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"Can I charge my electric car in the rain?" and Other Common Questions About Electric Vehicles

By Jodie Chay Oneill | May 22, 2024

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We've collated answers to frequently asked questions about electric vehicles here

"Can I charge my electric car in the rain?" and Other Common Questions About Electric Vehicles

Transitioning to electric vehicles is a crucial step in the UK's efforts to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net zero by 2050. Electric vehicles (EVs) produce no emissions from their tailpipes, making them significantly better for the environment. They also tend to be cheaper to run than traditional petrol or diesel vehicles and are exempt from congestion charges in many urban areas.

However, for widespread adoption of EVs to occur, there needs to be rapid development of residential charging infrastructure. This would enable drivers to charge their vehicles as conveniently as they currently refuel at petrol stations. 

We've collated answers to frequently asked questions about electric vehicles here:

Can I run an EV charging cable across the pavement to my car if I don't have a driveway?

Yes, it's legal to run an EV charging cable across the pavement to your car if you lack a driveway. However, local councils have the authority under the Highway Act to remove cables they deem hazardous to pedestrians or potentially fire-inducing.

What charging options do I have if I live in a top floor flat?

If you have a designated parking spot, you can likely install your own charging point. You can also apply for an OZEV EV Chargepoint Grant, which can reduce installation costs by £350. If you don't have access to private parking, alternatives include charging points on residential streets and at supermarkets and petrol stations. You can nominate your street for on-street EV charging at electricstreets.co.uk.

Should I start my vehicle during charging?

You should turn off your EV when you begin charging. However, once charging has commenced, you can turn the engine on to utilise features like heaters and the radio. Some vehicles even allow gaming through the infotainment system during charging, though functionalities like power steering and movement are disabled.

What happens if I run out of charge mid-journey?

Your EV will provide ample warning if your charge is running low. Typically, your dashboard will alert you, and if your battery drops below 5%, the navigation system will direct you to the nearest charging point. You'll also receive an estimated range based on your current charge level. When the battery hits 0%, you can typically drive for an additional five miles before activating "turtle mode," limiting you to around 20 mph with only basic vehicle functions available.

What do different charging speeds mean?

There are four charging speeds for EVs: slow, fast, rapid, and ultra-rapid, denoting varying power outputs and charging speeds. Charging speed depends on your vehicle model and the charging station's capabilities, with some EVs capable of reaching 80% battery in just 30 minutes.

Can electric cars be charged in the rain?

Yes, EV charging points are designed to be waterproof and safe for use in all weather conditions, including rain.

Does weather affect vehicle range?

Temperature extremes can impact EV battery performance. Cold weather, in particular, can reduce range by over 40% when interior heaters are used, though high temperatures also have a temporary, albeit smaller, effect.

Can EVs be resold?

Yes, EVs depreciate in value like traditional vehicles due to factors like age, mileage, and battery condition. However, EVs are in high demand and tend to retain their value better than petrol and diesel vehicles.

Where can I charge?

Most EV owners charge at home, even without a driveway. Charging is also available at local Tesco stores and destination chargers nationwide.

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