What Is A Commando Socket?

People sometimes ask us, what is a commando socket?

A commando socket is a fast socket that matches the charging speed offered by some home chargers. 

When charging your EV, you can choose between a smart charger like the Optimus charging unit and a commando which acts as a simple plug-and-play device.

Most people opt for a smart charger but a commando plug is a great backup charger and can provide up to 7kW power which is the same as most standard chargers.

The socket itself consists of two parts, the main socket and the cable. The socket is just like a regular one except it’s powerful and then the charging cable simply plugs into your EV. Unlike normal EV charging stations which are attached to your home, the commando is plug and play.

How Fast Does A Commando Socket Charge?

  • 3-pin plug – 2.3kW

  • 16A Commando socket – 3.6kW

  • 32A Commando socket – 7kW – 7.4kW

As you can see, by using a commando you can actually charge at the same power as most EV chargers which usually charge at about 7kW.

How Does A Commando Charger Benefit Electric Cars?

There are a number of benefits to using a commando over a smart charger. The first is that they are more reliable than a standard EV charger and don’t encounter the same number of problems.

Secondly, you can use a commando for a lot more than EV charging so therefore it has multiple uses. Not to mention that if you have more than one electric car, you will need two places to charge, a commando is the perfect second choice.

With some EV chargers, you can encounter connectivity issues due to the WiFi or app. This isn’t the case with a commando as you simply plug the cable straight from the socket into your car.

Lastly, a commando is small and compact, making it a lot less likely to see on your home. You can place it somewhere and it will always be relatively discreet.

Cost To Install Commando Sockets

Using a commando is far cheaper than installing an EV charger but it’s still quite pricey, not so much the socket itself, but the labour included. You will be looking at between £300-£400 in total usually for the socket and labour. 

You will then have to purchase the cable which again is north of £300, so in total for all the parts and labour, you’re looking at around £700 – £800 usually.

This is still far cheaper than what a regular EV would cost to buy and install which is about £1000. 

It’s also worth remembering that you may already have a charging cable and you just need the adapter for it to be installed. If this is the case, then you’ve just saved 50% of the overall cost.

Instead of paying £750 to charge your EV, you may now only have to pay £300 which sounds a lot better!

How To Charge An EV With A Commando?

It’s extremely straightforward, the two things you need are a commando socket and a commando cable (Type 1 or Type 2).

Once you have these, you simply have your socket installed by an electrician, once its all set up, you place the charging cable into the socket and the other end into your EV.

Make sure everything is working accordingly and your EV should be charging, it’s as simple as that.

Last Word

Hopefully, that answered any questions regarding the commando and maybe made you even think about getting one as a backup charger. They are handy, especially if you have two electric vehicles. 

If your purchasing your first EV we would advise you get a regular EV charger just for convenience, but if you ever need a spare chargepoint, the commando is definitely worth considering.

To see more of our general EV guides, head back to our categories page which covers a range of topics and questions.

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Nick is the proud owner of a MG ZS EV and is an EV fanatic. He has been featured in notable publications like USA Today and The Times for his expertise in the field.