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A bit funny, a little scary, a little painful, and expensive story of short life and death of a three-year charging cable.

Summary: keep your charging cables dry (or use it as a quick water boiler, or fight global warming by plant cultivation)

As I have done a test of flexibility in -20C for Dostar/EV-Connectors (3x32A orange one) and Mennekes (the blue one), I used orange one today to charge my car.
As something „exploded” inside the plug and hot steam and boiling water spread onto my hand, causing scald (nothing dangerous of course), and breakers switched off, I decided to open both sides of the orange cable.

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TEST

Duosida Mode 2 EV Charging Cable

PROS: rigid, clean design, fully waterproof (IP55)

CONS: No bad PE protection detection (dangerous), no IEC 61851-1 norm (even printed at data plate)

  • ❗ Security
  • ⭐⭐⭐ Quality
  • ⭐⭐⭐ Functionality
  • ⭐⭐ Value for money
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Zencar 3-phase 22kW charging cable

PROS: control of power with RFID.

CONS: No bad PE protection detection (dangerous!), thin circuit board & bad design of PE line (risk of fire or burn), IP54 (moderate liquid ingress protection). No seal inside the plug.

  • ❗ Security
  • ⭐⭐⭐ Quality
  • ⭐⭐⭐ Functionality
  • ⭐ Value for money
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Parameters for rankings

We have decided to prepare rankings of EVSE and EV car charging cables, we would like to explain what parameters will be considered.

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How to choose a proper EVSE or charging cable – guide

The most common problem while choosing EVSE or charging cable is to find an optimal solution. Because of power supply limitations, especially in Europe (where a single phase is often restricted to 16-25A) choosing a proper charging unit may be tricky.

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Input cables thickness and quality

Because an overall design of EVSE or charging cable does not depend on the final market, but input plugs vary from region to region, there is a weak point here. EVSE manufacturers must install locally produced input side cable and plug.

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TEST

Genuine Delphi BMW i3, i8 Charging Cable

PROS: silver-coated contacts

CONS: No bad PE protection detection (dangerous!), IP44 (moderate liquid ingress protection). Bad quality of input cable (PE, thin, cracks when cold), no seal in car side plug.

⭐ Security
⭐⭐⭐ Quality
⭐⭐ Functionality
⭐ Value for money

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Stars rating system explained

Security

⭐ dangerous, it fails bad PE connection detection.
⭐⭐ insecure, it does not meet EN normative, but it passes bad PE connection detection, problematic PCB design (fire risk)
⭐⭐⭐ ok, but moderate liquid ingress protection (IP < 55), or it overheats
⭐⭐⭐⭐ ok, no manual stop button and/or no breaker
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ok

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TEST

KEBA B-Series 22kW EVSE

PROS: silver-coated contacts, IP54, good overall quality
CONS: No bad PE protection detection, no Stop button, no breaker.

⭐ Security
⭐⭐⭐ Quality
⭐⭐⭐ Functionality
⭐⭐ Value for money

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Meet some of our tools and meters

AC power controller 9kVA, 3P, model ITECH IT7627).
We use it to modulate phases, under-volt and over-volt them, add distortions, phasing errors, sinus fluctuations, frequency fluctuations. This 500kg power source helps us to simulate various problematic situations with power sources and see if the behavior of the chargers, EVSE, DC chargers is proper.