74 per cent of EV owners admit to charging dangerously with extension leads


A survey from consumer protection charity Electrical Safety First has revealed that 74 per cent of EV owners believe that a lack of public charging points near their home has led them to use domestic multi-socket extension leads, not suitable for outdoor use, to charge from the mains in their home.

This is despite almost 9 out of 10 respondents admitting they’re aware these should not be used outside. Over half of EV users who charge with the aid of an extension lead, meanwhile, have left cables running to their vehicle when it’s been raining.

The research also found responses from those surveyed show that 75% of those who charge using a domestic extension lead even admit to ‘daisy-chaining’ extension leads to reach their vehicle; a method whereby multiple extension leads are plugged into one another to cover a longer distance. Daisy-chaining is advised against in all circumstances due to the heightened risk of electric shock and even fire that it brings about.

One in three EV owners have said that in their opinion, the current accessibility of charging points in their area is ‘not adequate at all’.

The number of charging point locations ranges from 147 per 100km2 in London (and 2.6 per 10,000 residents) to 1.55 per 100km2 (1.03 per 10,000 residents) in Wales. Not only does this inconvenience EV users who live in areas with few charging points but also creates problems for those driving to these areas for business or to visit friends or family.

The Charity’s consumer research suggests that nearly three quarters of respondents, when taking long journeys away from home or work, have been forced to use extension leads from a domestic mains socket to charge their vehicle at their destination – while 45% have had to do this on more than one occasion.

With the Government’s aim for all cars to be effectively zero emission by 2040, Electrical Safety First believes public infrastructure for electric vehicles must be adequate to cater to the needs of owners in order to avoid dangerous charging habits in the home. EV users, meanwhile, need to be well-informed on how to charge their vehicles safely, and should refer to the charity’s new Glovebox Guide by visiting www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/electricvehicles for more information.