EV Charging Station Etiquette – 7 EV Owner Best Practices

With my cross-country trip looming I have been thinking a lot about charging stations. It then dawned on me that they are, for the most part, completely unattended. As such, I want to make sure I follow good practices and be courteous to other EV drivers. With that in mind, I contacted Tesla and EV owners for their top EV charging station etiquette tips and best practices. Here’s what they had to say.

1) Keep It Brief

First up on this list of EV charging station etiquette is ensuring you don’t overstay your welcome. Once your EV is topped up or at your desired level, move on. This frees up the spot for other users. Even if the charging station is not busy, that could change. Be courteous.

A good tip that was shared is if you wander off to grab a coffee or something to eat, set yourself a timer for when your charge is supposed to be done. If you are a Tesla owner, the Tesla app on your phone can notify you when charging is done. If you are not done with your meal or shopping, return to your vehicle and move it.

Also, one user noted that you should also only charge to what you need to get home or to your next destination. Don’t charge to full capacity if you don’t need to. This, obviously, takes more time. Again, be courteous to other EV drivers.

2) Do Not Park

In the same lane as vacating an EV charging spot ASAP, don’t use the spot to park. Apparently, the painfully obvious statement that EV charging spots are for charging is not so obvious for all. Multiple people claim this as their biggest pet peeve with EV charging station etiquette. Driving an EV is not the equivalent to having a disabled parking tag. Sorry, you don’t get preferential parking for saving the environment. If you are not charging or done charging, move on.

3) Don’t Unplug Someone Else

Sadly, along with overstaying your welcome comes some entitled EV owners who think their time is more valuable than yours. Unplugging a charging car is an all-to-common complaint in EV Facebook groups and forms. Again, surprised I have to say this but don’t do that, especially if the car is charging. You don’t know the circumstances for the person charging so be patient and wait or move to another charger.

Use an EV Charging Lock

Aside from moving your vehicle once done charging, one way to avoid having your Tesla unplugged is by using an EV charging lock. You can pick up a J1772 locking ring from Amazon and is an inexpensive way to prevent others from unplugging your charging vehicle.

The J1772 locking ring slides over the the J1172 Tesla adapter and can only be removed once the charging locking mechanism in the charge port of the car released.

4) Leave a Note

Another way to prevent surprises as well as simply being courteous is to leave a note when you are away from your car while charging. I level my phone number asking people to text me if at an L2 charger. This likely makes someone think twice about unplugging your car and gives them the option to contact you to get a time frame.

You can even use this slick pop-up phone number display to give would-be “Karens” the option to call you.

5) Spread Out

Although timely with practising social distancing, spacing out at EV charging stations is good for charging purposes too. Tesla Supercharger Version 1 and 2 stations split power between stalls. This means that they slow down if multiple stalls on the same circuit are in use.

How do you know if you are on the same circuit as other users? Stalls are labelled (1A, 1B etc.…) so if 1A is full and 2A is not, use 2B. This will speed up charging times for both you and your fellow EV drivers.

Although version 3 Superchargers are not affected by this, it’s still good practice, especially right now, to keep your distance.

6) Don’t Take Up More Than One Spot!

I can’t believe I have to include this one, but here we are. Multiple people mentioned stories of cars being parked in multiple spots or overlapping lines making one spot useless. This seems crazy and incredibly inconsiderate. That said, even with a car that can park itself, there are still horrible drivers out there.

Don’t be an asshole. Stay within the lines.


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My Model Y Order

7) Keep it Clean

Last up on this list of EV charging station etiquette is all about picking up after yourself.

This, again, should be a no-brainer however when I polled the Facebook groups many came back with the same common story of trash being left behind. Even worse, people are reporting PPE items being left around. You know, used gloves and masks…during the pandemic.

These are shared spaces. Be respectful and clean up after yourself!

One way to prevent being part of the problem is by adding a small trash bin in your EV. I use this one and it works great. It is discrete and allows me to keep the interior tidy. I remove the bag when full and dispose in a nearby bin while charging or at home. Too easy.

Exercise Good EV Charging Station Etiquette!

There you have it. Five EV charging station etiquette tips and best practices everyone should be using. Be courteous and make your driving experience and those who share the EV charging stations a little better by following these tips. 

Do you have an EV charging etiquette tip or best practice not listed here? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Avatar
    Paul LaFlamme
    July 19, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    Always return the charging cable to its proper place. I have seen many cables left lying on the ground.


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