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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".
Did you say you got there first, but there was already a queue? Then you checked later and different cars were there? That would suggest you were next, unless the 1 guy had been there the whole time.

I'd have done as you had, though I maintain that it isn't a wise practice to count on free L2 charging to complete a trip.
 

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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


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


Do you recall what type of station it was?

Just a tip for anyone that might encounter this situation at a ChargePoint station, we do offer a Waitlist feature! It takes all the guesswork out of the proper etiquette in those tricky situations.

Here's a video of how you can use the Waitlist feature at ChargePoint stations if you ever need it. :)
 

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I think the best free public charging etiquette if you are local is DON'T. Save the juice for those running low and not close to home. Instead, charge AT HOME. Just because you pass by a soup kitchen doesn't mean you NEED a free meal.
 

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I think the best free public charging etiquette if you are local is DON'T. Save the juice for those running low and not close to home. Instead, charge AT HOME. Just because you pass by a soup kitchen doesn't mean you NEED a free meal.
What if the local charging station is rarely used? Wouldn't it be better to show that the charging station is useful and attracts customers, than to let it sit unused? The business or municipality that installed the charging station might let it fall into disrepair or decline to invest in future charging infrastructure if EV owners intentionally avoid using what they've already installed.
 

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I think the best free public charging etiquette if you are local is DON'T. Save the juice for those running low and not close to home. Instead, charge AT HOME. Just because you pass by a soup kitchen doesn't mean you NEED a free meal.
Someone saw a need, opportunity or other reason to put the public charger in. Their reasoning may be one of dozens, but it doesn't really matter to a consumer. If a public charger exists, is convenient, is priced right, then using it provides feedback to the owner of the unit that it is meeting the needs of consumers. Not using it sends the opposite message.

If you occasionally use a free public charger, chances of it preventing someone who is in need are low. You could argue it is proper etiquette to use it if it convinces the owner to maintain the equipment.

If you rely on free public charging because you are cheap and don't want to pay for utilities at home and block someone, that is poor etiquette.
 

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This thread started 4 years ago to the day. I am curious to know what those who have been plugging in during that time have experienced in regards to the evolution of plugging in publicly. Is the behavior of people improving or getting worse? Is free public charging growing in numbers and/or converting to fee based? Is the growth of EA, ChargePoint, etc.,. networks impacting free charging? Other trends?
 

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This thread started 4 years ago to the day. I am curious to know what those who have been plugging in during that time have experienced in regards to the evolution of plugging in publicly. Is the behavior of people improving or getting worse? Is free public charging growing in numbers and/or converting to fee based? Is the growth of EA, ChargePoint, etc.,. networks impacting free charging? Other trends?
Just this month, the city pulled out the free level 2's that they put in with Tesla's help four years ago and replaced them with ChargePoint stations that take a payment. That was two sites, but now the Chargepoints will be at seven sites throughout the city. Now we'll see if they're utilized or not. At least they will have data now.
 
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