Charging an electric vehicle has more importance when compared to fueling up a gasoline vehicle. With more electric vehicles being sold every year, the ratio of electric cars to charging stations is getting progressively worse. Another issue is the acknowledgment from other drivers that an electric vehicle charging spot is dedicated for charging only.
Unfortunately, the issue of non-electric vehicles parking in designated charging spots has spawned a new phrase: ICEhole. Which ICE stands for internal combustion engine. While when EVhole means that an electric vehicle driver is inconsiderate by parking their own electric vehicle in a charging spot for an extended period of time. Thanks to Sal at EVHoles.com for the correction.
There are a few differences between charging an electric vehicle and a gasoline vehicle. For one, the time required to fill a battery pack will be much longer than to fill a gas tank. Charging locations are usually converted parking spaces that are dedicated to electric vehicles since they have electrical charging connections within reach of the parking spot. Some parking lots share the same charging station between the spots instead of the median. In European countries, there are shared charging stations in between parallel parked cars similar to parking meters in North America.
Battery Charging Time Constraint
As mentioned above, one of the big differences between filling up a gas tank and an electric vehicle battery is the time involved. This time restriction is due to a few reasons. First is that the highest residential voltage in North America is 240 volts. As a result, the total power available to charge a battery pack would be quite high. To ensure that the electrical components do not overheat the charge is spread over a longer period of time. Most battery electric cars still require at least two hours of level 2 charging or twelve hours of level 1 charging. These, of course, are from a low battery warning to full capacity.
In reality, the common method of charging is to top up when available. When running errands in a city environment and a charging station is available, it is only natural to take advantage of the opportunity. A possible issue can arise that another electric car driver has been driving for an hour on the highway and is now parked in the adjacent parking spot. With shared charging stations, this leaves the second driver in a predicament.
This second driver has no idea how long you have been charging in your spot and does not have access to tell what your car’s battery level is. I know I would not want to take the other person’s charge since they might be relying on it to make the drive home.
The best advice I can offer is to provide a note on the charging connector to state your situation. If you are only hooking up to provide a top up then you can state just that. As stated by EV Referee, charging etiquette is based on communication.
Let the other drivers know your charging needs and intentions. This can be achieved through a simple note in on your dash that can be read through the front window, a magnet with a reusable marker, or a door hanger with a reusable marker. This allows you to not only identify to others but this allows you to know other drivers situations. I like to use the EV charging hang tag from Amazon to let other drivers know my urgency and how to get a hold of me while the car is charging.
One of the biggest etiquette issues is continued parking in a charging spot. This applies to both drivers of gasoline vehicles and drivers of electric cars that are not using the charger.
No one would even think about parking in front of a pump at a gas station. This is essentially what gasoline drivers are doing to electric vehicle drivers. Most gas drivers do not realize what this means to an electric car owner.
As I was taught growing up, do to others are you would like done to yourself. I have already had to get a couple of gas powered vehicles to find another parking spot. These spots are typically in high demand since they are close to the building entrance due to keeping the length of electric cable low. This is one of the biggest hurdles that electric vehicle drivers need to deal with until the importance is understood by the masses.