Charge Your EV The Right Way: Your Guide To Charging Etiquette

chargersThe age of electric vehicles (EV) is here, but is everyone ready? More and more EV charging stations are popping up around town, and without training or a rulebook, we’re headed for a new kind of rage. What should people know about powering their EVs? Well, similar to eating and driving, there are unwritten (until now) rules to follow when using a public charger. Etiquette is key to a positive experience with your EV, and we have you covered!

1.     Don’t unplug a stranger’s vehicle

Electric vehicles can often take hours to fully charge. Not to mention, EV stations are not as common as gas stations, so charge time is precious to EV owners. Kind of like taking someone’s clothes out of a coin-op dryer, taking a public charger out of someone else’s EV is not illegal, but it is heavily frowned upon. It’s just not nice. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t go to a gas station and take someone else’s gas nozzle from their car, then don’t go to a charging station and take someone else’s charger.

2.     Don’t park just to park

A charging station is for electric vehicles to charge, not a space for EV owners to park during their errands. When an EV parking spot is taken up by an EV that isn’t charging, it puts people with a low battery in a tough bind. As a driver, it is important to be courteous to others and have the awareness to find a different spot. Non-EV owners should follow these rules as well. Electric drivers hate being ICE’d, which means pulling up to a station only to encounter an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car parked in it. For those who think they can pull a fast one and park in a charging spot anyways, think again! A Chevy Silverado parked in a charging spot in Quebec, and the driver was issued a ticket of $125 CAD.

3.     If you can’t fast-charge, save it for someone who can

Rapid chargers are much faster than standard electric vehicle power outlets. However, not every EV can use rapid charging. A majority of older EV’s are unable to use this technology, and using a fast charger would take the same amount of time if they were to be plugged in traditionally. Plug-in hybrid drivers should also avoid these types when unnecessary, as they have a smaller range than full EVs and can use gasoline as a fuel source.

4.     Don’t lost track of your EV’s charge

There is a certain flow to EV stations, and when a person disrupts the flow, it can cause hours of backup and frustrated drivers. One way EV owners can help maintain a smooth experience at the charging station is by keeping track of time. Don’t run off too far from your vehicle. If your vehicle is done charging but you’re still plugged in, it can leave someone who needs it inconvenienced, upset, and possiblyu cost you a possible “idle fee”. There are plenty of apps that can help you check the status of your car, so there is no excuse to leave your car extra long at the station!

5.     Not sure when you’ll be back? Write a note

Life can be unpredictable, and there may be times when you’re unsure if you can make it back in time before your charge finishes. If you know you’re going to be late unplugging your car from the station, leave a note. It is better to think you might be an hour late than have a driver thinking you’re leaving your car there all day. A small note goes a long way!

HyundaiSome Quick Hitters

  1. Don’t use a charger to top off

If your battery is at 90%, don’t use a public charging station to top off your car. Save the stations for drivers who need them to get to their next stop.

  1. Be helpful to other EV drivers.

Telling other drivers about the location of chargers, how busy they are, what levels they offer, and if there are any fees is considered good etiquette.

  1. Leave the charging station clean and tidy

Make sure cords are wrapped up nicely and put them back where they belong. Loose cords can be a hazard which is dangerous for those who are trying to use the charger. Also, pick up your trash; driving an EV benefits the environment by reducing emissions, so it’s only right that you benefit the environment too and pick up your trash!

  1. Be wary to time constraints

If a parking sign says there’s a time limit, follow the rules. There will be other people that need to use the charger as well, so keep the flow of traffic moving.

We hope these etiquette tips can make your life at the EV charger a breeze. It may seem daunting to own or purchase a new EV, but with everything, once you get past the learning curve and understand your vehicle things will become much simpler.