The rise in electric vehicle (EV) adoption has resulted in a growing need for charging stations and innovative solutions for charging at home or in public places. One of the challenges EV owners often face is that the charging cable may not reach their car if the charging port is far from their parking spot, or the charging port connector is Type2 but the EV car only takes Type1 connector. A possible solution some owners consider is daisy-chaining EV charging cables, essentially extending the length to reach the EV, or daisy-chaining a Type2 charging cable with Type2 to Type1 charging cable. But does this work, and is it safe? Let’s delve into the implications.
Firstly, understanding the term “daisy-chaining” is essential. It refers to connecting several devices together in a sequence or a chain. This is commonly seen with USB devices or power strips. In the context of EV charging, it would mean connecting multiple charging cables together to extend the overall length.
Despite its simplicity and seeming convenience, daisy-chaining EV charging cables may not be the best solution due to several critical factors:
- It doesn’t work. The ‘female’ connector contains signal pins that send data to the car during charging. These are recessed and, because the ‘male’ end of the other cable doesn’t fit fully, a full link is not made. The result is that no current is carried through the connection even if live. An important message here should be that to tamper in any way with EV charging cables or equipment without specialist knowledge is to risk potentially expensive damage to the car’s charging system and of course risk to life and limb.
- Safety Hazards: Electric vehicle charging cables are designed to handle high electrical currents safely. Joining multiple cables together can increase the risk of electrical faults, fire hazards, or damage to the EV’s charging system. This is primarily because the connectors are not designed to be weatherproof when connected, and poor contact could lead to overheating.
- Power Loss: Electrical resistance increases with the length of the cable. Therefore, using a longer cable by daisy-chaining could result in a voltage drop, which can affect the charging efficiency and potentially harm the vehicle’s battery management system.
- Compatibility and Standardization: Not all EV charging cables and plugs are created equal. There are various types of charging connectors, and not all of them might be compatible. Even if they physically connect, the variations in communication protocols and standards can lead to inefficiencies or failures in charging.
- Regulatory Restrictions: New Zealand have safety regulations and standards governing the use of EV charging equipment. Daisy-chaining charging cables violates these safety standards, potentially voiding warranties and insurance coverage.
- Manufacturer Guidelines: Most EV and EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) manufacturers strongly advise against using extension cords or daisy-chaining charging cables, citing potential safety risks and liability issues.
Instead of daisy-chaining, here are safer alternatives to consider:
- Use a longer cable: Many EVSE manufacturers offer longer charging cables that can reach further distances without compromising safety or efficiency.
- Invest in a dedicated EV charging extension cord or conversion cord or adapter: These are specially designed to handle the higher power demands of EV charging and are a much safer alternative to daisy-chaining standard charging cables. e.g. EVPORT provides Type2 to Type1 charging cable for the conversion of Type2 socket of EV charging station to Type1 connector to plug in your EV.
- Relocate the charging station: Another solution might be to move your charging station closer to your parking spot, although this may not always be feasible or cost-effective.
In conclusion, while daisy-chaining EV charging cables might seem like a quick fix to extend cable length or convert connector Type2 to Type1, first of all, it doesn’t work, and it’s not recommended due to potential safety risks, power loss, compatibility issues, regulatory restrictions, and manufacturer guidelines. Instead, opting for longer cables or dedicated EV charging extension cords, dedicated charging connector conversion charging cable or charging connector adapter are safer and more effective solutions.