Q: Is it safe to charge an electric car in the rain?
A: It is safe. Many electric vehicle chargers are designed to be used in any weather. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Electric vehicle chargers are sealed to protect against rain and snow. In addition, you must make a solid, weather-resistant connection between the car’s socket and the charging unit’s plug before the charger will start sending power to the vehicle’s batteries.
After charging, unlocking the plug—the first step in disconnecting the cord from the car—turns off the high voltage needed for charging before the plug can be disconnected. This further ensures safety, so an electric vehicle owner can use chargers with confidence during rain and snow.
If you are charging at home, make sure that the wiring in your house or garage is appropriate to the task of charging the car. You want to be sure that the wiring can handle the current needed. In addition, never use an extension cord to connect a charging unit to the household wiring.
Some home chargers come with a plug that can be connected to a 240-volt outlet. Similar, but not identical, outlets are used to power electric stoves and dryers. Other chargers must be hardwired to the house wiring. Many home charging stations come with the recommendation that units installed outdoors be hardwired. Have a qualified electrician install the charging station. Then it can be used without worry.
There is another safety factor to consider with electric vehicle charging. Most electric vehicles cannot be driven away until they are unplugged, unlike a gasoline vehicle, which can be driven from a gas station with the pump’s nozzle still attached to the car.