What are the biggest mistakes people make when charging their electric vehicle (EV)? Safety missteps include using an extension cord and using inappropriate or substandard charging equipment.
Do not increase the reach of the charger’s cord by using an extension cord, regardless of its rating. Extension cords cannot handle the amount of amperage that car chargers require.
Another mistake EV owners make is not using a professional charger, which can cause serious safety issues and possibly compromise your vehicle.
Other home-charging safety tips include:
- Purchase a charging system and equipment that is endorsed/sold by an EV manufacturer whenever possible. (This is not the time to buy an off-brand or bargain.)
- Ensure all charging equipment is safety tested and endorsed by a laboratory such as UL.
- Have a Level 2 charging station, which requires a 240-volt outlet, installed by a licensed electrical contractor. (Plugging an EV into a standard 120-volt outlet is considered Level 1 charging.)
- Use a charger on a dedicated circuit and make sure your home’s electrical system can handle the load.
- Look for excessive wear or damage, which could present a shock hazard. This also holds true for DC fast chargers, sometimes referred to as Level 3 chargers.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and using your EV.
- Place all charging components out of children’s reach when not in use.
If you do not yet own an EV and you are considering purchasing one, be sure to do your homework. Since EV features differ, it is a good idea to thoroughly research them before purchasing one. You will want to consider how far you would like to drive it in between charges (short-range versus extended), what type of home-charging system you will use (Level 1 or Level 2), your budget, the type of electric vehicle (e.g., SUV, sedan, truck) and the vehicle’s safety ratings.
If you are curious about EVs, call us to learn more. Finally, if you plan to purchase an EV, Beltrami Electric Cooperative at 218-444-2540 to discuss off-peak rates and the rebates available towards the installation of a level 2 or level 3 EV charger connected to our load management program.