Charging your EV is a process that requires more planning and time compared to filling up an ICE car at the petrol station. That’s why there is a set of written and unwritten rules EV drivers should follow to make the charging process smoother for everyone involved.  

Here are some rules that will help you charge your EV quickly and efficiently, with consideration for other drivers. 

1. Charging points are for EVs only 

This rule is as simple as it gets — if you’re not driving a plug-in vehicle, you must never use the charging bays. Charging spots are limited, and blocking someone needing access to a charger won’t bring you too much sympathy.  

Did you know? Some EV charging apps will inform you when a charging bay is blocked by an ICE car so you don’t think it’s available and be unable to charge. 

EV drivers might also be guilty of blocking a charging bay, some parking in a station without having the intention to charge their car. 

2. Plug-in Hybrids can also use EV chargers 

EV charging stations are dedicated to electric cars, from fully electric vehicles (EVs) to plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). 

Some drivers argue on this issue, stating that PHEVs have the option to rely on their petrol or diesel engine, while battery-powered EVs depend entirely on charging stations. While this is true, PHEV drivers also have the right to use the charging stations.  

3. Charge at the right speed 

Several types of chargers are available to top-up your EV, from standard AC 3.7kW-7kW chargers to DC rapid and ultra-rapid chargers from 50kW to 350kW. It’s essential to know your fast your EV can charge — there’s no point in using a 120kW charger if your EV charges at a maximum of 50kW.  

Not only you’re blocking the access of an EV supporting a higher charging speed, but you’re also using the device at limited capacity while probably paying a higher price compared to a charger suitable for your EV.  

4. Don’t overstay 

As we already settled, EV chargers are for charging only. That implies you should only hog the charging bay when plugged in and recharging. Once your charging is complete, you should vacate the spot and make room for another EV driver. Charging stations might have a specified time limit, applying penalty chargers when the limit is exceeded.  

TIP: Some charging apps also have a check-in option allowing drivers to introduce an estimate charging time to help other drivers when planning their charging process.  

Another piece of advice worth taking is not to aim for a 100% charge at a busy station. Sometimes, charging from 80% to 100% will take as long as charging until 80% due to technical reasons.  

Did you know? Keeping your EV charged between 20%-80% is also beneficial to your battery’s life, so overstaying for that 20% won’t do you much service. 

5. Don’t unplug other EVs 

Although this should be common sense, there is a temptation for some EV drivers in a hurry to unplug an EV and plug their own.  

In most cases, this is not possible since the cables lock into place once the charge begins, but older EVs and PHEVs with Type 2 connectors can be unplugged by a third party. 

This kind of behaviour is not only rude but could also lead to penalties or fines, as it’s considered to violate private property. 

TIP: If you’re in a hurry to charge, better find alternative options using an EV charging app 

6. Be respectful when joining the queue 

When several drivers wait to charge in a station, it can become chaotic since there isn’t yet a real queueing system. That’s where drivers’ patience and consideration should come into play: 

  • Be respectful of who was there first, and don’t try to skip the queue. 
  • Don’t block other cars’ access to the charging stations while waiting in the queue. 
  • Allow extra time for charging in case you find a queue. 
  • Use a charging app that allows you to reserve a charging spot. 
  • Be polite to other drivers in the queue. You’re all in this together, and every act of consideration can make the EV driving experience better.  

 7. Report an out-of-order charging point 

If you come across an out-of-order charger, don’t just hop to find the next one, but report it as soon as possible. You can do that using the network’s charging app or calling the network’s customer service.  

Your effort of reporting the malfunction will prevent other drivers from wasting their time and energy trying to use it and will help fix the charger sooner.  

8. Put the cable back correctly in the holster 

When you’re done charging, ensure to put the cable back properly in the holster. Leaving the cable on the ground or dangling from the charging point is dangerous and inconsiderate to those using the charger after you.  

Putting the cable back in the holster helps keep the charging bay neat, prevents tripping hazards and makes it easier for the next driver to use the charging point. 

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