A charger plugged into a white electric vehicle shows how you can safely charge your EV.

Are you the proud owner of an electric vehicle (EV) or contemplating making the switch to greener transportation? If so, you're already reducing emissions and helping the environment. But while you're cruising around on clean energy, it's important that your charging practices are as safe as they are eco-friendly. Follow these tips for safe charging at public stations and at home:

How to safely charge at public stations

  • Choose reliable stations. When looking for charging stations, opt for reputable and well-maintained locations. Keep an eye out for stations that are well-lit, have clear signage, and are situated in busy or populated areas for added safety.
  • Inspect the equipment. Look over the charging equipment before plugging in. Make sure there are no visible signs of damage, such as frayed cables or loose connections. If the equipment looks damaged, or parts are missing, it's best to let the station know about the potential hazard and move on to another station if need be.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. While your EV is charging, stay nearby and remain vigilant. This not only prevents any tampering with your vehicle, but also allows you to react quickly in the event of a carjacking attempt.
  • Mind your cable. Keep your charging cable tidy and out of harm's way. Neatly coil the cable while your car is charging and make sure it’s lying flat to avoid creating a tripping hazard for yourself and others.
  • Respect public charging etiquette. Like a regular gas station, charging stations are a shared space, so be mindful of others waiting in line. Once your vehicle’s battery is full, quickly move your car to make way for other EV owners.

For the safest EV charging experience at a public charging station, keep an eye out for tripping hazards from hanging cords and let the station know if any equipment appears to be damaged.

How to safely charge at home

  • Use manufacturer-approved equipment. When setting up a home charging station, use the charging set up that’s provided or recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. There are three different types of chargers that you can use, depending on your vehicle:
    • Level 1. Most Level 1 chargers come directly from the manufacturer with your EV and can be used with any standard 120V wall outlet. It provides up to eight kilometres of range per hour of charge time, which makes it the slowest charging option.
    • Level 2. This type of charger is ideal for a faster and more flexible home charging set-up and requires a 208V or 240V wall outlet — which needs to be installed by a certified electrician. Providing up to 97 kilometres of range per hour of charge time, this tends to be a more popular option.
    • Level 3. This can charge an EV in 20 to 30 minutes but is generally only found at public charging stations.
  • Follow installation guidelines. Whether you're installing a wall-mounted charger or using a portable one, always follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you're unsure, consider hiring a certified electrician to set everything up correctly.
  • Make sure you have enough power. Double check that your home's electrical system can support the charging demands of your EV. You may have to upgrade your electrical panel or circuits to prevent overloading and reduce the risk of electrical fires.
  • Complete regular maintenance. Just like any other appliance, your charging equipment requires regular maintenance. Periodically inspect cables, plugs, and connectors for signs of wear or damage, and fix them as soon as possible if needed.

By following these simple tips, you can make sure your EV charging experience is not only convenient, but safe for you, your vehicle, and those around you. Want some additional maintenance tips for your EV? Learn how to keep your electric vehicle on the road for many years to come.

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