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Electric vehicle charging etiquette

Updated July 2023.

EV charging is not like visiting a petrol station. Here are a few things to keep in mind at public chargers:

  • EV charging offers an opportunity to exercise good manners.
    • Have a chat with another EV driver.
  • Pick the charger to suit your plans.
    • Pick a faster charger if you are just grabbing a takeaway coffee. Pick a slower charger if you have big shopping plans.
    • DC chargers are relatively fast while AC charging is slow.
  • Never park in a charging bay if you are not charging.
    • It is inconsiderate and fines now apply around Australia.
    • Move your car as soon as it has finished charging.
  • Avoid charging above 80% at a DC fast charger unless nobody is waiting and the distance to your next stop requires additional charging.
    • Others waiting will get increasingly annoyed as your charging slows right down.
    • EV batteries cannot accept charge as quickly once over 80%.
    • Charging from 80-100% can take as long as charging from 10-80%.
    • On a long trip, two partial charges are quicker than one long charge.
  • If you aren’t in a hurry or your car can’t benefit from a faster charger, pick the slower charger.
    • The cost of charging generally reflects the speed of charging.
    • 350kW ‘ultra-rapid’ chargers generally cost more than 50kW DC chargers which generally cost more than slower AC charging (typically 7-22kW).
    • Save money and leave the faster charger for someone who might need it.
  • Checking in on the PlugShare app is strongly encouraged.
    • Others will be able to see that the charger is in use and working.
    • You can get a notification if someone else checks in as ‘waiting to charge’.
    • If you are waiting to charge, you will get a notification when someone ‘checks out’.
    • Logging both faults and successful charging helps others to plan.
  • Consider also installing the NeedToCharge app.
    • Allows other drivers to send you a message using only your number plate and no other personal details.
  • Report faults to the relevant charging provider.
    • Save someone else from wasting their time!
  • Be tidy
    • Always return the charger cable to its dock.
    • Never leave your rubbish around the charger.
  • If trickle charging at overnight accommodation:
    • Offer to pay a nominal amount for your electricity.
    • Offer to make a PlugShare entry for the accommodation provider and explain how it will attract EV driving guests.