Can I Run An Electric Car Charging Cable Across The Pavement

If you don’t have parking available with access to a reliable charger, trying to charge an electric car can be difficult.

This is why we often get asked, can I run an electric car charging cable across the pavement?

This is a bit of a grey area but we will do our best to explain it and what we would personally advise if you’re struggling with electric car charging.

Let’s begin…

Is It Legal To Run A Charging Cable Across The Pavement To Your Vehicle?

Legally, you are allowed to run a charging cable across the pavement in order to charge your car.

However, if you take a look at the highway act, it does give local councils the power to remove any charging cables across the pavement they feel could be a trip hazard or be dangerous in other ways such as potentially starting a fire.

If you are going to use an electric vehicle charging cable across a path, then you need to ensure it’s only there all the time EV charging is taking place and no longer. As soon as you are happy with the amount of charge your car has, you should remove the EV charging cable immediately.

Is Using Extension Charging Cables Across The Street Safe?

If you are living in a flat or terraced house with only the street to park on, then it’s tempting to use extension leads for charging but it’s highly advised against.

Not only do you increase the risk of starting a fire if you are going to daisy chain them together from the main socket to the charging point on the car.

Many people are aware that it’s dangerous but decide to do it anyway and another major issue is the weather, if it starts to rain and you don’t have time to put your cables away, you could be at risk of being electrocuted.

Are Running Wires Across A Footpath A Trip Hazard?

It’s obvious that to the general public, cables will be a trip hazard. If you have children or a mum going past with a pram and they fail to see the cable, this could cause them to fall over and injure themselves.

This would make you responsible for damages as you could have chosen to use regular car charging points but instead used a cable across the path. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to ensure no one gets injured, which is why you should always be present when charging electric cars and as soon as the vehicle is charged, you remove the cable straight away.

Can You Get A Pavement Cable Protector?

Yes, you can purchase a protector and it will ensure people can visibly see it when on the footpath so it should hopefully reduce the risk of people tripping over the cable.

You can buy a cable protector for about £25 and if you are going to regularly charge your EV this way, then we would definitely recommend investing in one. They’re easy to deploy and with the bright yellow visibility design, you’re making it safer for the general public.

What Is An EV Charging Cable Pavement Gully?

This is an ideal that is being explored by councils up and down the country. By creating a gully that would sit flush with the pavement, the cable would post a far less risk to people tripping over it.

Due to the lack of EV infrastructure at the minute and available chargers on residential streets, this is why so many people run a cable across paths for charging.

However, as the electric car industry becomes more popular you may see an influx in EV charging stations being built on residential streets as councils start to see the benefits of curbside charging.

This would see far fewer EV owners having to use extension cables just to charge their cars from the comfort of their own home. Instead, they could find a parking space on the street with a lamppost charger and then start charging for a couple of hours.

Charging Cars With No Off-Street Parking

If your living in a flat, terraced house or anywhere with no off-street parking, we would advise that you consider carefully whether an EV is right for you.

They do present a lot more challenges in terms of charging when you don’t have a driveway or garage you can simply place the car in.

You have to resort to running a cable across the path or charging constantly at public charging points which can take a lot longer and cost a fair bit more money depending on where you take your vehicle.

An electric car is by no doubt a great investment for saving money and reducing emissions, but if you struggle to charge it every day, you may find your car becomes more of a nuisance than a luxury.

Last Word

That’s it! We hope your learnt about what you can and can’t do regarding charging your vehicle with a cable across the path. It’s not the best idea in the world as it opens up a lot of potential dangers for you and members of the public.

Saying that lots of people still do it, as it’s the only real way of charging when at home. With the EV charging infrastructure continuing to develop, we may hopefully see more residential street charging points, but until then, you’ll continue to see people using cables down the street to charge their car.

For further advice on having a car that is electric, see our main page.

Picture of Nick

Nick is the proud owner of a MG ZS EV and is an EV fanatic. He has been featured in notable publications like USA Today and The Times for his expertise in the field.