Touching a filthy gas pump carries with it a significant risk. EV owners aren't exposed to this.
With the coronavirus outbreak, it's come to our attention to charging an electric car is actually much safer than dealing with a filthy, germ-covered gas pump.
First though, we should point out that there are ways to minimize your risk at a gas pump. The easiest method is by wearing protective gloves. We recommend disposable ones so that you can toss them right in the bin nearby after you're down fueling.
Other methods include bringing your own disinfecting spray to spray down both the pump and its handle, as well as the touchpad that's used for making debit and credit card payments. The fuel station may no appreciate you spraying down their equipment though, so another method its to use a hand sanitizer immediately after you complete the process of fueling your vehicle.
Just How Dirty Are Gas Pumps?
Numerous studies have concluded that gas pumps are among the dirtiest surfaces you'll encounter. We've linked a couple below:
While the stories above lay out the details, the easiest method for showing how filthy gas pumps truly are is with some simple imagery. Let's take a look:
Way dirtier than a household toilet too...
Why Are EVs Safer?
Quite simply because you mostly fill up your electric car at home. This is a much more controlled environment where the act of cleaning what you touch can be conducted by you at will. So, if necessary, you wipe down the charger with some sanitizing wipes before and after use and you're almost assured a clean, near germ-free charger.
Additionally, your home EV charger is likely only used by one or two individuals, so the chance of spreading various viruses is significantly reduced.
The same sort of holds true out in public when charging. The number of individuals touching a public charger is much less than those who come in contact with a gas pump handle.
Lastly, it would be seen as a courtesy by most EV drivers if you actually did sanitize the charger after each use. We doubt any EV owner would complain if you were seen wiping down a charger with a sanitizing wipe.
So then, in the end, owning an electric car minimizes your risk in the event of most any viral outbreak, at least from the side of "fueling up" to keep on going.