Electric Vehicle Myth Buster #1 - Electric Scooters cannot be driven during rain.

Lets start with a question here. Is i-phone 11 waterproof? I am sure 95% of us who are aware of the brand will be quick to answer, Yes (the remaining 5% of people who dint answer were probably from some other planet).

The answer is "NO". Its water resistant at max depth of 2 meter underwater for 30 minutes exposure. Also the condition given is that the water should not be saline or chlorinated. (Reference https://www.apple.com/in/iphone-11/specs/)

Most of the handheld or wearable gadgets do not need to be waterproof, certain level of water resistance will be enough to protect the device from day to day exposure to fluids around us. We are not going to be dropping our gadgets to the depth of 3900 meter on a daily basis, which by the way is the maximum depth at with Rolex guarantees the water resistance of its patented model "ROLEX DEEPSEA" which will set you back by a hooping Rs. 8,26,200.00 in India. (Ref - https://www.rolex.com/watches/sea-dweller/m126660-0001.html)

First we need to understand the meaning of 3 terms relevant to fluid penetration that get used assuming the same context, but are different words.

1, Water Proof

2, Water Repellent

3, Water Resistant

Water Resistant products are the ones that are designed in such a way that the design by itself forms a physical barrier which makes it difficult for the fluid to enter the device. The device might also make use of a thin coating to make the device impermeable to water. It is the least level of protection out of the three words.

Water Repellent devices make use of a water repelling nano coating on the inside or outside or both to make the functional components repel any fluid it comes in contact with. This can protect the device from a splash of water from a gentle hand wash or a shower. The protection of device during submersed conditions is still debatable.

The word waterproof is pretty straight, but the definition in scientific terminology is very difficult. There is no established industry standard that can define a device to be waterproof. The only standard that comes close is the "IP Rating" (Ingress Proof rating). The IP rating of a device defines the level of water ingress protection the device has at defined environmental conditions.

Coming back to our million dollar question, Are EVs water proof? The answer is EVs can be waterproof within the IP rating limits defined for the individual components of the EV. The motor, battery and controller are the most critical and high value components of any EV, the overall performance of an EV when exposed to water can be derived on the basis of IP rating of these individual components.

At present the EVs available in Indian market are max IP67 rated and that too only on the battery. I would like to quote the example of Ather 450. It has the below listed IP ratings.

Battery: IP67
Dashboard: IP65
Motor: IP66
Motor Controller: IP65

My recommendation is that we should read the product brochure in detail and expose our EV only to level of fluid exposure it can handle based on its component IP rating.


Jay (The EV Expert)