EV Charging Etiquette: The Basics

Posted on November 30, 2021

Most of us know the basic etiquette when it comes to fuelling up a car. You wait for a pump that’s free, line up if not and try to be as quick as possible about it so other people can use the pump who might be waiting.

Charging an EV though, is probably a new and novel experience for many people. Etiquette is based on customs and practises built over a long time and the arrival of EV charging stations is still recent enough that these practises haven’t quite been ingrained in our society yet.

Luckily, we’ve got a list of a few etiquette tips, so you’ll know exactly what to do and what not to do next time you’re at a charging spot.

ICEing

The first one seems obvious, but it’s also the most important. Don’t park an internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicle in a charging spot!

Charging stations are for plug-in vehicles only, so parking an ICE vehicle that doesn’t need to charge goes against common sense and courtesy.

If you see this happen, kindly leave a note on the windscreen of the offending vehicle and do your best to educate them on this etiquette for next time.

Don’t outstay your charge

While you are free to leave your car while it charges at the station, don’t be the person that uses this as an excuse for free parking when the car reaches full charge already! Make sure to keep track of how your car’s charging with an app and time it so you can get back to your car right as it finishes charging.

Don’t unplug another’s vehicle, without permission first

This one should be straightforward, don’t unplug any vehicle except your own and unless you’ve been given explicit consent from the owner to do so (for example, you’re driving with a friend and they ask you to unplug when it’s finished).

You wouldn’t be happy to come back to a car you expected to be fully charged that has been unplugged, so don’t do it to others!

Rapid Chargers

Some EVs can still take the rapid charger socket, even when the car itself can’t rapid charge. Make sure not to use the rapid charger unless your car can actually rapid charge. It’s unfair to expect other users to wait hours for your car to charge when multiple vehicles could have rapidly charged at the same time.
Emergency Stops

Emergency stop buttons should be saved for exactly that - emergencies. Most emergency stop buttons will force the plug offline for the next users after you.

Make sure to use the correct session end button and keep the emergency button only for when it’s urgently needed.

Need more info on EVs? Have a look at our dedicated EVs page for general information on purchasing, running and maintaining an EV.

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