With more and more EVs showing up on the roads of the United Kingdom, it is little wonder that the number of public charging stations is increasing. However, much like anything else in life, when you are using a public amenity, it is crucial to abide by specific rules to make the experience enjoyable for everyone – in as far as charging a car can be enjoyable, of course.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the top EV charging etiquette tips to help ensure that you don’t find yourself in a confrontational situation with another driver in public.
Etiquette Tips For Charging An EV In Public Spaces
Move Your Car If It Isn’t Charging
Have you ever driven to a public charging station to find that all of the spaces were taken up? Have you ever been to a public charging station to find that all of the spaces were taken up, but not all of the cars were being charged? If so, you will likely be familiar with the frustration.
Quite simply, one of the most important rules of public car charging etiquette is to remove your vehicle if it is not charging or the charge is complete. The number of public chagrin spaces for EVs is limited, so it is common decency to free them up when you aren’t using them.
Charging Spaces Are Not Parking Spaces
It is an unfortunate truth that some drivers will use a charging space as a simple parking space. If an EV driver arrives to charge their dangerously low car, and they are unable to do so, this could leave them stranded.
We know that parking is also short in the UK, but this is not a reason to block up a public charging spot. Furthermore, petrol or diesel car owners could potentially be fined or towed if they use a charging point as a parking space.
Make Use Of Charging Apps
There are various charge apps that can give you information on charging points near you and whether they are free or not. This is an excellent way to manage your EV charging.
Additionally, there are many group apps that are great for the workplace, especially those with inadequate numbers of charging points.
You might also install an app that disconnects your charging cable remotely. These are invaluable if you have hooked your car up to a public charging space but cannot return to unhook it for some time. However, it does pay to be mindful about the safety of your charging cable.
Help Other EV Drivers
If you see another driver having difficulties with the charging point, offer to help. This could be someone who is new to the world of EVs and may require a little assistance to get started.
Many drivers will ask others for help if they have to leave their car because there are no available charging points. If you leave a note on the vehicle in front asking them to hook up your vehicle when they have finished, you will notice that most drivers will oblige.
The EV community is currently relatively small, and sticking together is a great way to build trust and honesty within it.
Keep The Station Clean
Sadly, a lot of irresponsible drivers have no issue with littering around the charging point and being generally destructive to the equipment.
This is not only unnecessary but also illegal. When using a public charging point, always be sure to respect the equipment and the area. This keeps everything in good working order for the next person and ensures a clean and happy environment for charging your car.
Moreover, if the public charging point that you are using has cables, you should be sure to replace them at the end of each use and never leave them trailing across the ground. Not only does this increase the chance of the cable becoming damaged, but it is also a potential hazard for other users.
If You Drive A Hybrid, Give Way To Full EVs
Many hybrid users may disagree with this, but since EVs rely on electric power only, they should always be given priority at charging spots.
Unplugging Another Vehicle Is Not (Always) Acceptable
There is a time and place for everything and unplugging another EV should only ever be done as a last resort. Some people may be extremely protective of their precious vehicle and may not want anyone else touching it – this may seem uptight to some, but people are well within their rights to feel that way.
The only time that it is acceptable to unhook another vehicle from the charge point is if you can see that it is fully charged and you are unable to find the owner. It may also be polite to leave a note to let them know why you have unplugged their vehicle.
Display Your Contact Details
If you are going to be away from the vehicle for a considerable amount of time, it is a good idea to display your phone number or email address so that other users can get in touch with you.
Wrapping It All Up
Owning an EV has its perks – you’re doing your bit for the environment, and the taxman is very favourable to these drivers. However, problems can ensue when it comes to charging your vehicle, and with a limited number of charging spaces in the UK, it is known that things can get a little tense.
But it doesn’t need to be that way. If all EV drivers follow these simple rules of etiquette, then charging your car needn’t be a hassle. In fact, it is even possible for electric vehicle owners to work together to ensure that charged cars are unhooked, and spaces are kept open for those who really need them.