Charging Electric Cars in the Rain
Electric cars are becoming more popular, but for the average driver, they are still new. Many drivers have questions like how far an electric car can go before needing to be charged again, and how to charge it safely.
If you're lucky enough to have a garage to charge your electric car in, you might not have thought about what to do when it's raining outside. Many people think that charging an electric car in the rain could be dangerous.
In this blog, we aim to clear up any wet weather safety concerns you may have about EVs.
Can You Charge an Electric Car in the Rain?
Electric cars are designed for every kind of weather. Whether it's sunshine or rain, you can be sure that your car is ready for it all.
From their cables and adaptors to charging points, every component involved in charging your EV is designed to withstand all weather conditions, even heavy rain. So, if it's pouring outside and your EV needs some juice, there's no need to worry. You can plug in the charging adaptor without any risk to you or your car.
What about when you're not at home and need to charge? Public charge points are built with the same robust standards as your home charging equipment. They're designed to handle everything the weather can throw at them. So, whether you're charging up on your driveway or at a public charging station, you don't need to worry if you're caught in a sudden downpour.
Is It Safe to Charge an EV in the Rain?
EVs are designed with a range of safety systems in place, and that includes those specifically designed to protect you while charging the car. Here are some of the systems that ensure your safety:
Charging Station Safety
When you connect your EV to a charging point, the first thing the systems do is make sure everything is functioning as it should. If something isn't right, the vehicle won't begin charging, and no electricity will be transferred.
The charger and cable don't immediately start conducting electricity when you plug them in. Instead, the system first checks for safety. Once everything is deemed secure, the electricity starts flowing and your EV begins charging.
Specially Designed Electric Components
Manufacturers design EVs with special components that are protected to ensure that you don't touch any dangerous electrical parts. This means you can charge your vehicle in the rain, snow, or ice, without worrying about water or particles compromising your safety.
Understanding IP Ratings
When discussing the technical details of EVs and their resistance to water, we come across something called IP ratings. IP stands for Ingress Protection, which is a rating that indicates how well a device can keep out dust particles and water.
An IP rating looks something like "IP44." The first number represents the device’s resistance to dust and small particles, while the second represents its resistance to water. These numbers can range from 1-6 for particles and 1-8 for water.
If we look at something with an extremely high IP rating, like a submarine with an IP68, we can see just how resilient these systems can be. Comparing that to a typical EV with an IP67 rating, it becomes clear just how well these vehicles can keep out dust, particles, and water.
IP Ratings of Charging Points
Charging points for EVs also come with IP ratings. Most Level 2 chargers, for example, have an IP rating of 44, ensuring they keep out water and dust particles during the charging process. This makes it safe to charge your EV even when it's raining.
While these safety features should give you peace of mind, you might want additional assurance. Various EV charger rain covers are available that shield your charge point and adaptor from rain, ice, snow, and dirt. This keeps your charging setup clean and protected when not in use, adding an extra layer of security to your EV charging routine.
Can Rain Damage Electric Cars?
Contrary to popular belief, rain will not damage electric cars. However, just as you wouldn't open your windows or sunroof in a traditional car during a downpour, you shouldn't do so in an electric vehicle either. Rainwater can potentially damage the interior of the car, affecting things like fixtures, switches, and dials.
Electric vehicles also typically have a lower centre of gravity compared to petrol and diesel models. This makes them more stable and less prone to tipping over in heavy weather conditions. However, it's worth noting that electric vehicles could still face challenges in flooded conditions.
Water has the potential to damage the battery and electrical system of an EV. According to the Environment Agency, a water level of 300mm is enough to lift a car off the ground. Therefore, if you need to drive in a flooded area, it's crucial to be careful and avoid driving through deep water whenever possible.
Evidence suggests that electric vehicles may even outperform traditional vehicles when it comes to water wading. For instance, the Jaguar I-Pace has a water wading depth of 500mm and features flood-resistant safety systems. EVs don't have an air intake, which means their propulsion system isn't affected by water.
How Do I Protect My EV Charger From the Rain?
EV chargers are robust and weather-resistant, so they don't require special protection from the rain. However, to ensure they last, it's a good idea to keep it clean and clear of debris, especially after a storm.
Is It Safe to Install EV Charger Outside?
Outdoor charging stations for electric vehicles are built to withstand the unpredictable nature of the UK’s weather. Whether it’s a bright sunny day or a rainy night, your car's charging won't be interrupted.
The outdoor charger is typically fixed to an outside wall, and all cables and connection points are completely shielded from any weather condition. A key feature of these charging points is that they won't emit an electrical current until the charger is securely plugged in. This ensures there's no risk of an electric shock when charging your car, even if it's pouring rain!
Charging Forward with Confidence
With their robust design and safety features, EV chargers are built to handle the full spectrum of British weather, ensuring you can keep your EV running, even in the pouring rain.
Now that you know how safe and convenient it is to charge an electric car in any weather, could it be the perfect time to consider getting behind the wheel of an EV? As we transition to a greener future, making the switch to an electric vehicle is an empowering step forward.
At Carmoola, we're here to make the transition smoother for you. We offer flexible car finance options that can help you own an electric vehicle. You don't have to worry about expensive upfront costs, and we make the application process quick and easy. We also provide car refinance options. Whether it's your first electric car or you're upgrading to the latest model, we're here to help get you on the road.🛣️