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Choosing an EV pavement cable protector

Protect pedestrians and your charging cable!
Choosing an EV pavement cable protector
Summary
  • An EV pavement cable protector is essential if you drive an electric car and don’t have off-street parking.
  • Pavement cable covers can keep pedestrians safe, protect your EV charging cable, and minimise the risk of liability should someone trip or fall.
  • There are many electric car cable pavement covers available to buy, so make sure you choose one with the right features for outdoor safety use.

Charging is a key consideration for many electric car drivers, especially if you don’t have off-street parking. Relying on public charging points can work if you’re renting an EV in the short-term, but if you’re thinking of buying or subscribing to an electric car for more than a few weeks, you’ll need to consider how you’ll charge it at home.

If your car will be parked on the road, a pavement cable protector can keep your charging cable safe and intact. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing an EV pavement cable protector.

When do you need a cable protector?

A pavement cable cover prevents damage to your EV charging cable, and helps people avoid tripping over it if it trails across a path. It should be used if your car is regularly parked next to a public pavement or walkway. This is usually the case if you have on-street parking (i.e. you don’t have a driveway or garage where you live).

Where can I use an EV pavement cable cover?

Cable protectors are usually used on pavements, where there’s more chance of people walking. But some people also choose to use them on private driveways and paths, as pavement cable covers make the trip hazard more visible, especially at night.

How to choose the best EV cable protector

The best cable pavement covers are designed to protect public safety and keep your cable intact. Here are the key features you should look for when choosing a cable cover for your electric car charging wires.

Features

The best EV cable pavement covers have:

  • Strip in a visible colour to highlight the trip hazard — yellow is most common
  • Sloped sides to minimise the risk of trips and falls
  • Hinged lid so it’s easy to run the cable through the protector channels
  • Jigsaw connectors so you can create the length you need
  • Enough weight to stay in place without moving or flipping over — look for a minimum of 7kg.

Sizes

A standard pavement cable protector is 1,000mm (length) x 245mm (width) x 45mm (height). This is wide enough to house 2 cables along the 2 built-in channels.

Most pavement cable protectors can be clipped together, so you can make it as long as you need.

Pavement cable covers will usually protect your cables from pedestrians, but not vehicles. So if there’s a chance cars, motorbikes, or vans will travel over the cover, you may want to invest in a more robust outdoor cable protector that’s suitable for vehicles.

What is the cheapest pavement cable protector I can buy?

The cheapest EV pavement cable protectors are available from around £15 (Amazon). While these claim to be suitable for outdoor use, these cheaper options don’t always have the features you need to keep people safe and protect yourself from liability, such as visible yellow strips and solid, heavy bases. They may also be too small to properly house chunkier cables.

The cheapest cable protectors with all the necessary features start at around £30 including VAT.

Should I buy an expensive one?

Some EV cable protectors can cost upwards of £50. While you should ensure your pavement cable protector checks all the size and feature boxes listed above, you don’t need to pay over the odds for your cable pavement cover.

The only time it might be worth investing in a more expensive cable protector is if there’s a chance cars will drive over it, as standard protectors won’t protect your cable against vehicles. While you're at it, you may consider picking up a bag to protect your charging cable

A top view of an electric car charging cable protector placed on pavement.

Are you legally allowed to install a cable cover?

It’s illegal to trail a wire across a public pathway. According to the Highways Act 1980:

“A person who for any purpose places any rope, wire or other apparatus across a highway in such a manner as to be likely to cause danger to persons using the highway is, unless he proves that he had taken all necessary means to give adequate warning of the danger, guilty of an offence and liable to a fine.”

Using a pavement cable cover can help you give people “adequate warning” of your EV charging cable, and help minimise the risk of liability if someone does accidentally trip. 

However, it’s still important to make sure you understand the risks of trailing a wire across the pavement. Be aware that some councils, including Kent County Council, don’t currently allow cables to be placed across a public pathway even with the protection of an EV cable cover. Before you invest in a cable protector, make sure you know the local rules by checking your local council’s website or giving them a ring. 

Tips on positioning your EV cable cover

Positioning your EV cable cover correctly and safely is important. Here’s how you can make sure your cable protector is most effective:

  • Position the cable protector on a smooth, flat surface. Avoid positioning it where puddles tend to form.
  • Use more than one cover if necessary to make sure the entire cable is protected.
  • Ensure the channel is wide enough for your cable, as too much pressure on the wire can cause damage.
  • Don’t put more than one cable in each channel.
  • If the lid gets damaged, replace it as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of trips and cable exposure.
  • Avoid using indoor extension leads outdoors, as these can be a safety risk. See our guide on EV extension cables here.!

How to charge your EV without a driveway

On-street parking can be a challenge for EV drivers, but there are lots of things you can do to overcome this. Learn how to charge your EV if you don’t have a driveway or garage.

If you’re considering driving an electric car but you’re not sure where to begin, start your EV journey with Car Sloth. Learn everything you need to know about electric cars — including the cheapest, easiest way to drive a Tesla today.

This page contains Amazon affiliate links. This hasn't affected the advice in this guide. We may get compensated for any purchases made through our links, at no extra cost to you.

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