A quick guide to electric vehicle charging etiquette
Every driver has their qualms with bad parking, slow driving, and road ragers - but electric vehicles bring their own etiquette problems that are becoming increasingly common.
Don't be that EV owner, read our quick guide on EV charging etiquette in the UK.
1. Sharing is caring!
This rule applies pretty much anywhere, but considering the lack of EV charging points in the UK, sharing the charge is a good idea. If your EV is 85% charged and somebody rocks up with a 5 or 10% charge, the kind thing to do is pass the charger along to make sure everybody can leave with enough energy to get home, or at least to the next chargepoint. Nobody likes a charger hog!
2. If you're going away, a note can't hurt!
If you are leaving your vehicle charging for a long time, and there aren't any other charging points around, leaving a note to tell the next driver how long you'll be can be incredibly useful. Needing to charge your car and not knowing if the car currently on charge will be there 30 minutes or four hours can be frustrating, especially if you are tight on time or don't have enough charge to take you elsewhere. If you're only charging up for 20 minutes, let the next driver know so they can decide whether to stick around or find the next point for recharging. If your model allows you to take the charger out of the car without verification, leave a note to say that it's okay to unplug your car if you're not back in 20 minutes. The desperate driver will be grateful.
3. If you're not charging, don't take the spot!
This is probably the most common - and most annoying - problem that electric vehicle users face today. Non-electric vehicles parking in designated charging spots.
In the US, this is typically called ICE-ing as it's typically officers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement who park in spaces designated for low-emission vehicles.
In the UK, anybody could accidentally (or on purpose) park in an EV charging spot and leave their car where it is. Another EV user could even park in the spot without the need to use the charger.
It's common sense really, if you're not charging, don't park in the charging spot!
If you do come across this scenario, we recommend that you stay calm and collected, and maybe leave a note on their window letting them know that this spot is dedicated to EV charging.
4. Consider your fellow driver
It's an age-old saying, do to others as you'd like done to you. It would be pretty frustrating if somebody took the charger out of the port while you were away waiting for your car to charge, so why would you do it to another EV user?
Some EV models don't allow for this feature, but where it is possible, EV users unplugging other people's vehicles has caused bickering in the past, and it is a topic that is also discussed among EV owners. Not to mention the legal troubles you might run into if you were to accidentally damage their vehicle!
This goes both ways, however - if somebody has taken the charger out of your vehicle, check that you haven't been using the space for a long time while fully charged.
5. Look after the infrastructure!
There is nothing more disappointing than driving miles and miles, low on charge, to reach the charging station you frequent - just to find that it has been broken, stolen, or there is debris stopping you from parking there. You would take care of your home charger, so why not in public? Looking after the infrastructure is every driver's responsibility, and doing your part will ensure that the charging points remain fast and intact for the next person.
Generally, if you're respectful, clean, and timely, you won't run into any problems with electric vehicle chargers and their users. Keeping charge points working, efficient, and affordable starts with each one of us.
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