There aren’t a lot of EVs and plug-in hybrids tooling around these days so confrontations at public charging stations are rare. However, as the number of electric cars on the roads increases, conflicts are bound to start happening. Take for example a situation where 2 EVs show up at the same time at a public charging station, who gets it first? However, the fact that conflicts haven’t really started to occur yet hasn’t prevented discussions about the etiquette that could be followed. The sales staff at Bosak Honda in Highland, IN, a full-service Honda dealer, gave us a quick rundown of what has been discussed so far.
Is it OK for a driver of a standard car to park in the “charging spot?”
No. An electric vehicle charging spot is not a “parking spot.” It is a place where electric cars go to get charged. Standard cars should not park there.
Does an EV have precedence at a public charger over a plug-in hybrid?
This has created a bit of argument in the plug-in community. Some believe that since plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) can also run on gasoline, they should give way to EVs which can only be charged by electricity.
How long can a plug-in vehicle occupy a charging spot?
As we mentioned above, public charging stations aren’t parking spots. Picture them like the concrete pads in front of gas pumps. So the space should be occupied only as long as you need it for charging. Note: Most of the EVs come with apps that alert drivers via their smartphones when a charging session has ended.
Is it OK to unplug someone else’s EV car?
If the other plug-in car has clearly finished charging and is still occupying the EV charging station space, the plug-in community generally agrees that it’s OK to unplug the other car. Most plug-in drivers still feel they are part of a small community that needs to be mutually supportive so this sort of thing is perfectly fine.
What happens at airports?
Electric car charging stations at airports and bus and train stations are the exception to the parking-space rule. If you are going to be gone for a week, however, it wouldn’t be fair to tie up that charging spot with your EV, however.
What can you do if a standard vehicle is occupying the charging spot?
The best way to handle the situation is to leave a polite note, reminding the driver of the offending vehicle that charging station spots are for EVs and plug-in hybrids to use.
Manage the charging cord
Finally, remember that parking lots are public places with lots of foot and vehicle traffic. Tuck the charging cord when you are charging under your vehicle so no one trips on it. Also, neatly rewind the charging cord on its proper holder when you unplug your car.