Charging Etiquette: The Dos and Don’ts of EV Charging

It’s a question that comes up time and time again: what’s acceptable behavior at a charging station? Proper charging point etiquette will, someday, be second nature to us all. Until then, follow these tips to make sure you stay on the right side of EV owners at your local ChargePoint.

Get Moving

This may seem obvious but, as soon as you’re finished charging, unplug your car and get it out of there. These are charging stations, but some people treat them as parking spaces just because they drive a plug-in. Don’t be one of them.

Download PlugShare

PlugShare is an app that, among other things, lets you see what charging stations are available. You can also see how much longer drivers intend on charging. Of course, the app is only really effective if lots of EV owners use it.

Luckily, PlugShare is the most popular app among EV owners, and it’s free, so get downloading.

Leave a Note

If, for some reason, you think you mightn’t make it back to your EV before it’s finished charging, leave a note. That way if there’s someone in need of the space, and your car is finished charging, they can contact you.

Some people might not want to display their phone number for the whole world to see, and that’s understandable. If you’re one of these people, have a look at Google Voice. You can leave your Google Voice number, and not worry about who might be getting your private cell number.

Get a Charging Hanger

If you’re not into leaving a note for other ChargePoint users, one of these charging hangers might be your best option. These hangers go on the charging cord and let others know if it’s ok to unplug your EV. Some people need a full charge in order to complete their next trip, while others are only charging opportunistically.

Charging hangers

Don’t go Unplugging

As a general rule, don’t go unplugging other people’s EVs. It’s rude and disrupts the nice community spirit that surrounds EVs at the moment. The only exception to this rule is if said EV is fully charged and you’re in dire need of a charge.

You should be able to see if a plug-in is fully charged by checking the car’s dash or the ChargePoint screen. If you do find yourself in this situation, leave a courteous note for the driver of the car you unplugged.

Hybrids Have Rights

There’s been some buzz in the community lately regarding hybrids and their rights at charging stations. Some people have been unplugging hybrids since the driver can fill up with gas if need be. This isn’t proper charging station etiquette and not something we condone.

Some hybrid drivers will be put off going fully electric if they’re consistently coming back to an unplugged car. But again, if you come across a fully charged hybrid and you need to charge, unplug and leave a note.

Have you had any good or bad experiences at charging stations? Let us know in the comments section.

By Robert Bacon
Updated: March 19, 2017