With more electric vehicles on the road and new charging stations popping up along streets and in parking lots, a few courtesy rules can help promote positive charging experiences. Whether you drive an EV or an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, here are a few things you should know about EV charging etiquette.

1. Don’t park ICE vehicles in EV charging spaces.

EV charging spots tend to be closest to front entrances, so while it’s tempting to park your ICE vehicle in an EV charging space, please don’t. These spaces are reserved for all battery electric or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles as a service to their owners.

“When you pull up to a charger, it’s frustrating when a fully charged EV or worse – a traditional fuel vehicle – is camped out in an EV charging space. Charging spaces are for charging, not a reward for having an EV or for a better parking space,” said Camila Martins-Bekat, Senior Market Development Representative for Tucson Electric Power, who is involved with our efforts to expand the EV infrastructure.

2. Move along after charging.

When your EV is close to being fully charged, move it to another space so someone else can use the charger. Other EV drivers running low on a charge may need that spot to top off. Charging spaces are intended for short-term use, not all-day parking. In fact, some public charging stations post a time limit so one user doesn’t monopolize the charger.

Most public chargers can deliver an 80 percent charge in about an hour. So there’s really no need to dwell in a charging space for long.

3. Charge only as needed.

Public charging stations are intended to provide you with enough juice for the day or to get to your next destination. “Instead of getting a full charge, unplug when you’re at 80-90 percent,” Martins-Bekat suggested.

4. Don’t unplug others.

Don’t pull the plug on another EV or a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), unless a driver left a note that it’s alright to do so. While PHEVs do have a gas engine as a backup, they also are entitled to use the charging station to limit their fuel usage. This problem can be eliminated altogether if EV owners just move their vehicle once it’s charged or provide guidance to others. “If you know you have a decent charge, leave a note to let others know they can unplug your car to charge theirs.”

5. Help educate other drivers.

Because the EV infrastructure is still developing, both EV and ICE drivers are still trying to figure out the rules. Instead of confronting drivers who don’t follow proper etiquette, take the time to share these tips to create a more positive experience for everyone. “Courtesy goes a long way to helping people understand when and how to use public charging ports,” Martins-Bekat said.

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