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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thought it might be a good idea to start a resource for newbies to public charging stations (like myself).
Let's try to keep this a constructive discussion so no bad talking or stereotyping is much appreciated.

I recently learned if there is someone parked next to you when your return to your charging vehicle and their charging door is open then you should plug them in.
Do you always plug others in?

I have also experienced EV owners who left their vehicles plugged in for hours on end when they were supposed to only charge for one hour.
I never unplug them and just drove to another location.
Do you unplug others vehicles?

Is there a known way to let people know it's okay to unplug you after your time is up?

Please share any other ideas and experiences on charging.
Thanks everyone!

I have also been using the app Plugshare to check in but usage is spotty among owners.
What charging app do you use?

I am also interested in using Tesla destination chargers by using an adapter but since they are starting to deliver the Model 3 and therefore should be thousands descending on their destination chargers, is that okay to use them? What are your thoughts on using Tesla charging network?
 

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I've never publicly charged.

That said, it's common courtesy to plug in another car when you are done charging and their port is open.

I'd probably unplug someone if they were there a long time and I knew for certain they were done charging. Many people would disagree.

You can leave a preprinted note on your window informing that people can unplug if charging is complete. Maybe inform them of how they will know if charging is complete.
 

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You can leave a preprinted note on your window informing that people can unplug if charging is complete. Maybe inform them of how they will know if charging is complete.
I think it's also nice to include a phone number on your note so people waiting to connect can contact you if necessary. A lot of actions that people deem as being hostile could so easily be defused if there was just some way for the parties to communicate.
 

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I parked at a public charging spot in Connecticut few weeks ago, and then plugged in. Had about 20% charge and needed 2 hours of charge to get back home. I come back 2 hours later to find another Bolt driver went around the line of parked cars onto the grass and then had unplugged my car to charge theirs while illegally parked and felt comfortable enough to have actually left the car there and go about their business.

Took a look at their charging indicator and it was fully charged. I on the other hand ended up unplugging that car so I could charge mine. Turns out I had not even gained a mile of range when they unplugged. The driver never showed up in the two hours I had to sit there charging.
 

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There are dash signs and other methods of indicating "OK to unplug", etc.

But many (most) public EVSE's are not free, and plugging someone else in and paying for their charge session goes well beyond common courtesy.

And as the # of EV drivers grow, the number of )$%$^#'s also grows. Many apps allow for notification when the session is ended. That would allow you to know that someone had unplugged you while still charging.
 

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I used one of these. Didn't stop them from unplugging it to charge their already full EV anyways. It was one of the Chargepoint stations and definitely would have alerted me if I had cell reception up there. I know the Bolt sent me a text message also once I drove it to an area with reception.

 

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I used one of these. Didn't stop them from unplugging it to charge their already full EV anyways. It was one of the Chargepoint stations and definitely would have alerted me if I had cell reception up there. I know the Bolt sent me a text message also once I drove it to an area with reception.

These signs are nice. Where did you get them?

I have a printed sheet (with cell # upon it) for someone to contact me if they need the station and/or think I am fully charged. I only plug someone in at a free station. (I was plugged in by a nice stranger once even with my port door unopened {I had not heard/read this protocol at that time} but he was very EV experienced and knew the Bolt charging door opened from the outside. He left a card and I emailled a thank you.)

I unplugged someone once from a free Level 2 station after I determined he/she was fully charged {googled his OM to learn charging light status indicators}. I needed one hour and I plugged him in again when I was done. He may have never known he was unplugged for one hour. No alarm went off, but this is always a concern. (I only set my Bolt "charge cord unplugged" alarm when at a Level 2 "for pay" station, and, one time only, when I was using a 120v outdoor outlet overnight at a motel {with permission} and my GM-supplied Level 1 charging cord.)

My "MyChevrolet" app texts me when I am fully charged (even to "Hilltop Reserve").
 

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I used one of these. Didn't stop them from unplugging it to charge their already full EV anyways. It was one of the Chargepoint stations and definitely would have alerted me if I had cell reception up there. I know the Bolt sent me a text message also once I drove it to an area with reception.

Good thing I didn't get an EV I guess. I'm all about vigilante justice. I have no use for people who exploit others at great cost for a very minimal gain.
 

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I have no use for people who exploit others at great cost for a very minimal gain.
That I can agree with. There's another thing that gets on my nerves. There's this parking garage in this town. All spots require either a monthly parking pass, or for you to pay the meter... except the two spots they have for EV. 2 hour free parking as long as you're charging. Half the time, there's at least one EV sitting on there not even plugged in for hours. At least I didn't get ICEd but seriously. People buy these EV's and have no manners.
 

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I’d like to propose some etiquette for drivers of plugin hybrids or EV’s with range extenders:

Do not use public charging stations.

A few months ago I was at a mall with three charging stations. All spots taking by two Prius plugins and a Chevy Volt. They were still there a few hours later!

Lucky for me, I didn’t need to charge but I was really annoyed. I thought about the BEV owners who needed to charge at this location.

I thought range anxiety is the major reason people buy these cars. If you drive one then congratulations. You don’t need public charging stations. Leave them for those of us who exclusively use electricity.
 

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I’d like to propose some etiquette for drivers of plugin hybrids or EV’s with range extenders:

Do not use public charging stations.

A few months ago I was at a mall with three charging stations. All spots taking by two Prius plugins and a Chevy Volt. They were still there a few hours later!
I thought range anxiety is the major reason people buy these cars. If you drive one then congratulations. You don’t need public charging stations. Leave them for those of us who exclusively use electricity.
They probably feel that their gasoline generator is simply an emergency reserve and that they want to drive exclusively on battery power.

I presume you are talking about free and not "pay-to-charge" public charging stations. I would recommend an amendment to your motion: If you (BEV OR PHEV) are charging for convenience, stay with your vehicle OR leave a contact #. {PHEVs are ALWAYS charging for convenience, and so this applies to them all the time.}

Etiquette is learned. "Increase Etiquette" should be our motto. Thanks for putting this out there.
 

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They probably feel that their gasoline generator is simply an emergency reserve and that they want to drive exclusively on battery power.
Yeah, I don't have a problem with plug-in hybrids using a charger as long as they don't overstay their welcome. They're just trying to be green like the rest of us.
 

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I have no problem with hybrids being plugged into free public chargers. Local EV owners shouldn't need a public charge to get around locally, and long distance EV travelers shouldn't be relying on free L2 chargers to get to their destination. There is little reason why anyone would need to charge at a free L2 charger. It's a gimmick to get people with money to spend more time making purchases. If you think they were installed to charge up EVs that are almost out of energy, then you're missing the whole point.
 

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Public charging wars are going to only get worse as hybrids and EVs become more popular.

FWIW, our local newspaper runs a "100 years ago today" column. The city was beginning to realize it needed parking ordinances and public education for the new automobile owners on the etiquette of where and how to leave their cars on the street. There was even some discussion of how to charge a fee for street parking, but it took another twenty years for the parking meter to be developed and installed on city streets.

Today, "the connected city" is the new buzzword and one goal is for every parking space to be wirelessly monitored and drivers can see when and where the next one opens.

Traveling to a charge point, being able to determine it is available and then, just before arrival, seeing it go "In Use" is going to become more common.

A prediction is free public charging points won't be with us much longer. A fee to charge, changing to a much higher fee to park there when full will be one solution to getting them to move along.

jack vines
 

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I have no problem with hybrids being plugged into free public chargers. Local EV owners shouldn't need a public charge to get around locally, and long distance EV travelers shouldn't be relying on free L2 chargers to get to their destination. There is little reason why anyone would need to charge at a free L2 charger. It's a gimmick to get people with money to spend more time making purchases. If you think they were installed to charge up EVs that are almost out of energy, then you're missing the whole point.
This is true to a point. Two examples: I drove (twice, two separate trips) near to my limit (230 miles) and needing to travel another 200 miles to my destination with NO DCFC enroute. I was fully charged from home on leaving, but stopped for one hour of free Level 2 charging to provide a "safety net". Each time, I had drive conservatively enough to show (in retrospect) that I would have made it without the additional charge, but I am still SO glad that I did.

I agree that Level 2 is NOT for long-distance driving, only destination charging. And, when we get a DCFC station within 200 miles of the next, I will rely far less (if at all) on Level 2 chargers. But WV has NO DCFC and KY has just ONE (just south of Cincinnati which has many). Travelling east, there is but ONE DCFC station in Bolt range (Lexington, VA).

Etiquette, not exclusion.
 

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I have no problem with hybrids being plugged into free public chargers. Local EV owners shouldn't need a public charge to get around locally, and long distance EV travelers shouldn't be relying on free L2 chargers to get to their destination. There is little reason why anyone would need to charge at a free L2 charger. It's a gimmick to get people with money to spend more time making purchases. If you think they were installed to charge up EVs that are almost out of energy, then you're missing the whole point.
Plug in hybrids are always almost out of electrical energy.

I have no problem with anyone with a plug using any charging station they want to use, just don't overnight charge a car that only needs 1 hour to charge and certainly don't consider an EV charging spot to be an EV parking spot.

I do think charging at home is a must because the EV charging station wars are just getting started. Double the number of EVs on the road, likely over the next two years or less, and what are now mild skirmishes are going to become full fledged wars. People are going to be sorely disappointed when they find out that a line of two Bolts and a new Leaf at a fast charge station means a 3 hour minimum wait to charge.

I've thought about buying a used Spark EV for one of my kids but he lives in an apartment and the only sure thing for charging will be an extension cord from a patio outlet to the car. That risks management getting irate about the tripping hazard and the 120V EVSE being stolen. There are plentiful Blink stations but paying 50 cents/kWh turns the Spark EV into the equivalent of a 24mpg ICE vehicle and enough desperate EV owners might congest even ridiculously expensive charging stations.
 

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Here's a real life charging etiquette situation.

I'm in my Bolt, use about half a full charge driving to a destination in LA. Plan on being here for about 4 hours, there are two free L2 stations but there are three cars there, two plugged in and one waiting. I leave, go do some business and return a bit later. Now there are still three cars here but a bit different set. One Leaf plugged in, next to it a 500e plugged in and showing a blinking 5th bar so 80%+ charged with < 1 hr remaining, an empty spot I pulled into next to the 500e and then to my right a Volt with its charge door open (signaling plug me in).

I wait 20 minutes and 500e finishes charging, but owner not in sight.

Do I:

1) Unplug 500e and plug in Volt and leave because Volt could take hours to charge at its low charging rate
2) Unplug 500e and plug myself in and walk off
3) Open my charge port door and walk off leaving 500e plugged in
4) Drive off

I chose #2
Wi
Reasons? If I did #1 I'm certainly being nice but decreasing utilization of charging station due to slow Volt charging and rewarding Volt owner who left instead of sticking around like I did

If I did #3 then 500e owner could show up, assume I was next and plug me in (same as #2 ) but the charging station sits idle, perhaps for hours

If I did #4 then the charging station could sit idle for hours or someone else could pull into the spot I was in and take choice #2 themself.

Will the Volt owner be pissed if they get back to their car and see my plugged in instead of their car and the 500e still parked there? Hey, you are no better off than if I did nothing, your car still wouldn't be plugged in. If the 500e leaves before the Volt owner shows up the Volt owner will probably assume the 500e owner figured my Bolt was next in line to charge.

Was I evil, impolite, not as helpful as I could have been or just doing something reasonable?
 

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Here's a real life charging etiquette situation.

Do I:
1) Unplug 500e and plug in Volt and leave because Volt could take hours to charge at its low charging rate
2) Unplug 500e and plug myself in and walk off
3) Open my charge port door and walk off leaving 500e plugged in
4) Drive off

Will the Volt owner be pissed if they get back to their car and see my plugged in instead of their car and the 500e still parked there? Hey, you are no better off than if I did nothing, your car still wouldn't be plugged in. If the 500e leaves before the Volt owner shows up the Volt owner will probably assume the 500e owner figured my Bolt was next in line to charge.
Was I evil, impolite, not as helpful as I could have been or just doing something reasonable?

A true dilemma. There was a 5th choice (not fun, but possible): Plug yourself in but stay with your EV since you "jumped the que". If the Volt owner returns, you can explain your reasoning and negotiate the next 30-60 charging minutes.
 

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A true dilemma. There was a 5th choice (not fun, but possible): Plug yourself in but stay with your EV since you "jumped the que". If the Volt owner returns, you can explain your reasoning and negotiate the next 30-60 charging minutes.
or I could have left a note for the Volt owner saying "plug yourself in if you get back.

As it turns out I got about 1 hour of charge and I believe the Volt owner checked his car, saw me plugged in, unplugged me and plugged himself in.

Didn't bother me particularly though I would love to hear the Volt owner's take on how I should have approached the situation and whether he thought I was fully charged (Volt and Bolt, I believe, have the opposite blink pattern to indicate charge status) or if it was just an "I was next".
 
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