Charging station etiquette is a topic that isn’t addressed enough for how important it is to drivers. EV charging etiquette affects drivers who utilize public chargers every day. So, what are the rules of the road for leaving your car plugged in, unplugging others, and using a charging space for parking?
We all know good manners go a long way, and following these basic guidelines will make you the most popular EV driver in the garage.
1—Charging Spots Are for Charging. As obvious as it seems, cars which are not being actively charged should not be parked in a charging space. Once your car is finished charging, move it as soon as you can so the next driver can use it. While few mind waiting 10 minutes, leaving your charged car in a space for hours won’t earn you any points with other EV drivers. Some apps, such as PlugShare, can create online waiting lists so it’s obvious when each driver’s turn is up.
2—Don’t Linger. Some drivers consider charging spots to be parking spots for EV drivers. They are not, and it is not okay to use them as such whether you used the charger today or not. Keep in mind also that when batteries reach 80% charge or higher, they charge much more slowly. Keeping another driver waiting to “top off” the battery is considered rude.
3—Don’t Unplug Other Vehicles. On the other hand, it’s also considered impolite to unplug the vehicles of other drivers, even if their car has been there a long time. Exceptions? If you’re 100% sure the car is charged and you’re desperate. A car has been parked there all day, you’re at 10%, and have an emergency? Unplug them and use the charger. Another exception is if the car has a sticker on it that says it can be unplugged. Putting these stickers on your car is an excellent way to maintain goodwill if you know you’re likely to forget to unplug your car right away.
4—Leave the Charging Station Tidy. Don’t leave charging cords laying on the ground; instead, wind them up and put the plug back where it belongs—even if you didn’t find it that way. Cords on the ground present a tripping hazard, which is dangerous for users and a potential liability for garages and lots. Don’t leave litter, such as cans and snack bags around the charger. Remember, your purchased an EV partly because it’s good for the environment!
5—Be helpful to other EV drivers. Tipping off other drivers about the location of chargers, how busy they are, the rate charged, and parking fees is considered good form. Sites like PlugShare gather this information and share it with users. Unfortunately, the most common posts on these sites are complaints about drivers breaking rule one! Be courteous and uplug your car when it is charged.
6—If the charger is in a neighbor, keep in mind you’re now part of it. Blaring radios, yelling, screaming, and loud conversations around charging stations are likely to rub neighbors the wrong way, especially after 9 pm. So is leaving a mess behind. Such actions will result in complaints, and a large number of complains may result in the charger being taken out.
Driving an EV and doing good for the environment doesn’t give anyone the right to be rude. Remember, etiquette is important for everyone and being a team player never goes out of style. With these rules in mind, you’ll be an EV owner others are happy to park next to. Ready, set, charge!