What is a granny cable?

If you’ve got an electric car, you will require a charging cable to charge the battery. That much is obvious.

The vast majority of electric cars will come with at least one charging cable, so make sure they are present if you’re buying a used vehicle. A ‘granny cable’ is a colloquial term for the ICCB (In Cable Control Box) cable that should be supplied with the car when new.

There are two theories as to why it’s called a ‘granny cable’. One is that it’s the slowest form of charging – apologies to all the grandmothers out there. The other is that it provides emergency charging should you find yourself without access to a charger when staying with your grandparents.

We prefer the former definition, but the principle remains: a ‘granny cable’ is for slow and overnight trickle charging.

An ICCB cable contains a box that performs the safety and communications that would otherwise be handled by a charging station. It means that you can safely connect your electric car to a domestic three-pin plug socket.

Carrying one in your car will ensure that finding a charging station at your destination isn’t essential. As this tweet highlights, if you can find a plug socket, you can charge for free. Just make sure you ask the proprietor’s permission before plugging in.

It won’t be a quick charge, but you’ll wake up with a full battery. What’s more, it could be the difference between getting home and being left stranded by the roadside with a flat battery.

As we said earlier, most electric cars come with a granny cable. For example, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric is delivered with ICCB and Type 2 charging cables.

However, although the Renault Zoe comes with a Type 2 charging cable and Renault’s own Chameleon Charger, the granny cable is absent. You can find them on eBay, however, with prices starting from around £400.

Read our guide for more information on charging your electric car.

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The Motoring Electric glossary runs from AC to ZEV. It shoud help you to understand the acronyms, abbreviations and terminology used for electric cars.