Electric Cars & Water: FAQs
With calls to tackle air pollution growing stronger every year, many motorists are now turning to electric cars to get them from A to B. However – as this mode of transport is not yet mainstream, there is some confusion amongst the public as to how electric cars work and whether they can interact safely with water without causing fires or shocks.
In this myth-busting article, we tackle common questions and scenarios involving electric cars and how they’re designed to handle water.
Firstly, how do electric cars work?
Simply put, electric cars are fitted with large battery packs which generate a high voltage, which in turn powers electric motors. These batteries can now be charged at home or dedicated EV charging bays out and about. It’s worth pointing out that all cars, whether petrol or electric, feature electrical components in some capacity – obviously, in the case of electric cars, it is the significant feature.
Is it safe to drive electric cars through puddles?
It’s a fact of life that rainy weather causes puddles, which for motorists will be impossible to avoid. Sometimes it just isn’t safe to slow down or swerve! Nevertheless, when considering a new vehicle, some motorists have wondered whether an electric car is OK through puddles. The worry is that the water may react with the electrical components of the car, causing shocks or fires.
The truth is, electric vehicles (including hybrids) are designed so that the battery cells are well-sealed against wet road-based scenarios. For all intents, consider it impossible for water to come into contact with them (extreme exceptions always apply!).
Is it safe to drive an electric car in the rain?
Another myth that some have attached on to is that electric cars should not be driven in heavy rain – in actuality, electric cars can be driven in the rain. As with combustion engine cars, manufacturers have safety features in place to ensure that rainwater does not reach delicate electrical parts of an electric car, and this is rigorously tested by manufacturers. If you think about it, it would be incredible – incredibly unpopular – that a car could be thwarted by rain!
Can an electric car go through a car wash?
Don’t worry – electric cars benefit from a thorough clean, whether at a drive through car wash or at home with a jet washer. One of the tests commonly conducted by manufacturers is the soak test, in which cars are soaked with water and leaks are identified and rectified during manufacture meaning that yes, electric cars are safe to be washed!
Is it safe to charge an electric car in the rain?
England, famed for its wet weather, may leave you wondering whether electric cars can be charged up when it’s raining. Don’t fear – it’s perfectly safe to charge your EV car in the rain. With vehicles routinely located outside these days, suitable provision has been made to protect both the user and the vehicle through the design of the charging equipment.
What happens to an electric car that has been flooded?
Whether your car is fuel powered or electric, flooding is never good news. Most electric cars will be fitted with safety systems to shut down any power in the event of short circuiting from contact with water. For example, if a car found itself submerged, the circuit breakers are designed to trip, thus shutting down the power and avoiding any dangerous outcomes. So, while your electric car isn’t likely to catch fire or explode, it will still suffer the same journey-halting effects as any car that has been flooded.
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