A lot of emphasis is currently being placed on switching over to electric vehicles, or EVs, as they’re called. There are several reasons why investing in an EV is a good idea. In addition to the whole sustainability factor, there’s also the fact that some EVs are more powerful and of course quieter.
That said, there’s a lot of new information to brush up on when opting to purchase an EV. Aside from learning how to use an EV charging cable, there’s also the process of public charging.
Knowing What You Can and Can’t Do at a Charging Station
There are currently almost 2,400 public charging stations located across Australia. Considering that there are 130,000 EVs currently on Australian roads, these stations can quickly become congested. Especially on main routes.
With that in mind, our experts have compiled a few necessary tips to help you master the etiquette surrounding the use of an EV station. If you’re investing in an EV in 2024, or you’ve recently purchased one, then this list of etiquette rules is a must-read.
1. Don’t Take Longer Than You Need
The golden rule with EV charging at a public station is that the bay isn’t a parking bay! It’s important to move your vehicle as soon as it’s done charging. This means you will need to stay close to your vehicle to monitor when it’s fully charged, or at least charged to 80%.
Experts recommend charging your EV to only 80% rather than letting it get overcharged, as this prolongs the battery’s lifespan. Selecting a rapid charge station will have your EV charged in 30 minutes, so there really is no need to stay there longer than that. While many people opt to stay in their vehicles during the charge process, some use the time to get a coffee or lunch. Don’t lose track of time if you’re doing this!
2. Never Unplug Another User
One of the worst things you can do is to unplug another EV. Even if you arrive at a station and the driver is nowhere to be found, it’s still considered impolite to unplug another driver’s vehicle. Rather look for the driver if you see that the vehicle has been there for a long time. (More than 60 minutes)
Unplugging another EV could result in damage to their cable or vehicle—especially if the EV isn’t using a cable from the charging station but their own personal cable. The last thing you want is to be held liable for the replacement of a new cable.
To avoid someone unplugging your vehicle, refer to rule number one!
3. Look for a Charging Point Early
For many drivers, it makes sense to opt for the last charging station on a particular route to provide you with the most charge for the remainder of the route. However, if 50 other people have the same philosophy, one charging station could quickly become backed up on a busy day or during peak time.
Our experts recommend using the penultimate station. This will minimise the risk of you ending up in a queue or using your vehicle’s last energy to get to another station—that may not be working! Remember that this can be a huge problem if your EV doesn’t have enough energy to circle back to the previous station.
4. Use the Apps
We also recommend downloading any relevant apps associated with charging stations. These will help you find the closest stations on your route and also provide you with the necessary information to ensure that you’ll have a successful charge.
Since the charging stations are new, experts recommend adding information to the app that can help other users. This includes photos and other relevant information that will make using the station easier for everyone.
5. Charge at Home
Depending on where you live and how close the nearest charging station is to your home or office, you may find it unnecessary to invest in your own charging station.
Yes, it’s a good idea to install a home charging station as well as get a portable charger. Doing this will reduce your need for a public charging station unless you are travelling outside of your regular route. Not only will this free up charging stations, but also reduce your own personal frustration. It will also reduce the likelihood of delays on your journey as a result of inconsiderate drivers!
6. Don’t Use an Empty Bay as Parking
Never use an empty bay as a parking space simply because all the other parking spaces are full, and the charging station is empty. Believe it or not, this does happen and presents a problem when a user suddenly needs to use the station.
As a new EV driver, commit to following the general etiquette surrounding the use of a public charging station. This will not only reduce your own time at the station, but it will also help move things along for others.
Our experts also urge all users to exercise patience with each other as everyone adjusts to this new and exciting process!