EV charging and driving in the rain?

021 Feb 2024

Seven tips to make it a sunny experience

If you’re new to the EV club, it's perfectly normal to have a few nerves about driving and charging in the rain. While we can’t do anything about rain ruining your blowdry or the smell of wet dogs, we can help bust any safety worries about rain and your EV. Let’s dive straight in.

Is it safe to charge in the rain?

A lot of EV newcomers want to know this, because water and electricity is usually a risky combination. The good news is you can charge your EV in the rain. The hardware in EV chargers – such as the cables – is built to be used in wet weather.

It’s also likely that your EV itself has been built with safety in mind: typically, EV batteries and safety systems are designed to provide protection from water – though, if you have questions or concerns, it’s always worth consulting your vehicle manual or manufacturer.
So whether you’re heading out in a light drizzle or deluge, you can top up at a public charger with peace of mind. You just might get a bit wet!

How about driving in the rain?

When it comes to best practise for driving safely in wet conditions, there’s really no difference between petrol cars and EVs. But, just in case you want a refresher, here’s a handy-round up:

Before you head off:

1. Give your tyres a once-over

Make sure your EV's tyres have adequate tread depth, and that they’re at their correct tyre pressure – you’ll find that in your manual. This sets them up for their best possible grip when driving, so you’re much less likely to skid. Monthly reminders to do this can be helpful.

2. Plan ahead

Before your journey, check for weather warnings and road conditions that you might need to be aware of. If you need to avoid flooded or risky areas, check out alternative routes in advance. Most smartphones have settings to get weather alerts for where you live.

On the road:

1. Steady off the blocks

When roads are wet, tyres have to work harder to grip the surface. Speeding up too fast, too soon, for example, when the road clears ahead of you, could lead to skidding or hydroplaning, which is when tyres completely lose contact with the surface and result in a loss of control for the driver. A nice and steady increase is the way, not zero to 60.

2. Keep your distance

At time of writing, the Highway Code recommends doubling up the usual two second rule between you and the car in front, to four seconds in wet weather. This can buy you valuable extra thinking and reaction time, so if you do need to break or slow down, you can avoid sudden changes in speed, which can cause skidding.

3. Think bright and clean

If the clouds are grey, turning on your EV's headlights even during the day can make it easier for you to see, and for other drivers to see you. Use your EV's defroster and windshield wipers to keep the glass in front of you as clean and clear as possible.

Find out more about public EV charging

We'll keep your electric vehicle moving as you travel around the UK with our network of charging points—so you can plug in, power up, and go.

4. Slow down for new surfaces

All surfaces can be more slippery when wet – not just the road, but painted road markings, metal surfaces, and grates. Giving yourself extra time to slow down when you approach these can give you more control over your car and make it less likely you’ll skid.

5. Head for charging hubs with canopies

If you want to keep dry while charging, look out for EV charging hubs with canopies - such as at our NEC Gigahub in Birmingham.

And finally, you can find many of our public chargers near handy places for you to shop, drink or eat at. So even if wet weather does come along, your EV charging won’t be a wash-out.

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