Why You Should Avoid Leaving Your Electric Car Plugged In All Night

Why You Should Avoid Leaving Your Electric Car Plugged In All Night

As with smartphones, we must exercise caution when recharging electric cars, which present a real risk if used indiscriminately. As electric cars become more popular, new questions are emerging about their safety, particularly regarding night-time charging. While these vehicles are generally considered safe, there are still risks associated with leaving your electric car plugged in all night.

What Are The Risks of Charging Your EV All Night?

The primary danger associated with overnight charging is the risk of fire. Although these incidents are rare, several cases have been reported in recent years. The press has increasingly highlighted instances of spontaneous combustion in electric vehicles while charging, with these fires being particularly difficult for firefighters to control. This difficulty arises because the source of the fire, often the battery located under the vehicle, is hard to reach. These events, though isolated, underscore the need for vigilance. The batteries in electric cars contain flammable components and, under certain conditions, can ignite or explode. Overcharging, short-circuiting, or prolonged overheating are factors that can trigger a fire.

An electric car fire can have dramatic consequences, especially if it occurs at night in a garage attached to a home. The rapid spread of flames and toxic fumes endangers people's lives and makes the fire difficult to control.

Modern vehicles are equipped with protection against overheating. However, a shock or impact on the battery can create invisible damage, which may be revealed during prolonged charging, leading to a fire. Ensuring the safety of your electrical installation is crucial. A damaged or insufficient electrical installation shows a significant risk of fire, as electric cars require a large amount of electricity and high intensity to charge.

The risk is real, but it is not necessarily greater than the dangers associated with combustion vehicles. For instance, a spark during refueling at a gas station could lead to a significant explosion.

How to Avoid Risks

Following manufacturer's recommendations and using common sense is crucial to avoid risks. Ensure that your electrical installation meets current standards. 

A reinforced socket allows a charge of 3.7 kW, designed to handle the maximum possible charge within a simple private home installation. For greater peace of mind, consider having a professional install a wall box, which can provide a charge of 7 kW with a single-phase installation or 11 kW with a three-phase installation. Although more expensive, a professional installation guarantees safety and reliability.

Installing a smoke detector in your garage is another wise precaution, enabling a quick reaction if a fire occurs. Regular maintenance and inspection of equipment, such as cables and electrical installations, are essential practices. Charging the vehicle during the day might seem like an easy solution, but it goes against the general recommendations of saving electricity and using off-peak rates at night.