How to Choose an EV Charging Cable

Find out everything you need to know about choosing an EV charging cable that’s right for your car. 

  • What is an EV charging cable?
  • Do I need an EV charging cable?
  • My EV came with a charging cable, can I use this?
  • What are the different types of EV charging cables?
  • How do I know which charging cable is right for my EV?
  • Where to purchase an EV charging cable?
  • EV charging statistics
  • Getting Started


Need to know how to choose the right charging cable for your EV? We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on what they are, how they work and how to choose an EV charging cable that’s right for you. 


Person holding EV charging cable


What is an EV charging cable? 

An EV charging cable is a cable that is used to charge an electric vehicle using an EV charge point, also known as a charging socket. In order to use the majority of EV charge points, you will need an EV charging cable. It is a double-ended cable and works by one end plugging into the vehicle and the other into the charge point socket. An electric current will run from the charge point, through the cable and to the EV, to charge the vehicle’s battery.


Do I need an EV charging cable? 

Not all EV charge points come with an attached charging cable. These are called untethered charge points. In contrast, untethered charge points are charge points that do have an attached charging cable. 

Although some public charge points are tethered, many are not, especially if they are AC charge points as part of a public network. Some home chargers are also untethered with universal sockets. This means you are likely to need your own charging cable to hand, for when you encounter an untethered charge point. 


Charging cable in EV


My EV came with a charging cable, can I use this? 

The majority of electric vehicles come with their own charging cables. However, the one provided may not be compatible with all types of charge point sockets. For example, some charging cables provided by vehicle manufacturers are only compatible with a domestic 3-pin plug! Not the most compatible when you our your fleet are on the road. You’ll therefore want to purchase an EV charging cable that is compatible with other types of charge points, especially public ones.

It’s also useful to have a spare cable to hand in case of any damage or fault with your current one – much like having a spare tyre.  


What are the different types of EV charging cables? 

There are various EV charging cables available and which one you choose depends on the EV you intend to use it for. Cables range in length, socket type and current rating.


EV charging at public charge point with cable


How do I know which charging cable is right for my EV? 

Follow these three simple steps to identify which type of charging cable is right for you and your EV. 

Picking the right connector

EVs either have a Type 1 or Type 2 connector embedded within them. This is where one end of the charging cable will connect. First things first, identify what type of connector your EV has and make sure the cable you’re buying has this connector type on one end. 

You’ll always want the other end of the cable to be a universal Type 2 connector. This will ensure your cable is compatible with all standard AC charging sockets within public charging points, as well as any untethered home chargers

Choosing the right cable length

There is no right or wrong when it comes to the length of your EV charging cable. It is down to personal preference and what suits you. Shorter cables have the benefit of being easier to store, whilst longer versions give you more reach and accessibility to a charge point. We recommend you take the best of both and opt for a 7.5m cable, giving you a good amount of length to work with as well as being easy to store.

Picking a suitable current rating

Your vehicle will have a maximum AC charge rate, which you will be able to find out by looking at your vehicle’s credentials or user manual. You’ll want to pick an EV charging cable with a current rating that is at least the same as your vehicle’s maximum AC charge rate. For reference, these are common conversions: 

16A = ~3.6kW

32A = ~7kW 

You shouldn’t choose a charging cable with a current rating that is less than your EV’s maximum AC charge rate, as this could lead to inefficient charging. It’s actually recommended to choose a cable with a higher current rating than your vehicle to allow yourself some future-proofing. For example, if you change your vehicle, you won’t need to repurchase a cable. 


person holding EV charging cable


Where to purchase an EV charging cable? 

It’s important to only purchase approved charging equipment, to ensure it is completely safe to use, for both you and your EV. This is particularly vital for using public charge points

We recommend that you discuss your charging cable needs with a professional charge point team (like us). This is because some charge point adapters and ‘smart cables’ are not suitable or safe to use with public charge points


EV charging statistics


EV charge point with cable


Getting started

We’ll provide you with the correct charge cable for your EV when you book an EV charge point installation with us. Call us on 0330 002 1154 or click here to find out more. 


Any questions?

We’re happy to assist you on every step of the way.

Contact us