Category - Ev Chargers
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Paul Holdsworth, Engineer

31 Jan : Updated 16 Nov ● 5 min read

Can you charge an electric car in the rain?

If you drive an electric car, you'll know how energy-efficient and environmentally friendly they are when compared with petrol or diesel vehicles. But, thanks to the typical British weather, you may find yourself asking, 'Can you charge an electric car in the rain?' It’s something that many first-time EV owners wonder about; so you won’t be the first. 

With strong myths circulating about charging electric vehicles in bad weather, you may be worried that it's unsafe. Do you need to take any special precautions? 

Luckily, you'll find the answers to these questions and more right here.

We'll explain whether charging electric cars in the rain is dangerous and what you can do to protect your EV charger in bad weather. 

If you'd like to know more, just read along as we explore how to safely charge your EV in the rain.

Is it safe to charge an electric car in the rain?

We're all aware that water and electricity don’t mix. But modern-day electric vehicles are designed to be used in every weather condition; there’s certainly no need to worry. And this doesn't just refer to dry or wet weather either; it also means clean or dusty and hot or cold conditions. 

Electric vehicles are designed to be used in the same way as petrol or diesel cars - in all weather conditions.

This makes all types of EV chargers perfectly safe to use in the rain. 

Electric vehicle cables and chargers are weatherproof and are carefully designed to protect the car, driver and passengers from any electric shocks.

Waterproofing any outdoor electrical equipment is a standard routine, as there are strict rules that must be complied with by both manufacturers and installers.

Are there special precautions when charging an EV while it’s raining?

No, there aren't any special precautions to be taken when using EV charging stations. 

When you think about the inbuilt safety, testing standards, and advanced technology, it's easy to appreciate how safe EV charging stations really are.

However, there are things you can do to further increase your safety when using an EV charging station whatever the weather, such as:

  • Never charge your car using a multi-socket extension lead designed for domestic purposes. If you need an extension lead, only use one designed for outdoor use. That said, you should only ever be using a standard three-pin plug in an emergency, not for regular charging.

  • Only buy charging cables from reputable retailers or directly through the manufacturer: these companies will put their products through strict and thorough testing to meet UK safety standards.

  • Regularly check your cables for wear and tear and replace them if there's any damage.

  • A dedicated charging point is the safest and most convenient way to charge your electric vehicle. Make sure this is installed by a qualified professional.

What happens if water gets inside an electric car charger?

It's very unlikely to happen, but if water gets into the charger to a point where it becomes dangerous, a charging connection won't happen. This means there won't be a current flow, so there's no risk of a shock or electrocution.

These safety precautions are put in place to keep you as safe as possible, and it means that your cables will be resistant to rain and water intrusion. Some of the safety precautions built into the charging plug to prevent water ingress include:

  • The pins and prongs in the charger are designed to make the primary "charging pin" the last to make contact when plugged into the connector. It's also the first contact that will break when it's unplugged. This means that any defects with the connector would be identified before the primary pin is even fully plugged in.

  • The connectors are very bulky with copious amounts of plastic around them, even though the pins themselves are very small. This protects against water intrusion and prevents any damage from occurring. Each connector prong or pin has a plastic covering on the charging port and the vehicle's matching port.

These safety functions all work to ensure that, even if water does get into one of the pins, the moisture won't touch any other pins, preventing any short circuits.

Electric car chargers are subjected to safety testing

Before being sold, electric vehicles undergo testing and verification, making them an extremely safe option even in the worst weather conditions. The testing of electric vehicles is much more than just the approval process for the car and its components.

It includes testing the charging interfaces and all the systems to do with enabling the electric vehicle. Other tests include the charging station itself and the back-office systems that communicate, known as conformance or interoperability testing.

Don't believe the myths

Unfortunately, there are many myths about electric cars. Some people believe they're not safe to charge in the rain and that you'll get electrocuted. But this couldn't be further from the truth - electric vehicles are perfectly safe to charge in adverse weather conditions.

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Final thoughts

Hopefully, this guide has put your mind at rest about charging your EV. Ultimately, electric vehicles are completely safe to charge, no matter the weather conditions.

Check out our other guides for more information on charging electric vehicles such as should you charge your electric car every night? and the Motability Scheme for electric cars.

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