It used to be that people would share public telephones, and there were ways you used them that showed consideration for other users. These days, more people are sharing public EV chargers and how you use them shows whether you are a considerate person or not, even when you do not own an electric car.
In this article, we look at the etiquette of sharing public chargers.
1. Thou Shalt Not Block Access
Not using a public charger? Don't block access to it.
If you do not drive an electric car, do not park in the bays reserved for charging. This act is known as ICEing and is one of the major headaches faced by EV owners. Some ICE drivers do it out of spite for supposedly self-righteous zero-emission car owners.
Others do not believe they are causing any harm by occupying the spot as they 'quickly' attend to other businesses. Whatever is the motivation, public charging is still not sufficient, so holding up one charging stall while you dash to get your grocery is a terrible idea.
Even if you own an EV, don't park on the charging spot when you do not need to charge. Similarly, do not use chargers that are above your EV's capacity.
2. Thou Shalt Move Thy Vehicle Immediately
Done charging? Move your car.
Don't keep occupying a charging bay when you are done charging. This is to make room for the next driver. This is such a problem that Tesla had to institute 'Idling Fees' of $5/min after a 5 min grace period.
In the same vein, you do not need to charge 100% each time. It shows consideration to others when you move after getting just enough miles for your journey.
Also, don't forget to return the charging cord to its handle instead of letting it tangle or accumulate dirt by abandoning it on the floor.
3. Thou Shalt Not Unplug Thy Neighbors Car
Do not unplug or interrupt another driver's charging vehicle.
This is one of the important EV public charger commandments. Do not disconnect another person's vehicle to charge your own car because they are not present or interrupt their uncompleted charging session in any way.
The only exception is if you are in a severe emergency or the driver has left a note that you can unplug it. For Tesla, only the holder of the keyfob can disconnect the charge connector. However, messing with it can interrupt the charging session. So don't do it.
4. Thou Shalt Spread The Word
Help out the community by providing info about chargers.
Some platforms allow EV owners to report on the conditions of chargers. This helps prevent driving down to a public charger only to find out it is broken or out of order.
You can play a part by supplying information when you come across a faulty charger or a situation that can hinder the charging experience of other EV owners.
5. Thou Shalt Be A Good Steward
Use charging locations responsibly.
Avoid littering the charger locations while you charge. Littering is never a good idea no matter where you find yourself in public. It is important to remember that most public chargers are located around neighborhoods, and they would prefer that you kept their neighborhood clean. Similarly, do not play music too loudly, especially if you are charging late in the day, so as not to disturb the neighbors' peace.