There’s really nothing more frustrating to an electric car driver than arriving at a public charging station to find that it’s being blocked by another car, especially if that car is an internal combustion engine vehicle (a term known as ICEing by plug-in owners worldwide).
Aside from being a major inconvenience, finding the charging station blocked by an ICE vehicle (or worse still, an electric car that isn’t actually plugged in) can sometimes be the difference between getting home at the time you’d originally planned — or quickly having to readjust your plans. It can even result in some plug-in owners having to take the only other option available to them: calling the tow-truck.
But now a product has hit the market which will make blocked charging stations nothing more than a mild annoyance and let you charge your electric car regardless.
Enter Quick Charge Power, and a new product called the “J-Long” cable.
Essentially an extension cord, the J-Long cable makes it possible for plug-in car owners to charge their electric cars at a tethered charging station even if there’s someone else parked in front of the charging station. Some twenty-feet in length, the extension cord features a J1772 inlet on one end and a J1772 plug on the other. Plug the charge cable from the charging station into the inlet on the J-Long, plug the other end into you car, and carry on charging as normal.
As our friends over at GreenCarReports note, the J-Long cable isn’t the first charging cable extension lead to hit the marketplace, with plenty of home-made cables offering the same features available from places like e-Bay.
But the J-Long cable is one of the first, commercially-designed charging cable extension leads we’ve seen, and is built to the same standards as the Type-2 to Type-1 cables most European plug-in car drivers carry around.
Why not do the same in the U.S.? Unlike Europe, where most lower-powered charging stations are untethered (meaning owners have to bring their own cable to the party) most U.S. charging stations are tethered (meaning the cable is attached to the charging station).
While that means you don’t have to carry a heavy cable around in your car unless you want to, it does make it harder to extend those charging cables when you encounter a charging station blocked by someone else.
The J-Long cable is available from Quick Charge Power for $299, and is the latest in a line of plug-in products designed to make electric car charging easier. In addition to offering a converted Tesla 40-amp portable charging connector (something it calls the “Jesla”) Quick Charge Power is readying itself to offer a CHAdeMO DC quick charge upgrade package for RAV4 EV owners wanting to benefit from quick charging on their Toyota RAV4 EVs.
Just like GreenCarReports, we haven’t tested the J-Long cable for ourselves and can’t vouch for its capabilities — and as with any other charging device, it’s up to the individual owner to assess all necessary risks before deciding to use one.
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