Every automaker that builds electric cars states clearly warns against using extension cords to charge their cars.
Yet a new British survey of 1,500 owners shows that three-quarters of them do, according to AutoExpress in the UK. Some even admitted to stringing several extension cords together. (Like Christmas lights, perhaps...that always goes so well!)
Electrical experts in the U.S. and at automakers caution that plugging a high-voltage electric car into an extension cord is a fire hazard.
Unlike the U.S., British homes use a 230-volt power feed, similar to those used to plug in electric-car chargers in the U.S., so British EV drivers can get more miles topping up off an everyday household outlet than American drivers can.
Still, we wondered how many American drivers of plug-in and electric cars have resorted to using an extension cord, especially given a recent recall of Ford charging cables in which some problems were linked to extension-cord use. (Many owners still hadn't received new charge cords months later.)
For our Twitter poll question this week, we thought we'd take the direct approach and ask our EV-driving audience: "Have you ever used an extension cord to plug in your car?"
Have you ever used an extension cord to plug in your car?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) June 3, 2019
Some people may do so occasionally when something is blocking the garage and they can't get near enough to a charger or outlet, or when another electric-car driver is visiting (it's always your brother-in-law, right?) and they need to charge two electric cars one night. Or, perhaps they're the ones visiting friends or family and need a charge top-up.
Some may be too cheap to install an outlet or charger where they can reach it.
In any case, the question in our Twitter poll is more about how often our readers have done it, rather than why. Our suggested choices include: "Never, too risky;" "Once or twice," "Occasionally, yes" (more often than once or twice;) and "Every day. Is that bad?"
Click through to our poll and let us know which one describes you. And remember that our Twitter polls are unscientific because of their low sample size and because our respondents are self-selected.