Three-quarters of EV owners risk safety with ‘daisy chain’ cable charging, says charity

Almost three-quarters of electric vehicle owners have charged their cars dangerously, according to new findings.

A survey of 1,500 owners of plug-in vehicles by consumer charity Electrical Safety First revealed 75 per cent had charged their cars by linking numerous extension leads together – a method said to greatly increase the risk of an electrical fire or electric shocks.

In addition, 74 per cent admitted charging their cars using a multi-socket extension outside at least once – with 89 per cent of the respondents saying they knew the extensions weren’t designed for outdoor use and posed a safety risk.

Electrical Safety First blamed a lack of publicly available charging points across the UK for consumers taking the risks. This is despite new data from Zap-Map and the Experian Catalist Market Summary Report showing that the number of charging locations has exceeded the fuel station count for the first time, with 8,471 charging sites as of May 22 and 8,400 fuel stations at the end of April.

Martyn Allen, Electrical Safety First technical director, said: “A modern Britain also needs to be a safe one and Electrical Safety First is urging the government and local authorities to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to support the rapid increase in numbers of electric vehicles on our roads.

“With regards to consumers, we warn EV users against giving in to temptation to use standard domestic extension leads to charge their vehicles outside, and never to ‘daisy-chain’ them together. We recommend taking advantage of the government’s grant scheme, which will contribute towards the cost of a specially designed home-charging point. This is safer than charging from the mains, using a standard extension lead.”