Is it Safe to Use Public Charging Stations During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

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With COVID-19 activity restrictions changing almost daily, new safety guidelines touch every part of people’s lives. Changing long-established habits is necessary to give yourself the maximum protection against exposure to the coronavirus.

  • One area of concern for possible virus transfer is public EV charging stations.
  • Even in areas with travel restrictions, electric car owners may find themselves needing to charge up away from home.
  • This is especially true for those in critical professions such as healthcare workers or others who may be working for essential businesses.

EV charging stationYou can safely charge your EV during the COVID-19 pandemic, as long as you follow basic safety rules. (Photo: Getty Images)

How to plug in

Yet charging up at a public station is not a cause for unusual concern as long as you follow basic common sense practices:

  1. Treat the charging station as you would any publicly accessible touch surface. Carry disinfectant wipes and thoroughly clean the handle and any payment or control interface before touching anything.
  2. Clean your hands with sanitizer before and after touching any part of the charger. Alternately, carry disposable safety gloves made of latex or nitrile and wear them when touching the charger. Dispose of the gloves immediately afterwards. In a pinch, use a paper towel between your hand and the charger handle. Throw it away when you’re done, and then wash or sanitize your hands as soon as possible.
  3. Don’t forget to use the same procedure again when you disconnect your car and stow the charger handle.
  4. These same rules apply to filling your vehicle with gasoline or diesel fuel, or any time you need to use a public touch surface such as a door handle or ATM.
  5. Tip: Auto parts stores carry nitrile gloves in boxes of 100 at reasonable prices.

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