Electromobility is slowly beginning to affect each of us. Electric cars and plug-in hybrids are increasingly being seen on the roads and they need to be charged either from charging stations or using smart charging cables and wallboxes. You can charge electric cars, either during your trip at quick chargers in marked parking lots or at your home, or at a company’s parking lot. While quick chargers use direct current (DC) charging, in domestic conditions you need to charge exclusively from the AC mains (AC). It is generally estimated that about 80% of charging takes place using home charging stations (wallboxes) or smart charging cables. Ideally, after arriving home, you connect your electric car to the charger, thus in the morning you have a fully charged car ready for the next ride.
That’s also why most of our products focus primarily on the issue of home charging with alternating current (AC).
Explanation of basic concepts
The power of the charger – given in kilowatts (kW) and in general the more, the better – but it depends on the specific car whether the given charging power will be able to accommodate. You can find out how much your car can draw from the wallbox or smart cable from the instructions from the car manufacturer.
Battery capacity – expressed in kilowatt hours (kWh) and as with a conventional fuel tank, the more, the better.
The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – combines an electric motor with an internal combustion engine. Electric range is limited (30-50 km), for longer journeys you will use an internal combustion engine. Charging usually takes between to one (wallbox / smart charging cable) to five hours (standard home socket with cable from the car manufacturer).
The electric car (EV) – is powered only by electricity. High-capacity batteries have a longer range (hundreds of kilometers, but depends on the specific car), which requires a longer charging time. If you use a wallbox or smart cable, you charge for several hours; if you use a standard cable socket from the car manufacturer, you charge for 15 hours or more.
Questions and Answers
I bought an electric car, which charging method should I choose – smart cable or wallbox?
Both the charging cable with electronics and the wall wallbox will ensure comfortable charging of your car.
If you are going to charge not only at home but also at the cottage, at work, or anywhere on vacation, then it is best for you to have a smart charging cable. You leave it permanently plugged in at home and unplug it only if you want to charge somewhere other than at home. This option is also more affordable.
However, if you intend to charge your car exclusively at home, it will be more advantageous to choose a wallbox with a fixed installation. Its installation is always performed by a qualified electrician and in many cases the domestic electrical installation is dimensioned at the same time as the installation so that it is possible to charge with the highest power (up to 22 kW). The Wallbox will thus ensure more comfortable charging with the highest possible power. It often looks good on the wall of a house or garage.
Which charging cable should I choose?
Each modern electric car is equipped with its own on-board charger, so-called OBC (On Board Charger). Simply put, it is a sophisticated converter of alternating current from your socket (AC) to direct current (DC), which is able to charge the batteries in the vehicle. The power of the OBC ranges from 3.6 kW to 22 kW, it always depends on the vehicle manufacturer and the equipment selected by the customer. Some older versions of OBC or vehicles imported from the USA allow charging only in one phase – in Europe with a maximum output of 7.4 kW.
When choosing the right charging cable, it is therefore advisable to follow the maximum power of the on-board charger, as well as the possibilities of your home electrical installation. You will not make a mistake when choosing even if you choose our most powerful smart cable. With the help of adapters, it can be connected to all common sockets, and the charging current can be easily reduced or increased, depending on where you are charging.
I would like to order a charging cable, which version of the car plug should I choose – Type-1 or Type-2?
The Type 1 connector, also known as the Yazaki J1772, was previously the standard for AC charging in Europe, the United States and Asia. Type 1 only allows single-phase charging and is commonly found on cars imported from the US or on older used electric cars.
While this standard has been kept in the USA, in Europe Mennekes has designed a new connector that already allows three-phase charging – known as Type-2. You will find it on most vehicles sold in Europe today.
Therefore, when selecting the charging plug, first check the type of connector located in your vehicle.
You also offer an adapter / portable wallbox, why buy this solution?
The accessories of a new electric car often include a cable with Type-2 plugs at both ends. Such a cable is mainly used to connect a car to a commercial charging station terminated by a charging socket (post or wallbox). Our portable wallbox has a three-phase mains plug on the input side and a Type-2 socket on the output side. You always need the above-mentioned connecting cable to connect to the vehicle. The adapter has the same functions and protective elements as our intelligent cables, but at the same time it is light, small and cheaper due to the absence of a wire. Together with the cable from our e-shop (if you do not have a suitable own cable) you are ready to charge anywhere.
What smart functions and protections do your products have, why should I choose your product?
When developing our products, we focus primarily on ease of use, overall robustness and durability. The internal components and switching elements of the control electronics are dimensioned to withstand the highest possible load without any problems. Thanks to this, we are one of the few manufacturers to keep a full 4-year warranty against defects in all our products.
Our goal is to offer the customer a charger that will be intuitive, high quality and safe, we do not try to implement functions that are already included in the vehicle itself. Our continuous development is thus more focused on protective elements (we have developed and implemented our own A-EV protector in our products), then on compatibility with all vehicles and distribution grids, and for smart cables on the safety of the wires themselves and resistance for extreme weather.
All our products with control electronics constantly monitor its operation and, if necessary, generate an error code and stop charging. They also have the option of automatically remotely regulating the charging power according to the total consumption of the building for an additional fee. Of course, the charging current is adjustable if your car can’t do it on its own.