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This section provides information about typical safety features built into charging stations, safe charging practices and the procedures to follow if assistance is needed.

Charging station safety features

Charging stations typically have a number of inbuilt safety features and protocols.

  • If the system cannot confirm that a proper, functioning connection has been established between the charging station and the vehicle, it will not allow charging to start. 
  • When charging does start, the charging station locks in the connector cable at the station end. The vehicle end is typically locked into place once the vehicle is locked. 
  • Charging stations automatically stop delivering electricity to a vehicle once a battery is full (or has reached a percentage determined by the operator).
  • Charging stations are designed to detect and respond to a range of potential unsafe scenarios, including a fault or if too much electrical current is supplied to the vehicle. 
  • In the event of an electrical fault, charging stations are protected by electrical safety devices that automatically isolate the station in less than 25 milliseconds.

Safe charging practices

Although charging station safety features reduce the risk of a mishap during the charging operation, they are heavy-duty electrical appliances and safe practices should always be followed.

  • Read and follow the instructions provided with your vehicle and by the charging station operator.
  • Don’t touch the mains cable that provides power to the charging station.
  • Ensure your hands are dry and don’t touch the metal terminals on the connection points.
  • Don’t use the charging station when the socket outlet is wet or during a thunderstorm.
  • Don’t attempt to use the charging station to charge anything other than an electric vehicle.
  • Don’t use a charging station that is damaged or modified, and don’t attempt to charge a damaged battery.
  • Inspect the cables and plugs before using them.
    • Don’t use cables that are worn, frayed, split or have exposed wires.
    • Don’t use plugs that are cracked, crushed or have some other damage.
  • Take good care of your charging cable. Park close enough to the charging station so that you don’t over-extend the cable.
  • If you have any doubts about whether it is safe to use the charging station, contact the charging station operator.

Calling for assistance

Call 111 for emergency assistance if someone is injured or in danger, if there’s a serious risk to life or property, if a crime is being (or has just been) committed, if there’s a major public inconvenience (such as an accident impacting traffic flow) or if the incident is still occurring.

If the situation is less serious, contact the charging station operator for instructions – their details should be on the side of the charging station.