Current temperature in Minneapolis: -12°F with a wind chill of -26°F.
Number of SemaConnect stations in Minneapolis: 7
Number of SemaConnect stations offline: 0

It’s cold outside. Whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow this weekend, some forecasts say that we’re about to see more freezing weather this month. With all of this cold, you may wonder: “Can my SemaConnect electric vehicle charging stations withstand cold weather?”

Can EV charging stations handle bad weather?

All SemaConnect EV charging stations are NEMA 3R rated, which means that they are built for indoor and outdoor use. You can use the same charging station in a parking garage or a national park. Whether rain, wind, or snow, our station casings and cables are safe to use. Additionally, your stations can handle up to 95% non-condensing humidity and temperatures ranging from -22°F to 122°F (or -30°C to 50°C). Depending on where your property is located, and how cold it gets, your drivers could still charge their vehicles during another polar vortex.

You do want to watch the weather, though. If you are in the path of a hurricane, or if your property is underwater, we recommend turning off power to your stations. After the flood clears, all you need to do is turn your breaker back on.

How can I help EV drivers at my property?

1. Make sure your SemaConnect stations are registered on the SemaConnect Network. If your stations are registered on the SemaConnect Network, drivers can see before they arrive if your stations are operational. On the SemaConnect station locator, stations that are available are marked with a blue dot. If your power is turned off, your stations’ dots will turn to gray. During Hurricane Florence, you could actually see where the hurricane was based on where the gray dots were.

2. Let EV drivers know about the effect that cold temperatures can have on their battery life. As the temperature drops, their range may decrease, and they may need to charge their cars more often. New EV drivers may also forget to watch their battery life. Some vehicles may have difficulty initiating a charge if the battery and temperature are both low. Like any other vehicle, it’s best to refuel and recharge before you run out of battery.

3. Encourage drivers to move their cars when they are done charging. While EV etiquette always says that drivers should refrain from blocking a charging station if they are not currently charging, this rule is especially important when those stations are in demand. Moving a vehicle at the end of a charging session allows other drivers with low batteries a chance to charge so they too can travel safely.

It’s easy to be thrown in for a loop when storms like this week’s Polar Vortex hit. Fortunately, such temperatures are uncommon and your SemaConnect stations can be used in freezing conditions. When shopping for electric vehicle charging stations for your commercial property, make sure that you choose a durable station. Read more about SemaConnect’s technical specifications here.