Electric car charging cable length: How Long Should It Be

  • Time to read: 3 min.

Electric cars are great because they help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. But they also require long cables to charge them.

 There’s nothing worse than having to run around with to longer extension cord just to plug in your car. 

But how do we find the perfect length of charging cable? In this article, I’ll go over the pros and cons of various lengths of charging cables and tell you exactly what size you should buy.

How Long Can an EV Charging Cable Be?

There are two types of charging cables: Level 1 and Level 2. The former requires 120V AC power, while the latter uses 240V AC power.

Both require a minimum of 6 feet of cable, but Level 2 cables can be much longer. For example, the longest cable currently available in the USA is 25 feet long.

In general, you’ll want to purchase a Level 2 cable that has a maximum length of 20 feet. It’s best to avoid purchasing a cable that’s too short.

Do longer charging cables take longer to charge?

The length of the charging cable affects the speed at which a battery is charged. Longer cables require more time to charge, but they also allow for faster-charging speeds.

In general, the shorter the cable, the faster the charging speed. However, if the cable is too short, it may not reach the battery.

Choose the right length

To determine the optimal length of the charging cable, measure the distance from the wall outlet to the charge point on your vehicle.

Then add 10 feet to account for slack in the cord. This gives you the maximum length of the charging cable.

Can You Extend an EV Charging Cable?

However, you shouldn’t attempt to extend your existing charging cable. Doing so could damage your cables, and it could also prevent you from connecting your car to a different type of outlet.

Instead, purchase a new charging cable specifically designed for electric vehicles.

Choose the right amp kW and phase version

Choosing the correct power supply for your electric vehicle charger is critical to its performance. The most common types include 120VAC, 240VAC, and 480VAC. Each type has different advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right one depends on your needs.

120VAC chargers

Typically used for smaller vehicles like golf carts, scooters, and motorcycles. These chargers usually require less wattage than other options, making them ideal for small vehicles. However, they aren’t suitable for larger vehicles like SUVs and trucks.

240VAC chargers

Generally recommended for medium-sized vehicles like minivans, sedans, and station wagons. They provide enough power to charge these vehicles, but they tend to be more expensive than other options.

480VAC chargers

These are designed for large vehicles like pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. They offer more power than other options, allowing drivers to fully recharge their batteries in just a few hours. However, they cost significantly more than other options.

Phase versions

These are other options for selecting the right power supply. Phases 1, 2, 3, and 4 refer to the number of phases in the circuit. For example, a three-phase system includes three wires that run through the same conduit. In a two-phase system, only two wires run through the conduit.

The best choice depends on your vehicle and where you plan to install the charger. Choose a charger with the appropriate voltage and phase version if possible.


As long as you know which model of electric car you’re going to buy, you can easily determine the right length of cable to use. In fact, if you’re buying a new car, you can ask the salesperson to help you choose the correct cable length.

Otherwise, you can look online for information on the exact specifications of each car’s charging system.