Is It Safe To Wash An Electric Car Through The Car Wash?

electric car wash

The e-zoomed FAQ series: brief responses to pertinent questions related to driving an electric car! If you have a question, simply email us at!

Electric Vehicles (EVs) And Car Wash

It does not matter, if you drive a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or a battery-electric vehicle (BEV). Both types of electric vehicles (EVs) can be washed the same way, as conventional internal combustion engine (ICE), petrol and diesel vehicles. Yes, a pure electric car can be washed either at an automatic car wash (rollovers, tunnels, jet wash) or via a manual car wash.

Like any other type of vehicle, an electric car is manufactured and tested under various conditions, to assess the vehicle safety. Water ingress is one of the criteria tested in new vehicles. Water ingress is not limited to just a car wash. Water ingress can also occur in certain weather conditions, like, heavy rainfall, flooding etc. All cars, including, electric cars, are developed and manufactured to mitigate the risks associated with water ingress.

Apart from it being safe to wash an electric car, it is also worth noting that washing an electric car does not cause damage to the onboard EV battery or electrical system. Of course, one needs to follow the recommended guidelines for washing a vehicle, from both, the automotive manufacturer and the car wash operator.

In most EVs, the onboard EV battery is usually placed on the floor of the vehicle, to increase the interior cabin space and improve the vehicle centre of gravity. Also, the battery cells are placed and sealed in waterproof containers. All manufactures are obliged to comply with the specific IP (Internal Protection) rating standards in use for EV batteries and other electrical components. Examples of IP ratings relevant to electric driving, are IP65 and IP66. In such ratings, the component offers complete dust protection i.e. no ingress of dust, and protection from water jets, like hose pipes and more powerful water jets.

Below are some recommendations for washing an electric car. Very much the same as washing a petrol or diesel vehicle. These recommendations also apply to electric vans. We recommend that in-between car washes, always keep the electric vehicle as clean as possible, in particular, the windshields, the side-view mirrors etc. Improved visibility is key in reducing risks associated with driving!

Electric Cars: The Basics

For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we would recommend a read of the following articles:

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Top Tips: Washing An Electric Car

Top Tips:
Car manual: always read the manufacturer’s supplied electric car manual, in particular, guidelines on cleaning and maintenance.
Car washing guidelines: always read the safety guidelines from the operator of the car wash.
EV inlet port: make certain the electric car inlet charging port is properly closed.
Windscreen wipers: disable all automatic front and rear windscreen wipers.
Wing mirrors: fold the wing mirrors or the side-view cameras.
EV battery: make certain the EV has sufficient battery charge. You do not want to be stranded during the car wash!
Doors & windows: make certain all doors, windows and the boot are closed appropriately.

While e-zoomed uses reasonable efforts to provide accurate and up-to-date information, some of the information provided is gathered from third parties and has not been independently verified by e-zoomed. While the information from the third party sources is believed to be reliable, no warranty, express or implied, is made by e-zoomed regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information. This disclaimer applies to both isolated and aggregate uses of this information.

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include, the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising large-scale industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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