By Craig Cole, Senior Editor EV Pulse
Do you know how to be a good electric vehicle owner? Electric vehicles are different, and a lot of drivers don’t have experience with them, so they don’t know the best ways to use their battery-powered cars and trucks. To help you avoid any faux pas, here are 10 simple dos and don’ts to make sure everyone has a good EV experience.
Tip No. 1 – DO use an appropriate charger for your vehicle.
If you drive a Chevy Bolt that DC fast charges at a maximum of around 55 kW, there’s absolutely no reason to plug into a 350-kW charger. Your car’s battery will NOT juice up any quicker and you WILL irritate and annoy any Hummer EV or Hyundai E-GMP drivers that need to DC fast charge. So, know what your vehicle is capable of and use the appropriate hardware.
Tip No. 2 – DON’T DC fast charge to 100% unless you absolutely have to.
There are situations where this might be necessary, but they’re rare in everyday use. Most EVs charge the quickest from 10 to 80%. Beyond this range, the speed PLUMMETS, meaning that getting the last 20% can take longer than the previous 70. Look at the Hyundai Ioniq 5, for instance. In our testing, it DC fast charged from 10 to 80% in a lickety-split 18 minutes, exactly like the manufacturer said. But going from 80 to 100% required 32 additional minutes. So, be courteous and avoid hogging a charger if you don’t need to.
Tip No. 3 – DO move your vehicle as quickly as reasonably possible when finished charging.
By not moving, you’re blocking other drivers. Few things are more frustrating than waiting to reenergize your EV and there’s another vehicle in the way, one that’s done charging. Operators disincentivize outlet obstructing by charging users idle fees when they’re plugged in and not juicing up. But still, be courteous and vacate the stall as soon as you reasonably can.
Tip No. 4 – DON’T unplug other EVs.
Just like you should have been taught as a child, keep your hands to yourself and don’t touch other people’s stuff. J It doesn’t matter if a vehicle is at 97% or even if charging is complete. Be kind and don’t interrupt another person’s session, even if they need to learn tips No. 2 and 3 above.
Tip No. 5 – When you’re done charging, DO put the cable back where it belongs.
Connectors usually click into a holster on the power dispenser’s cabinet. Doing this keeps the plug end, and much of the cable, up off the ground where these parts are less likely to get dirty or damaged. Please don’t lazily dump the cable on the asphalt where the next person could run over. it That’s not good for anyone. It’s also worth noting, sometimes Tesla owners leave Supercharger cables unhooked if the station doesn’t work. This is a way of signaling the problem to other drivers.
Tip No. 6 – DON’T public charge unless you need to.
If you’re driving to the grocery store, then heading home after shopping, and your battery is at 95%, reconsider using a DC fast charger that another driver might need. The US public charging infrastructure is still a regrettably finite resource, so if you’ve got plenty of range and you’re just heading home, think of other motorists who might need to charge more than you do.
Tip No 7 – DO unhitch your trailer while charging.
Yes, this can be a major pain, but unless the parking lot where chargers are located is massive or otherwise empty, it’s courteous to disconnect your trailer while charging so you don’t block traffic or access to other chargers.
Tip No. 8 – DON’T use a non-Tesla charger if you drive a Tesla.
Tesla Superchargers are plentiful, reliable, and incredibly convenient, so, please don’t feel the need to power up at an EV Go, ChargePoint, or Electrify America station unless you absolutely have to. Try to save those brand-agnostic options for other EV drivers. They WILL thank you.
Tip No. 9 – DO exercise common courtesy.
When charging …
- Park neatly between the lines so you don’t block access for others.
- Avoid cranking your music to obnoxious levels while chilling and charging.
- Don’t leave any garbage behind in the parking lot.
A little thoughtfulness goes a long way toward making the EV experience a positive one for all drivers.
Tip No. 10 – If you can help it, DON’T use the same charger as another driver.
Of course, this is NOT always possible. Use your judgement and try to avoid plugging into the same charging cabinet as someone else. Many chargers are load balanced, meaning they share a certain amount of power. So, if you start pulling electricity from the same cabinet, you could significantly reduce the other driver’s charging speed. Again, this is NOT always possible, but use a separate charger if you can.
Thanks for being part of our EV community and helping everyone to have a positive electric vehicle experience.
Craig Cole is Senior Editor at EV Pulse. He brings 15 years of experience to EV Pulse and is a proud member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. Check out the EV Pulse YouTube channel here.