Posted on October 13, 2016 by Matt Pressman
Charging etiquette is important in the electric vehicle community. Green Car Reports* explains, "As electric-car adoption expands past early adopters into more general buyers, it may be difficult for public charging infrastructure to grow as fast as the number of electric vehicles on the road... and that number could rise dramatically once the highly anticipated 200-mile electric cars like the Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Model 3 are widely available. Even now, some public charging stations [and Tesla Superchargers] are starting to see backlogs, with not enough plugs available to accommodate the needs of drivers."
Above: Tesla drivers in Mountain View, California queueing up six deep for their turn to charge (Photo: Forbes / Dunne Automotive Ltd.)
Based on growing demands surrounding electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastucture for Tesla (and other EV) owners, what are some key tips for charging-station etiquette? First off, good news for all of us Tesla drivers, we really should be getting priority at a public charger over drivers of plug-in hybrids. Case in point, if you're a BMW i8 driver, charging etiquette favors the Tesla driver: "If you drive a plug-in hybrid [i.e. BMW i8] and a battery-electric [i.e. Tesla Model S] driver arrives while you're charging and seems distressed about not being able to recharge, consider offering them your plug... Sure, your lifetime gasoline consumption [owning a plug-in hybrid] may go up a little, but you’ll feel good about having helped someone out."
Above: Sorry, but, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), like the BMW i8, should always give deference to a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) like the Tesla Model S when at a public charger (Photo: Auto Pro)
Next up, "Always holster the connector when you’re finished charging. I’ve come across many public charging sites where the connector is lying on the ground near the base of the station. Leaving the connector on the ground creates a potential trip hazard, and boosts the chances it will be damaged and dirty for the next user."
Tesla owner charging her Model S at a Tesla Supercharger station in San Diego, California (Photo: Forbes / Dunne Automotive Ltd.)
And another tip: "Speaking of dirty: if you use public charging [or Tesla Superchargers] frequently then you’ve likely come across a station that wasn’t in the cleanest condition when you arrived... [and] I shouldn’t even have to say this, but ... please don’t leave trash on the ground around the station. If you come across some left there by a previous user, be the better person and pick it up."
Above: A Tesla Model X blocking three stalls at the Newark, DE Supercharger station created a firestorm after this photo was published on Tesla forums (Above: Teslarati)
Okay, what's another serious nuisance at charging stations? "Don’t park in electric-car charging spaces if you aren’t charging. Ever! Lastly, and probably most importantly, you may drive an electric car, but please don’t park in the spaces at charging sites if you’re not charging. And I say that even if it may be legal to do so. Please don’t use that space just for parking unless you plan to charge. I see too many drivers are using these valuable spaces as their private parking spots, blocking them from their intended use for charging." To that end, although this video is a bit NSFW (some profanity), it's definitely worth checking out for a few laughs...
Above: Youtube Tesla celeb Bjørn Nyland films a funny clip about hogging EV charging spots unnecessarily — Warning: video has profanity (Youtube: Bjørn Nyland)
Why even worry about charging etiquette? It's important to, "be courteous and considerate: your actions have implications. Many of these recommendations are simple common sense. But it never hurts to be reminded, from time to time, that everyone with a plug-in electric car is a custodian of the future in one way or another. What we do today influences how quickly or slowly the transition to electrics will occur, and how fast the infrastructure arrives. So let’s all be mindful of our actions, and work together to see that both of those things happen as quickly as possible."
*Source: Green Car Reports