Torque Shop: What happens if an EV takes off still plugged into charger?

There are plenty of safety interlocks which prevent an EV from being driven off while still plugged in. ST PHOTO: EUGENE GOH

I have seen photos on the Internet of cars driving off with the fuel nozzle still in the filler neck. Obviously, the driver was careless and drove off without removing the nozzle and consequently ripped the hose off the pump. What happens if the driver of an electric vehicle (EV) drives off without unplugging it from the charging port?

It is a rather hilarious scene and appears to happen every now and then, although no such cases have been reported here. Actually, since the nozzle is not locked onto the filler, it is only under very rare circumstances that it refuses to dislodge when the car is driven off, resulting in the hose being torn off at the pump outlet.

Normally, there should not be any fuel pouring out of the pump since the activating trigger rests on the filler nozzle of the runaway vehicle. There are also safety overrides built into the pumping system that cut off the fuel flow.

Ripping out an electric charging cable could result in the exposure of live wires. In a home appliance, pulling the power cord releases the plug from the wall socket without causing damage to the wires. However, EV-charging plugs lock into the car's power receptacle and driving the vehicle off will shear the cable.

Fortunately, there are plenty of safety interlocks which prevent an EV from being driven off while plugged in. When the charging plug is inserted into the car's socket, it is locked in place for as long as the system is in operation and the current is flowing. The standard Type 2 plug and socket include a link for the charger to communicate with the EV's control system.

Only some of the vehicle's accessories such as the air-conditioner can be switched on, but not the motors. Charging must be terminated and the plug must be removed from the receptacle before the driver can engage Drive.

Separately, charging stations are incorporated with a high level of safety. Any leakage of current from the high-voltage system will immediately trigger a power shutdown.

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