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FAQ - Electric Cars

Driving through water, how ‘shocking’ is it?

Do you get an Electrical Shock when your EV enters water, or when you charge in the rain?  Let’s find out!

There is some confusion amongst the public whether electric cars can interact safely with water without causing fires or shocks.

The rule of thumb: Determine how deep the water is. If it’s above the wheel, it’s risky to proceed.

When considering an EV (Electric Vehicle), some people have wondered whether an electric car is safe in combination with water. The worry is that the water may react with the electrical components of the car, causing shocks or fires.

The truth is that electric vehicles are designed in a way 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 during normal use (extreme exceptions always apply!).

Is it safe to DRIVE an EV in the rain?

There’s a common myth floating around that electric cars should avoid heavy rain, but the truth is quite different. Electric cars can indeed be driven in the rain. Just like traditional combustion engine cars, electric vehicles (EVs) come equipped with safety features to protect their delicate electrical components from rainwater. These safety measures are thoroughly tested by manufacturers.

Why you don’t need to worry:

  • Sealed Components: EVs have sealed electrical components, preventing water from infiltrating critical areas. These seals keep rainwater out, ensuring the car’s functionality even during wet weather.
  • Rigorous Testing: Manufacturers subject electric cars to rigorous testing, including exposure to rain and other environmental conditions. They verify that rainwater won’t interfere with the car’s operation.
  • Common Sense: Imagine if electric cars were rendered useless by rain – that would be incredibly unpopular! Thankfully, modern EVs are designed to handle various weather conditions, including rain.
  • Rain conditions on Curacao: It’s completely safe to drive in rainy weather, however; Some areas on Curacao can be flooded during heavy rainfall, for example in the neighborhood of Saliña.  As with any car, you should not drive through water which is higher than your wheel axels. (The middle of your wheel.) Even though your EV is waterproof, don’t go to the extremes. A gasoline car will stop when flooded, and so will an EV car.

So, if you’re driving an electric car in Curaçao and encounter rain, rest assured that your EV car is well-prepared to handle it!

Is it safe to CHARGE an Electric Car in the rain?

Curaçao, with its tropical climate, occasionally experiences heavy rain. But fear not! Charging your electric vehicle (EV) in the rain is perfectly safe. Here’s why:

  • Designed for Rain: Electric cars are engineered to handle wet conditions. The charging components are sealed and weatherproof, ensuring rainwater won’t interfere with the charging process.
  • Safety precaution: Before the actual charging starts, the charger and it’s ‘charging pistol’ communicates with the Electrical Vehicle when plugged in. Only if the conditions are safe, the actual charging current is switched on by the charger. You will never get a shock on any occasion.
  • User Protection: EVs are often parked outdoors, so manufacturers have taken precautions. The design of the charging equipment prioritizes safety for both the user and the vehicle.
  • No Need to Worry: If you’re plugging in your EV during a Curaçao downpour, rest assured that you’re doing the right thing!

Can an Electric Car go through a CAR WASH?

Absolutely! Electric cars can confidently go through car washes, whether it’s a drive-through automated wash or a home wash with a jet washer. Here’s why:

  • Sealed and Tested: Manufacturers subject electric cars to rigorous testing, including the famous “soak test.” During this test, the cars are thoroughly soaked with water, and any leaks are promptly identified and fixed during the manufacturing process. So, rest assured that electric cars are well-prepared for wet conditions.
  • Waterproof Components: Electric vehicles (EVs) come equipped with sealed electrical components. These seals prevent water from infiltrating sensitive areas, ensuring that rain or car wash water won’t disrupt the car’s functionality.
  • No Worries: Imagine if electric cars were delicate flowers that couldn’t handle a good wash! Thankfully, that’s not the case. Modern EVs are designed to withstand various weather conditions, including car washes.

So, whether you’re getting your electric car cleaned at a professional car wash or doing it yourself at home, feel free to keep your EV sparkling!

What happens to an EV that has been flooded?

Whether it’s a traditional fuel-powered car or an electric vehicle (EV), flooding is always a cause for concern. Here’s what you need to know about electric cars and floods:

  • Safety Systems: Most electric cars come equipped with safety systems designed to shut down power in case of water contact. If an EV becomes submerged, its circuit breakers activate, cutting off electricity to prevent dangerous situations.
  • No Fire or Explosions: Unlike some dramatic myths, your electric car won’t spontaneously catch fire or explode when flooded. The safety measures in place ensure that.
  • Journey-Halting Effects: However, just like any flooded car, an electric vehicle will still face the same journey-halting effects. Waterlogged components can disrupt functionality, leaving you stranded until the car is properly dried out and repaired.

So, while your electric car won’t turn into a fireworks display, it’s essential to take precautions and avoid driving through deep water. It will make the car unusable until repaired.

Some considerations

Let’s discuss what you should consider when your electric car encounters flooding in Curaçao:

The obvious; Avoid driving through floods

  • Prevention: The best way to handle a flooded electric car is to avoid driving through deep water in the first place.
  • Risk of Damage: Waterlogged components can cause serious damage to the car’s electrical systems.
  • Depth of Water: Determine how deep the water is. If it’s above the axle (above the middle of the wheel), it’s risky to proceed.
  • High voltage: The high voltage wiring systems and the high capacity battery can handle water, however, as with all things, everything can be damaged. Driving in normal circumstances will be no problem, but extremes should always be avoided.

If flooded; seek professional help

  • Tow the Car: If the water level is high, do not attempt to start the car. Arrange for a tow truck to take it to a safe location.
  • Professional Inspection: Have a professional mechanic inspect the car thoroughly. They’ll check for water damage and assess the extent of any potential issues.

Remember, while electric cars are designed with safety features, it’s essential to take swift action after flooding to prevent long-term issues.