Earlier this week, a private contractor was killed at a Tesla Supercharger just one day before the location’s grand opening, which may prompt some to wonder about the safety of this equipment.
Few details have been released on the incident, which occurred sometime Tuesday morning at the facility in Norfolk, Va. Reports indicate that Steven Weaver, 32, was at the Supercharger that morning working on equipment. About 3.5 hours after witnesses saw Weaver walking in and out of the fenced-in equipment area, someone called 911 to report the death.
“During the installation process at our new Supercharger station in Norfolk, there was an accident involving an electrical contractor,” a Tesla representative told local news station WAVY.com.
Officials have not elaborated if the contractor was electrocuted or confirmed any other details about the accident.
“Due to an accident during the last stages of our Supercharger installation, we will be postponing our grand opening,” said Will Nicholas with Tesla. The carmaker hasn’t announced when the grand opening will be rescheduled.
We haven’t been able to find any other reports linking Superchargers with deaths or serious injuries of either contractors or people charging their cars. Many people are using Superchargers across the country without incident. All charging stations are required to meet national safety standards, and according to Tesla, Superchargers are even safe to use when it’s raining or snowing.
That’s partially because electricity doesn’t flow through the cord until the car is ready. Once the Model S is plugged in, the car’s computer tells the Supercharger to “turn on” and supply the electricity.
“Charging your electric or plug-in hybrid car is safe and easy,” AAA explained. Electrified vehicle (EV) “charging equipment is tested and certified by independent organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories, CSA International, and Edison Testing Laboratories. In addition, EV charging systems employ sophisticated computers and software that manage the charging process while protecting both the user and the vehicle.”