Will electric cars shock in the rain?

Electric car technology is relatively new for most people and myths about the technology remain. For example, can an electric car electrocute a driver or pedestrians when it rains?

While the likes of the Renault Fluence and Renault Zoe have disproved theories about practicality and zany designs, and the Vauxhall Ampera banishes range anxiety with its 350-mile range, there are still some concerns about electric technology.

For example, would driving in heavy rain, driving through puddles or even across a flooded road cause electric shocks?

It is an important question as parts of the country suffer from flooding after heavy rain throughout the UK – but luckily for electric drivers, the answer is a resounding ‘no’.

Most cars feature electrics as part of the package, particularly newer cars, as more manufacturers turn to electrical driving aids and other systems to help drivers.

These electric systems are protected and, despite the likes of the Renault Fluence being fitted with a 398-volt battery this is protected too – even when being directly sprayed by a hose pipe during cleaning.

Nissan and Renault, an alliance that shares electric technology, has completed over 1,000 safety tests on its electric cars including recreating a dog chewing the charging lead, lighting a fire underneath the engine and, of course, driving the cars through a flooded road.

While it is not recommended to drive through flooded roads, it is not going to cause electric shocks to the driver or anybody else.

Even if a car crashes in an unexpected pothole underwater, there are still safety precautions in place around the battery (including circuit-breakers) to ensure the battery does not pose a risk of electric shocks.

The electric chargers themselves are even designed for charging in the rain with all the protection expected from a new product before going to market.

While Renault Fluence and Vauxhall Ampera drivers enjoy emissions-free driving, they should be safe in the knowledge a bit of rain should not put them off getting behind the wheel.

Of course, there are some safety issues with driving in heavy rain. Stopping distances and visibility will be a problem on any vehicle.

Meanwhile, after a man died in his car after being swept away in a flood, experts are warning drivers even two feet of water is enough to sweep a car away – and even the best safety technology will be useless at that point.

So, drive clever and drive safe, but don’t worry about electric shocks. The likes of Renault have that one covered.

And, if you don’t believe us, check out this video from Nissan showing the Leaf not only coping with deep water but also taking on lightning without an electrical malfunction.

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