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Long story short: I need an extension cord to charge my EV when the standard charger does not reach the socket. I spent hours researching what options I have and most review websites I found were US-based. The most highly recommended extension cord was this bad boy:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Extension-PowerGrip-Convenient-Carrying/dp/B004809YBE#

But I live in Europe, specifically in Romania. Here we use 230V with 16A, which means 3680W. Given that the Camco cable:

  • Features 30A male and 30A female connectors
  • Is rated for 125V/3750W

And supposing that I get the highest quality US<>EU plug adapter, could I use this US cable to charge my EV in Romania? And would it be safe?

I know that I could instead shop for a standard European 2.5mm^2 extension cord. In fact, that's what I will most likely end up doing. Nonetheless, I'm curious to find out the answer to my question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ No, using anything not rated for 230 V would have legal implications and pose a risk to anyone who comes in contact with it. Why would you want to mix US and du appliances and chords? \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Jan 14 at 21:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Of course not, if it is not rated for the voltage, and has wrong plugs. \$\endgroup\$
    – Justme
    Jan 14 at 21:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @winny I just wanted to learn. I didn't know there are legal implications. Thanks for your help! \$\endgroup\$ Jan 14 at 22:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you actually use a standard 3-core extension cable fitted with your normal local plug and socket for your EV or does it need a 5+ core lead fitted with the appropriate dedicated EV charging connectors? \$\endgroup\$
    – Graham Nye
    Jan 15 at 17:39
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You could get as many “no” as “yes” answers. Will it work? Sure. Should you use it? Probably not.

  • No, this product is not CE marked, its importation is actually illegal.
  • Yes, it is rated for 30 A, while you’ll draw only 16.
  • No, it is rated for 130V, while you’ll have up to 240V.
  • No, those plugs are not designed for 240V
  • No, using adapters (two of them in addition) is definitely not recommended especially in higher power situations (and you will probably have a hard time finding adapters for those plugs which are not the basic US plugs)

I would be surprised if you could not find a better and cheaper option using local plugs. In addition, since it would need to support lower intensity (amps) it can use smaller gauge wires (cheaper and lighter).

Note that there is no such thing as an “EU” plug. There are many different standards in use in Europe, not all of them being compatible.

Last point of note: never use an extension cable while it is still rolled up, especially at higher intensity. The cable is just one big resistor which is going to generate heat as current goes through it. Spread out, that’s not an issue, but rolled up that can be a bit too much heat for the cable.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It would be awesome if you could add the "why" to your last point about not using the cord rolled up. \$\endgroup\$
    – DamienD
    Jan 14 at 22:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DamienD there's a thread for that: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/192923/… \$\endgroup\$ Jan 15 at 10:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks to both, this adds a lot to the answer. When instructions come without a justification, it's hard to tell how important they are and whether they apply to your case. They tend to get dismissed or distorted, and if you don't know why you're doing something, you're not really in control of the situation :) \$\endgroup\$
    – DamienD
    Jan 15 at 11:27
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You can get long extenstion cables with the standard blue 16A plugs and sockets. A quick search on the UK version of Amazon reveals many examples of them.

There's a convention that yellow is for 120V and blue is for 230V (and red is 400V), and the connectors are deliberately incompatible with each other. So no reputable manufacturer would create adaptors to allow you to mix the two.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting. I thought that the colors were chosen by the manufacturers for aesthetic purposes. What's the name of this color convention? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 15 at 9:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PaulRazvanBerg for the round plugs used widely in Europe, it's set by IEC 60309 \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon B
    Jan 15 at 9:58

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