with a 3.7kW charging cable, charging will take 3x as long as the car's potential.

    The charging capacity of a mobile charging cable for household outlets

    An electric car or plug-in hybrid usually comes standard equipped with a mobile charging cable suitable for connecting to a normal 230V socket (schuko), more commonly known as a granny charger. These usually only go up to 10A, giving you a charging capacity of up to 2.3kW. At Voldt®, however, you will find a granny charger with a current of up to 13A, giving you a charging capacity of up to 2.8kW. 

    The charging capacity of a mobile charging cable for commando socket (CEE)

    Then there are the mobile charging cables suitable for commando sockets (CEE). These come in the same categories as Type 2 charging cables, i.e.: 3.7 kW, 7.4 kW, 11 kW and 22 kW. However, keep in mind that each category has its own specific socket and corresponding plug. An 11kW mobile commando socket charging cable can therefore really only be connected to a 32A 5-pole commando socket.

    Making an informed decision on charging your electric car

    Understanding the charging capacity of your electric car and choosing the right charging cable is essential for an efficient and safe charging process. By considering factors such as charging speed, compatibility and length of the charging cable, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs.

    It is important to check the specifications of your car and charging station before buying a charging cable and avoid any misconceptions about charging cables. With the right charging cable, you can enjoy the benefits of an electric car without any worries. Do you still need help? Then contact us quickly, our specialists will be happy to help you. You can also easily look up your own car in our database and we will be happy to help you find the most suitable charging cable.

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