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Can you charge an EV in the rain? We ask the experts

4 weeks ago

It’s a simple question, but with the naturally associated danger of electricity and water, we thought it an important one to ask and, thankfully, it doesn’t look like we have much to worry about.


Charging an EV in the rain may seem like a dangerous exercise but experts say you’re probably more likely to hurt yourself slipping over than you are to be electrocuted. 

To find out if it was safe we went to Evan Beaver, the head of charging at Chargefox, who was relatively prompt with his response.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 2022-7
It won’t always be a nice sunny day when you need to charge your EV, but is the rain dangerous?

“Yes is the short answer,” he told Chasing Cars. “The long answer is (EV chargers) are really sophisticated electrical systems that have a lot of self-test systems in them.”

Mr Beaver said both the charger and the battery systems inside the cars are fitted with safety systems developed to an international standard that will cut all power if they detected any trouble.

“It is a very, very unusual thing but if something had gone wrong to the extent that it became hazardous in really bad weather then the normal safety checks of the charger would not allow it to (become dangerous),” he said.

Mercedes-Benz EQA 2021 white rear end
Both the batteries and charging systems have strict protection measures in them

Mr Beaver said in general people don’t need to worry about the weather when charging an EV, with the most charging plugs hiding their electric pins so deep in the handle that even intense rain would be unlikely to impact any important electrical components.

It’s a good thing too, as most outdoor chargers in Australia are without any coverage and sadly the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon.

“At a standard site (a cloth shade) would add around 10 per cent more cost to build the site – so it’s a proper amount of money – and then it introduces a series of risks to the site that are really inconvenient to drivers in future,” he said.

Mr Beaver said any damage to the covering would force Chargefox to temporarily close the charging site, and he would rather spend money putting more charging locations across Australia.

Easy Rain aquaplaning testing Audi A6
Even if you find yourself neck deep in water you are unlikely to be electrocuted

But what if I drive my EV into floodwater?

Aside from this being an incredibly dangerous thing to do in general, Mr Beaver said this too would not result in any form of electrocution if you found your car swept up by water.

Similar to the charging systems, the batteries themselves are put through rigorous testing and have safety systems in place to prevent electrocution. 

Regardless, it’s best to be vigilant when charging an electric car near any kind of hazard but it’s good to know the safety systems are in place and up to scratch.