When you’re in a hurry to recharge your electric car battery fast during a long road trip across Australia you’ll probably use a very fast DC 50/150/350kW charger that has a cable to plug into your car built-in.
However at many places such as a local shopping centre carpark, community centre, council car park, hotel/motel accommodation, winery etc you’re more likely to find a AC charging station that can top up your battery slowly at a rate of 7kW or 11kW.
These AC charging stations are often free to use, the only catch is they usually require you to bring your own cable.
In the example photo below I’m at a local shopping centre using a 22kW, 32 amp 7m Type 2 to Type 2 EV Charging Cable (lent to me for review by EVSE), to charge a Kia Niro EV GT-line I had on loan for review.
Is it worth buying a Type 2 to Type 2 Cable for your electric car?
I think it is worth buying one for three reasons:
- Many BYO cable AC chargers in urban areas are free to use eg: at shopping malls or council carparks so you can top up your battery at no cost while shopping or doing daily errands.
- If you’re on a road trip, having your own Type 2 to Type 2 Cable enables crucial extra charging options if the fast DC charger location you planned to use is out of order. Otherwise your only non-DC charging option would be to beg someone to use their standard power socket, which usually charges an electric car at very slow rate of 1.5-1.9kW.
- If you’re on a road trip, having your own Type 2 to Type 2 Cable could let you refill your electric car battery to full while you’re asleep at your motel or top it up while you’re having lunch at a winery.
Assuming that you
- bought your cable from EVSE using the 10% off code EVSE10 (publicly promoted generic code, I don’t get any benefit if you use it)
- regularly park somewhere that has a 7kW or 11kW AC charger which is free to use
- top up your car battery for an hour each time you are parked at a free AC charger
- have an alternative option 50kW DC fast charger which costs 45c/kWh
The breakeven point for when your car has received enough free AC charger electricity to make back the purchase price of the cable (compared to using a paid 50kW DC charger instead) is:
- 61 charges @ 11kWh each session using 7m Type 2 to Type 2 EV Charging Cable (22kW, 32 amp) bought for $301.50
- 63 charges @ 7kWh each session using 5m Type 2 to Type 2 EV Charging Cable (7kW, 32amp) bought for $197.10
Carefully choose your Type 2 to Type 2 Cable Length and Charge Rate Capability
You could get a shorter, cheaper 5m cable but I find the 7m is handy as you never know how far an AC charging station will be from your car charging port.
Slower cheaper cables such as the 5m Type 2 to Type 2 EV Charging Cable (7kW, 32amp) are best suited for cars like the BYD Atto 3 that only support a 7kW AC charging rate instead of 11kW.
I recommend buying your Type 2 to Type 2 cable from an Australian retailer so you have a good warranty and are supporting the local EV accessory industry.
In the case of EVSE they even have a shop in Rydalmere so if you live in Sydney you could walk in and buy a cable on the spot.
In comparison a Type 2 to Type 2 cable bought from an overseas website like Aliexpress won’t be much cheaper because of the several kg weight, could take a month to ship to you and if it stops working then you have no practical warranty option to get a fix.