Things are a little bit different when driving an electric vehicle (EV) compared to the traditional internal combustion engine powered car. You save money on gas, your drive is quieter, more powerful, and considerably easier to maintain. However, there is an element of EV etiquette that you should be aware of - especially at charging stations! Pacific Light & Energy has compiled our top 5 EV etiquette tips below to help us all be more considerate to our fellow EV drivers.
#1: Don't be a squatter - move along!
When your EV is done charging, the right thing to do is to try your best to move your vehicle as soon as you can, in order to allow other drivers to fill up their EVs. Many charging stations - including our own - boast their own dedicated smartphone app that will allow you to see when your vehicle has a full charge and is ready to go. Now it's unrealistic to expect to have to move the instant that your EV is done charging, but squatting in a charging space for hours on end while your EV has a full charge stops others from getting a charge themselves. In short, EV charging spots are for charging, not parking.
#2: Hands off - don't unplug others!
When you stop and think about it, it's pretty impolite to go around unplugging other EV drivers' vehicles from charging stations. Unless someone has left a note explaining when it's okay to unplug their EV, it's best to keep your hands off and understand that we can all work together to ensure that everyone gets their charge when needed. Everyone has a right to electrons for their EV, so try your best not to unplug others unless you are absolutely desperate.
#3: Less is more - You don't always need 100%!
It's incredibly helpful to be able to top your EV charge up while heading around town, but remember that if you're taking up an EV charging spot with a 90% battery to start a charge, someone else could be pulling up with 10% who really needs the extra electrons in their battery. If it can be helped, consider waiting until you're at home or work to fill up your battery - unless you really need that charge for the extra mileage. Also, consider leaving a note that will serve to let people know when it's acceptable to unplug your EV.
#4: Be a friend, tell a friend - Tip off others!
Smartphone apps dedicated to EV charging stations offer many ways to help out your fellow EV drivers. For instance, you can leave tips or photos to help others find charging stations, or let them know about potential associated fees. It can also be helpful when being mindful of rule #1 and avoiding squatting in EV charging spaces!
#5: Keep it cool - Be nice with squatters!
We get it - it can be extremely frustrating when traditional vehicles or even other EV drivers are taking up charging spots when your EV desperately needs the extra electrons. But there's no need to retaliate with nasty notes or mean messages that only serve to give EV drivers a poor reputation. We suggest leaving a friendly note that can help educate others and encourage them to avoid squatting in EV charging spots in the future. And as we mentioned earlier, it's important to keep rule #1 in mind: EV charging sports are for charging, not parking. Get a charge and keep it moving!