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What’s the Etiquette for Electric Vehicle Drivers?

⛑️ | Safety First

Always practice safe charging. This begins with proper cable management. Once you’re all hooked up to the charging station and you’ve confirmed the vehicle is charging, it’s time to tidy up. Neatly wind the cord on its holder and tuck it in so people don’t trip on any excess length of cable – or drive over it

 

🔌 | Charge Up and Move On

Only occupy a charging spot while your car is being charged. As soon as the charging session is completed, move your car as soon as possible and make way for a fellow plug-in driver. Your charging session should be considered ‘complete’ either when a) your battery is full, or b) when you have enough range to comfortably reach your destination.

(Many charging networks and car apps can notify you by email or text when your charging session is completed.)

 

🔋 | Charge Only When Necessary

As we saw with the fuel crisis, some drivers decide to keep topped up to the brim when it’s unnecessary to do so. Don’t charge if you don’t need to. Leave the spot free for another EV driver that might need the charge to safely complete a longer journey.

 

🤗 | Look After the Charging Kit

For the benefit of you, other EV drivers and the charge point, you should always leave the chargers tidy. Once finished, replace the cable neatly in its holder. Don’t leave it on the ground, as it may get run over, grime will get onto the contact points and potentially cause irreversible damage. Charging points are expensive pieces of kit. Looking after them allows everyone to continue using them for longer and avoids costly repairs.

 

🅿️ | EV Spots for Charging EVs

This is a frustrating one. Similar to people without a family, parking in the ‘family only’ bays at supermarkets – electric vehicle bays are for electric vehicles only. It’s never acceptable for an internal combustion car to park in a spot designated for a plug-in car. That’s a firm rule. No matter how crowded a car park is, and no matter how infrequently the charging location is used. If it doesn’t plug-in, it doesn’t belong in the bay.

Equally, owning an EV doesn’t mean you can park in a charging bay without using the charger. It’s really important to keep charging spots clear for those who need it. The charging points are there to get people home to their family, not so individuals can have a shorter walk to the shop. There isn’t necessarily anything you can do to prevent other’s bad behaviour, aside from leaving a note. But we’ll get onto that soon.

 

⛽ | Don’t Unplug Plug-in Hybrids…

As mentioned above, internal combustion engine (ICE) cars occupying a charging bay isn’t acceptable under any circumstance. Plug-in hybrids however, have as much right to use a charging station as an electric-only vehicle. An owner of an EV, does NOT have the right to unplug a plug-in hybrid just because that car has a back-up petrol engine.

 

…Except When the Plug-in Hybrid Is Done Charging

The exception to Rule #6 – applicable to any other plug-in car – is that if you need to charge, it’s OK to unplug another car. But only if the first car has clearly finished charging. In this event, the driver who makes the switch should leave a note explaining why it was unplugged.

 

📝 | No Nasty Notes

If you do need to leave a note – be polite. If the charging spot you counted on using is ICEd (the term referring to a charging spot occupied by an internal combustion engine car) then leave a note on the windscreen explaining the predicament. The note can be firm, but should be expressed in polite language. It should be seen as a good-will gesture that’s intended to convince the offender not to make the mistake again.

 

🚗 | Enjoy the Ride

Having an electric vehicle is a wonderful thing. So remember to simply enjoy the experience of driving one. Whether it be the instant torque or the guilt-free, cheap motoring – there’s always something to smile about when behind the wheel of an EV.

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