EV 101

Your guide to charging and driving in the rain

Even when it’s raining cats and dogs, your electric vehicle still needs a solid charge session. As spring is in full swing, we’re breaking down everything you need to know to be safe and confident charging and driving in the rain.

Is it safe to charge in the rain?

If you’re new to EV, you may be wondering how water and electricity can possibly be a safe combination. EV charging equipment has been engineered with weather conditions in mind, meaning the hardware and charging cables are built to withstand wet weather.

Electric vehicles are typically manufactured with the same emphasis on weather safety in mind. For any questions you may have for your specific make and model, review your vehicle manual for the most accurate information and instructions on charging your vehicle in all weather.

Top tips for driving in the rain

Just like operating an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, driving in the rain demands additional care to ensure safety on the road. With any vehicle, here are the top tips for a safe and efficient ride:

Check your tires

Before hitting the road, take a look at your tires to ensure they have sufficient tread. Not sure what you’re looking for? Some tire stores in the US will provide complimentary air pressure and tire tread check. Your vehicle’s manual will provide information on target tread depth and air pressure for efficient operating. This will set you up for the best possible grip when driving so you’re less likely to skid on the wet pavement.

Plan ahead

Before heading out, particularly on longer drives, check for weather warnings and road conditions along your journey. It’s wise to avoid any areas experiencing flooding, landslides, or additional weather dangers by following an alternative route. You can also automate this process via setting up weather alerts on your phone, depending on the model.

Slow your roll

When roads are wet, it’s harder for tires to gain traction on the surface. Speeding up too fast can cause skidding or hydroplaning, causing a loss of control for you, the driver. Stick with slow, steady accelerating at all times, but especially during weather events. It’s also advised to avoid using cruise control on slick or wet roads as it could further increase your chances of hydroplaning.

Back off, buster

It’s essential to keep your distance at all times when driving, and especially when roads are slick. For detailed information on following distance guidelines, review recommendations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to apply to your specific electric vehicle type. Sufficient following distance in the rain and wet weather can buy you time to react to vehicles in front of you, allowing you to avoid rapid changes in speed, which can lead to skidding.

Check your windshield wipers

If the rain is coming down, your windshield wipers will be essential to maintain a level of visibility of the road. By inspecting the condition of your wiper blades, you can identify any signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or tears, which may compromise their effectiveness. If you see these signs of damage, head to an auto shop for a new pair of wipers that fit your vehicle.

Take cover

Many charging stations in the US are now offering charging canopies at their sites. To remain dry while charging, head to a charging station or hub with a canopy, like our bp pulse charging hub in Houston, to offer greater protection from the elements than charging stations without.

As you embark on learning your way around your EV, having the right knowledge on charging and driving in weather conditions makes all the difference. In the end, operating your electric vehicle in the rain doesn’t vary too much from an ICE counterpart.

Go further

Learn more about managing and maintaining your EV

If you’re still new to your electric vehicle, we have resources to support your learning on how to best manage charging sessions and maintain your EV for optimal performance. 


17 April 2024


Ross O'Brien

Director of Operations
bp pulse Americas