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Chargers Beware! Converters & adaptors are not permitted on our network

Posted November 26, 2019 by Roseanne

A number of customers have been trying to charge on the Pod Point Network using Type 2 to 3-pin plug adapters.

Furthermore, a number of “smart cables” are now arriving on the market that are designed to adjust when and how much charging takes place.

Please note, these are NOT permitted as they contravene safety standards & can cause chargepoints to be taken out-of-service.

To maintain a healthy network of chargepoints, we ask that customers avoid using charging adaptors and smart cables.

Why? The adaptors have the following issues:

1. Pod Point chargepoints are designed to supply EVs using the Mode 3 charging protocol.

In the Mode 3 protocol, the car can cancel the charge by interrupting the comms signal running along the cable between the EV and the chargepoint. When that signal is interrupted Pod Point chargepoints release the cable and, more importantly, safely de-energise the connected cable before it can be removed - until this point it remains locked in place.

An adaptor or smart cable can impede this signal, effectively changing the “mode” of charging (from Mode 3 to Mode 2), compromising the required safety locking features of EN62196 connectors. In addition, the Mode 3 protocol provides a means to detect the maximum power rating of the connected cable, adaptors and smart cables have no means of providing this information to the charge points. For these reasons, they must be approved by the manufacturers before use (see 3).

We have also seen adaptors that prevent the car from disrupting the comms signal from the car to the chargepoint, while the adaptor itself has no function to disrupt the signal either. As such, a Pod Point will not release the adaptor until it is powered down via Pod Point’s network assurance team.

In this event, Pod Point can not be held liable for the losses or any injury resulting from the use of such adaptors.

2. The most common adaptors offer 3-pin plug sockets, which are not suited for use in the public realm, its exposed metal pins are a risk in wet conditions.

Conversely, the Type 2 connectors are safe for use in all weather conditions by design.

3. Adaptors and smart cables are not permitted for use unless they have been specifically approved by the chargepoint manufacturer and the vehicle manufacturer.

Under the rules of BS EN61851 in cable adaptors must be approved by the EV and EVSE manufacturers and must include details of where they can be used.

Pod Point has not approved any such adaptors or smart cables and, to our knowledge, none have been approved by any manufacturers of any current EVs either.

Therefore, we ask that customers don’t use charging adaptors or smart cables to avoid our public charge points being taken out of service unnecessarily.

Thanks for your understanding!

Pod Point