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This is why you should avoid leaving your electric car plugged in all night

© Tesla

As electric cars become more popular in France, new questions are emerging about their safety, particularly regarding nighttime charging. Although these vehicles are generally considered safe, there are still risks associated with leaving your electric car plugged in overnight.

A limited but real risk of fire

The main danger mentioned is that of a fire which could declare itself during nighttime recharge. Even if these incidents remain rare, several cases have been reported in recent years.

The press is increasingly reporting sometimes spontaneous combustion of electric vehicles while charging, these fires being particularly difficult to control by firefighters. Indeed, it is impossible for them to directly reach the source of the fire which is often the battery, this being located under the vehicle.

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These events, although isolated, highlight the need to be vigilant. Batteries used in electric cars contain flammable components and can, under certain circumstances, catch fire or explode. An overload, a short circuit or prolonged overheating are all factors that can trigger a fire.

An electric car fire can obviously have dramatic consequences, especially if it occurs at night in a garage attached to a home. The rapid spread of flames and toxic fumes endanger the lives of the occupants, with a fire that is difficult to control.

What are the potential causes of these fires ?

The potential causes of fires in an electric vehicle are numerous, so it is important to remain vigilant. In the same way as smartphones, electric car batteries are likely to overheat if exposed to extreme environmental conditions. It is therefore necessary to avoid loading a vehicle more than is reasonable in these types of conditions.

However, it should not be forgotten that modern vehicles have protections against this type of overheating. It is then necessary to be particularly attentive to your driving, a shock or impact on the battery can in fact create invisible damage which is revealed during prolonged charging by a fire.

Finally, the point to absolutely check here to avoid any risk is not the electric car it -same, but the electrical installation of the home where the car will be charged. Indeed, a damaged or inadequate electrical installation presents a great risk of fire, as electric cars require a large quantity of electricity and high intensity to charge.

Should we give in to panic?

The risk of fire and the difficulty of extinguishing a burning electric vehicle battery pack are arguments regularly cited by EV detractors. While it is true that the risk is real, it would be hypocritical to say that it is much less dangerous to drive in a thermal vehicle, as the slightest spark when passing the pump could lead to a major explosion.

The automotive industry continues to invest heavily in research and development to constantly improve the safety of electric cars. With the evolution of technologies and the strengthening of standards, we can expect that the risks associated with night-time charging will further reduce in the years to come.

La Battery research is progressing rapidly, and new technologies promise to improve not only the performance, but also the safety of electric cars.

There is no point in giving in to panic, it is rather crucial to follow the manufacturers' recommendations as well as to use common sense. In particular, it will be necessary to have an electrical installation that meets standards, quality equipment and regular vigilance to avoid any risk of fire during nighttime charging.

How to avoid risks ?

To avoid any risk of fire due to your electrical installation, you will need to have a recent installation that meets the latest standards. To safely charge an electric car, you will need to install a reinforced socket whose use will be dedicated to charging the electric vehicle.

Allowing charging at 3.7 kW, they are designed specifically to accommodate the largest possible load in the context of a simple installation in a private home. Of course, the ideal will still be to call on a professional to install a wallbox, which will allow charging of the electric vehicle at 7 kW with a classic single-phase installation, or even at 11 kW for a three-phase installation. More expensive, this installation guaranteed by a professional will also offer peace of mind in order to recharge an electric car in a peaceful manner.

This is why you should avoid leaving your electric car plugged in all night

© Tesla

Another good idea would be to install a smoke detector in your garage, in order to react quickly if the worst were to happen. Before we get to that point, we need to adopt some simple actions. It would be easy to advise you to charge the vehicle during the day so that you can monitor the process, but that would go against the general recommendations on saving electricity and exploiting the off-peak system that takes place at night.

So, a good alternative is to plan your loads. Most electric vehicles have an application allowing you to manage charging, and you will often not need to charge your car to 100% to make your daily journeys.

To avoid any risk, vigilance is required and regular checking of equipment such as cables and electrical installations is a practice to put in place immediately.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116