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This article was published on July 14, 2021

Yes, there’s an EV charging ‘etiquette’ — so listen up

For starters, don't forget to be polite

Yes, there’s an EV charging ‘etiquette’ — so listen up
Ioanna Lykiardopoulou
Story by

Ioanna Lykiardopoulou

Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives. Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives.

Charging your EV seems like a pretty straightforward process, right? Find a station, plug-in, plug-out, and voila. But did you know that “charging etiquettes” are an actual “thing?”

Yes, there’s a whole list of do’s and don’ts to be followed when you take your electrified car to a public charging bay.

EVgo has one, ChargePoint has one, and now LeaseElectricCar.co.uk has put together a set of unwritten rules, specially made for the Brits, who are struggling, I guess?

As per a spokesperson of the company, “most of the etiquette points are common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many drivers ignore them.” 

So what are those extremely common-sense, yet apparently difficult-to-grasp tips? Here are the 9 guidelines offered by LeaseElectricCar:

1. Charging only

Only park in the electric vehicle spaces if you are genuinely charging your vehicle. When you’ve finished, move on and park elsewhere. EV drivers low on battery may depend on finding a vacant charging bay.

Or: WHY ON EARTH would you park your car at a charging spot if you don’t need the charger?

2. Look after the charge point

Always leave the charge point as you found it and ready for the next motorist. If you’re using public cables, put them away. Leaving them out causes a tripping hazard and they can get damaged by the weather.

Or: IS IT SO DIFFICULT to take care of the public property that enables your car to move?

3. Plan your charging times

Public charging points are on a first come, first served basis and there are only a limited number of them. Check where local charging points or those on your journey are. Be mindful too of how long your vehicle takes to reach maximum charge and move it on when it’s charged up.

Or: JUST MAKE SOME PREPARATION, before you start driving. There are apps for that. And Google.

4. Ask politely

If you’re really desperate to charge your vehicle, politely ask another EV driver if you can use the bay they’re in as soon as they’re finished. Make sure you return the favor in the future.

Or: MIND YOUR MANNERS, being polite makes life much easier.

5. Starting your charge

Once you have your car plugged in, make sure charging has started successfully before you walk away.

Or: JUST CHARGE YOUR EV, that’s why you stopped there.

6. Don’t unplug

Whatever you do, do not unplug another vehicle so you can charge yours. The only time this is acceptable is if they’ve left a note on the car saying it’s fine to unplug them.

Or: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, there are other drivers who want to charge too.

7. Rapid charging

Only plug into a rapid charging bay if your vehicle can rapid charge. Once it’s good to go, move your vehicle on.

Or: ONLY FAST CHARGING EVS can use a fast charger — know your stuff.

8. Fully charged

If your battery is fairly full, don’t stop at a busy charging point just to top up. There could be someone waiting behind you whose charge is low and is in desperate need of a top up.

Or: JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN CHARGE it doesn’t mean you have to.

9. Do not block the bay

If you drive a petrol or diesel car, don’t park in the charging bays.

Or: SUCK IT EARTH DESTROYERS, and show some respect.

Well, there you have it. Those are the courtesy guidelines for EV charging.

Are they a revelation? No, they’re shockingly basic, but there’s one thing they do show: unless we really get how the charging process works, transitioning to electrification will be much more of a challenge than we expected.


Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up? 

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