EV Charging Station Etiquette
Would you ever park at an EV charging bay without charging? What about leaving your vehicle to rapid charge for hours on end? How about unplugging another EV?
If you've said ‘yes’ or a vague ‘it depends’ to any of the above, then it's time for you to learn the golden rules of EV charging station etiquette.
In this blog, we're going to take you through the essential do's and don'ts that every EV driver should know. Master these rules and become the most popular person at the charging station.
Let's get plugged in...
Not charging? Then it's time to leave.
Golden rule number one: Only use an EV charging bay to charge.
Imagine driving to your local supermarket with 10% of charge left, only to discover that all the charging bays are occupied by vehicles that aren't charging. There is nothing more frustrating. We're annoyed just thinking about it.
Although the EV charging bays might be ideally situated, if you have 60% of your charge left, wait to charge at home and park somewhere else. At the very least, charge your vehicle to 85% and move on. Don't hog the space. No one will thank you for it.
Similarly, if your EV has finished charging, don't leave it for too long...
The EV community is full of kind and understanding drivers who will accept a short delay (perhaps there's been a lengthy queue for the toilets!) but try to be considerate. Return to your vehicle before it's finished charging to free up the space - you never know how desperately the driver waiting behind you is needing a charge!
Cosmic Fact! Some EV drivers like to leave a note on their windows when charging, indicating the time they'll be moving on.
So, you're trying to use a rapid charger...
First things first, is your EV compatible with rapid charging? No? Then free up that space.
Unless it's an emergency and you won't make it to the nearest compatible charging point, you should not be charging there. Blocking a rapid charging point for hours will not win you any favours with other drivers.
Charging to 100%
As home charging works out cheaper, it is more common for EV drivers to top up at public charging points rather than complete a full charge.
You may think that charging to 100% is an efficient use of time, but we're here to tell you otherwise. Typically the last 10% of an EV battery is the slowest to charge. So not only will you be annoying the EV driver behind you, but you'll also be wasting time.
Charge up to 85 - 90% and drive away happy.
Cosmic Fact! If you rely on public chargers to do all your charging, don't make rapid the sole choice. Yes, it's speedy, but if you exclusively use rapid charging, there's a small chance of premature battery deterioration.
Keep the charging station tidy and safe
Wrap up the cables. Put everything back as you found it (or better). Aside from making the charging stations more enjoyable to charge at, it also makes them safer to use.
Cables left on the floor instantly become a tripping hazard and run the risk of damaging the protective casing, potentially exposing users to high volts of electricity.
Simply clean up after yourself and enjoy the charging experience.
Cosmic Fact! Have you noticed a problem with a charging point? Report it to us, either by using the reporting function via the app or emailing us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll alert the charging company and look to update our data as soon as possible.
Plan time-appropriate charging activities
Be considerate of your fellow EV drivers, and don't disappear for longer than you plan to charge.
If you're planning to charge for twenty minutes at a service station, go get a quick coffee or a snack. Don't sit down for an hour-long lunch and wonder why an angry EV driver is waiting for you when you return.
Likewise, if you are charging for an hour, use the facilities around you. Go for a walk (if you can), have some food, listen to a podcast - no one expects you to sit and watch the charge go up. Just make sure that you return to your EV when the charge is nearing the end. You never know who might need the charging point after you.
Unplugging another EV
As most cables and EVs include locking gears, it's almost impossible to unplug another EV... almost.
Some older EV models (that use Type 1 connectors) don't lock the cables when charging, and some current EVs automatically unlock the cable when the charge is finished. So, while it is possible to unplug these EVs, don't.
Regardless of whether they are at 100% and you are at 9%, you should never unplug a fellow EV driver. Forcing a cable to detach can cause damage to the EV - damage that you will be liable for.
Yes, it might be annoying, but the best thing to do is wait for the EV driver to return and unplug the cable themselves.
To learn more about EV connectors, check out our blog: EV Connectors and Charging Speeds.
Cosmic Fact! Tesla Superchargers introduced an 'Idle Fee' to prevent drivers from leaving their EVs in charging bays once the charge is complete. The fee is activated once the charging station reaches 50% capacity and increases in price as capacity increases.
It's okay to ask for the charging cable!
One way to get around the awkward, unplugging situation is to ask your fellow EV driver if you can plug in. If your battery is at a critical level and you need to get somewhere quickly, don't be afraid to ask.
Of course, this depends if the driver is by their vehicle, but chances are they'll either say yes or let you know when they'll be heading off (i.e. in the next 5 minutes).
It's happened to the best of us. Either those pesky petrol/diesel drivers didn't see the signs, or they've parked in the EV charging bay deliberately. The question is: how are you going to handle it?
In some cases, petrol or diesel cars that are parked in an EV charging bay are towed away or fined. However, that should be a last resort as, more often than not, it's just a mistake.
Consider leaving the ICE driver a polite note - making them aware of the EV charging bay signs and their importance to EV drivers. We also recommend raising the issue with whoever owns the parking bay (i.e. the council, the CPO, the business association etc.). The more complaints the owner receives, the more likely it is that deterrents for ICE drivers will be applied.
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