Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular because of the growing environmental concern and the government’s many incentives, including tax cuts and rebates. More and more people turn towards using the said vehicle.
With that being said, the only drawback of electric cars in the past was that there were limited charging stations. Even today, electric car charging stations are limited, but it is still being worked on.
Plus, the good thing is that electric cars can be charged at home. But people still have many unanswered queries regarding electric car charging.
If you’re in a similar boat, read on to find out all the answers to your questions regarding electric car charging.
Can You Charge an Electric Car in the Rain?
One of the most frequently asked questions about electric car charging is whether or not it can be charged in the rain. The last thing you want is to get electrocuted while charging your car when it is pouring outside.
So, can you charge an electric car in the rain?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to charge your electric car in the rain. Manufacturers take great care when they make electric car chargers.
Generally, the charging cable is completely insulated to ensure a watertight fit. When you plug in the charger at the port on your car, no water goes into the charging cable or your vehicle.
The next time you hear someone warn you about not charging your electric car in the rain, you can simply brush them off as rumors and a baseless myth.
What are the Common Dos and Don’ts of Charging Electric Cars?
Even though electric car charging seems like a relatively straightforward process, there are specific do’s and don’ts that you should know about.
Since electric vehicles are still new and their use isn’t as widespread as conventional fuel cars, not many people know what they should and shouldn’t do when charging electric cars.
Do’s and Don’ts of Electric Car Charging
If you’ve just gotten your very first electric car, you probably don’t know the basics of electric car charging either. But don’t worry, here are the common do’s and don’ts of electric car charging:
Charge Up To 80%
When it comes to charging electric cars with a lithium-ion battery, it is better to keep the charge at 80 percent rather than charging them 100 percent. When a lithium-ion battery is charged to 80 percent, it allows space for regenerative braking.
Regenerative braking is beneficial to electric car owners as the leftover space allows the kinetic energy to be converted into usable energy, giving a better overall performance.
This is also quite helpful to other electric car drivers if you’re charging your car at a public charging station. You don’t need to charge your battery and hog the charger needlessly fully. If there is a line behind you, be courteous and charge your car only as much as needed.
Waiting for your car to fully charge in public when you don’t even need to travel long distances is not only unnecessary, but it is also inconsiderate.
Pre-Set the Charger
If you plan to go out or are busy with some tasks and won’t be using your electric car for a while, make sure you plug the charger into your electric car so it can charge while you’re away.
But you don’t want your car to be overcharged. Overcharging can lead to drained battery life. You can use a pre-set timer that will shut off the charger when your car is about 50 percent charged.
The same goes for when you need to go to bed. Most electric car owners tend to plug-in car chargers at night so that the car is ready to use in the morning.
But if the charger is left plugged in for too long, it can adversely affect your car’s battery. To avoid overcharging, you can use a timer to shut off the charger when your car is charged to a certain level.
Don’t Let Your Car Get Discharged
While overcharging affects the battery’s health, discharging also does the same. If your electric car’s battery is completely discharged before recharging, your battery’s health will suffer as a consequence.
You should always charge your car as soon as it hits the 30 percent mark to avoid this hurdle. If it goes any lower, it will reduce the battery’s health, and frequent discharging will lead to an early battery replacement.
Avoid Using Fast Chargers
Fast chargers are a lifesaving invention. They can fully charge your electric car in half the time a standard electric car charger would take. While fast chargers certainly are beneficial, they aren’t something you should use frequently or regularly.
Fast chargers take away battery life every time they are used. They take away more life during winters. To preserve your battery’s health, you should use a regular charger instead of a fast charger. Of course, a fast charger can be used in emergencies or when you’re in a hurry.
Charge When Parked
Electric car batteries are pretty sensitive and can drain quickly. It is crucial to ensure that you always charge your car when it is parked to prevent battery drainage.
Moreover, when it is extremely hot outside, you should park your car under the shade. Scorching weather conditions are sure to drain your electric car’s battery. Keeping your car under shade will cool down the battery, preserving its health and allowing easy charging.
When running low on battery, you should drive slowly to preserve the battery. Going fast will only drain more battery, and that is not a wise idea if you’re not sure where you’ll find the next charging station. In this case, a hybrid car comes in handy as they have backup fuel.
But keep in mind that if you drive slowly and don’t push the accelerator too hard, it will increase your battery life.
Map Out Your Route
If you’re planning a long road trip, it might be possible that your car’s battery life may not be able to keep up with such a long run time. In this case, you should always map out your route carefully to make charging stations available on the road.
If you have a hybrid car, make sure to fill up your fuel tank and fully charge your battery before leaving. Even if you run out of electric power, you can use your backup fuel to keep going. But for pure electric cars, finding charging stations is a must.
In certain areas, charging stations aren’t available as easily, so make sure you have enough battery to cover your trip, or your battery runs until you reach the next charging station.
Don’t Unplug Other Cars
Don’t unplug it if you reach a charging station and find a car already plugged in. Not only is it rude, but it is also impolite. Always wait for the other party and charge your car when they’re done.
Of course, if you’re running really low and are desperately in need of charging your vehicle, you can unplug others, but make sure you plug it back in before leaving.
Why Are Electric Cars Less Efficient During Winters?
While it is safe to charge your electric car in the rain or snow, the fact still remains that your electric car will be less efficient during winters. But why is that so?
Generally, electric cars use a lithium-ion battery. These batteries are used by both pure electric and hybrid cars. Within the battery, there are two nodes called anode and cathode. The lithium ions move from the anode to the cathode to produce electricity.
Simply put, the electricity produced is dependent on the chemical reaction that takes place. But during winters, this reaction is slowed down, leading to reduced battery performance.
Moreover, the battery’s thermal management and the car’s heating system also use up more battery power. This, in turn, reduces the overall range of your electric car, making it less efficient during winters. There is an estimated 20 to 30 percent drop in your car’s efficiency in colder months.
To avoid a permanent decrease in your battery’s health, you should not allow it to drop too low. Recharge your battery when the battery reaches the 35 to 30 percent mark.
But there is always a silver lining in every situation. As mentioned before, hot weather conditions drain the battery quickly. But during winters, your car battery will remain fully charged for longer when not in use as opposed to summers where the battery is rapidly drained even when your car is parked.
Can Hybrid Electric Cars Be Charged in the Rain?
Hybrid cars run on both electric power and conventional fuel. Now you might be confused as to whether or not hybrid cars can be charged in the rain since they store both electricity and fuel.
But just like pure electric cars, they are entirely safe to charge even in extreme weather conditions such as rain or snow.
You can also fill up your fuel tank when it’s pouring, as most gas stations have a roof over them. Even if one doesn’t have a roof, only a small amount of rainwater will get into the fuel tank, which won’t harm your car in any way.
Most vehicles with fuel tanks have bottom traps that capture small amounts of water that might enter.
Whether you have a pure electric car a hybrid model, you can charge both cars in the rain. The watertight cables ensure that no water gets into your vehicle, and there is zero risk of getting electrocuted. So be assured that your electric car is perfectly safe to charge irrespective of the weather condition.
Of course, there are some other do’s and don’ts associated with electric car charging, such as avoiding overcharging as it can reduce the battery’s health life.
It is also essential not to let your car’s battery drop after reaching a certain percentage. Recharging your car after the battery has drained completely is not something you should practice either.
Moreover, you should also avoid using fast chargers frequently, especially when it is cold (raining or snowing) outside. Cold weather conditions deplete your car’s battery even more, and they take longer to charge.
So, the next time the temperature drops, try to use a regular charger as often as you can instead of opting for a fast charger.
Simply put, you can charge an electric vehicle under all weather conditions, but make sure you consider all the dos and don’ts of electric car charging.
Related electric cars articles:
- How Many Gears Does An Electric Car Have?
- 7 Hidden Costs of Owning an Electric Car
- How Much Does It Cost to Install Electric Car Charger
- What Happens if an Electric Car Gets Wet?
- How Much Money Do You Save With an Electric Car
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.