EV charging etiquette - The unwritten rules for electric vehicle owners

Published: Wednesday 7th February 2024
6 minutes read

As the adoption of electric cars continues to surge across Europe, navigating the EV charging experience becomes increasingly important for drivers. European countries are keen to transition to more sustainable modes of transportation and recent data suggests an increasing appetite for EVs.

As the number of EVs on the road increases, so does the demand for charging infrastructure, making the availability and accessibility of EV charging stations more critical than ever.

That’s where EV adoption meets EV charging etiquette - a new set of norms and manners aimed at efficient and fair use of charging stations, creating a positive community of EV owners and enhancing the overall experience of owning an electric car.

The golden rules of EV charging etiquette

Queueing properly

  • Respect the queue: Always join the end of the queue and wait your turn patiently. Avoid jumping ahead or using connections to bypass others waiting.
  • Communication is key: If there’s a waiting area or system, make your presence known and communicate with other EV owners about expected wait times.
  • Be ready: Have your RFID card or app ready to initiate charging as soon as it’s your turn, minimising delays for others. With the easyCharging app you can order a free RFID tag to make charging easier.

Time management

  • Set a timer: Use your smartphone or the vehicle’s system to set a timer that reminds you when your charging session is expected to complete. This helps prevent overstaying at the charger. You can also track progress in the easyCharging app.
  • Limit charging to needs: Especially at fast chargers, aim to charge only up to 80% to reduce charging time, as charging speeds typically slow down significantly after reaching this level. This practice makes the station available sooner for the next user.
  • Promptly move your vehicle: Once your vehicle is sufficiently charged, promptly move it to allow access for other EV owners. Avoid using charging spots as parking spaces, it could cost you! Some charging points charge you an hourly fee for parking so check before you charge.

Charging only when necessary

  • Prioritise home charging: If you have access to home charging, use public stations sparingly, primarily for top-ups or when on long trips, to leave them available for those who might rely on them more. Charging your electric car at home overnight is the most efficient way to charge your EV, even more so if you have your energy from solar panels.
  • Plan your charging: For longer journeys, plan your charging stops to minimise the need for urgent charging, reducing pressure on busy stations.
  • Emergency situations: Be considerate of others who might be in a more urgent need to charge, especially in areas with limited charging infrastructure.

Sharing charging stations

  • Cable sharing: If using a station with multiple cables or the capability to charge more than one vehicle simultaneously, ensure you’re not blocking access to another charging point.
  • Assist others: If you see a fellow EV owner struggling with the charging station or the process, offer help or guidance if you can.

Monitoring and communication

  • Use apps wisely: The easyCharging mobile app allows you to monitor your charging progress. Use it to stay informed and to notify others if you’ll be returning to move your car late.
  • Leave notes: In some cases, leaving a polite note on your dashboard with your expected return time or contact information can be helpful, especially in smaller communities or regular charging spots.

Handling charging station issues

  • Report malfunctions promptly: If you encounter a malfunctioning charging station, report it to the service provider or via the station’s app immediately. This helps in quick resolution and prevents inconvenience to future users.
  • Be understanding of technical issues: Charging infrastructure can sometimes face technical difficulties. Be patient and communicate with other waiting drivers to manage the situation collectively.

Environmental consideration

  • Keep the area clean: Leave the charging area cleaner than you found it. Dispose of any trash properly and coil the charging cable neatly to keep the space organised for the next user.
  • Minimise idle time: To reduce energy wastage, avoid keeping your car plugged in longer than necessary, especially at fast-charging stations.

Safety first

  • Prioritise safety: Ensure that your vehicle and the charging station are correctly aligned to avoid stretching cables across walkways, which could be a tripping hazard. Follow all safety guidelines provided by the charging station.
  • Be mindful of cables: Properly connect and disconnect cables to avoid damage to the station or your vehicle. Ensure cables are not creating obstacles for others.

Flexibility and compassion

  • Be flexible: Sometimes, you might have to adjust your plans based on charging station availability or the needs of other drivers. Being flexible and accommodating can help ease potential conflicts.
  • Show compassion: Recognise that some EV drivers may have emergencies or special circumstances that require immediate charging. If possible, consider offering them priority.

Get access to 100,000 charging stations in Europe

Register now
  • Free to register
  • Fast charging points
  • Compatible with every EV
  • Real time information
  • Transparent pricing
  • Free RFID tag

The biggest “don’ts” of EV charging

Unplugging other vehicles

Never unplug another vehicle without the owner’s permission. It’s not only rude but can interrupt someone’s charging session, possibly leaving them without enough range to reach their destination.

Overstaying your welcome

Once your vehicle is charged, move it promptly. Occupying a charging spot when your session is complete is a major inconvenience to other drivers waiting in line.

Using EV space for parking only

Parking a non-EV in a charging spot or blocking access with an EV not being charged is a big no-no. This practice, often referred to as “ICE-ing” when done by internal combustion engine vehicles, prevents EVs from accessing necessary charging infrastructure.

Hogging a charger in busy areas

Unless absolutely necessary, avoid charging to 100% at public stations, especially during peak times. Charging speeds typically slow down after 80%, and freeing up the station can significantly help others.

As electric cars become more of a daily occurrence, let’s be respectful and considerate at charging stations.

By embracing the golden rules of EV charging etiquette, drivers can contribute to smoother charging experiences, reduce conflicts, and promote the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. With the rapid growth of EV adoption across Europe, the demand for charging infrastructure has surged, underscoring the importance of efficient and courteous use of charging stations.

One app for everything?

easyCharging features

Register now
Registering to easyCharging is free.