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Since public charging is a relatively new concept, most people think there’s nothing more to the process except finding the right station and plugging their vehicles in and out. However, did you know that EV charging in Portland, Maine, has its own set of etiquette guidelines for users to follow? We’re here to give you the lowdown on a complete list of dos and don’ts to help keep things a little civilized at the public charging bay.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Do at a Public Charging Bay
DO Remember That Charging Spaces Are for Charging Only
Charging areas aren’t anybody’s personal all-day parking spot. Unless you’re actively charging your car, you should park it elsewhere so that others can plug in and get a charge. Even if it’s a preferable place for car parking, it’s always a good idea to mind your manners and vacate the bay straight away.
Some people seem to forget that other EV drivers low on battery depend on finding a vacant charging bay. Instead of unplugging their vehicles and moving along as soon as they’re done charging, these inconsiderate drivers take up a spot for hours on end.
To encourage them to move their cars after getting some juice, other station owners set an extra fee for charging or parking after an hour or two. In some areas, drivers can be ticketed for leaving their car in an EV charging space when they’re not genuinely charging.
DO Check on Your Vehicle While It’s Charging
You’ll want to familiarize yourself with how long your car takes to charge. For this reason, it’s best to check on it from time to time while waiting for it to reach the desired capacity.
You should also be aware of the charging curve, which causes the charging speed to slow down to protect the battery as it reaches around 80%. If you try to beat the charging curve and stay longer in the charging spot, you’re stopping another EV driver from getting access to a charger.
DO Choose the Right Charger for Your Vehicle
The installation of high-power chargers that deliver up to 350kW of power supports the future of net-zero transport. Unfortunately, many of today’s EVs can’t accept that level of charge.
If you’re new to the world of EVs, you should take note of the charger you choose when you pull up to a charge point. You should also be aware of your car’s charge specifications before you plug in. The charger you choose must accommodate your car’s specific charging needs.
DO Leave a Note When You Have To
It can take several hours before a battery gets fully charged. If you’re not staying with your car while it charges and you aren’t sure you’ll make it back in time before your charging session is complete, it’s best to leave a note. Let the other drivers know that they can safely unplug the connector from your vehicle once it hits a certain percentage or if you’re willing to give up your charger for an emergency.
DO Tip-Off Other EV Drivers
As a considerate EV driver, you’ll want to help other drivers out by passing on important information. Whether you give them tips about parking fees or help them find a charging station, your suggestions will help others get the most out of their driving experience.
DO Keep the Charging Area Tidy
You can make the charging station a comfort zone for yourself and other motorists by keeping the noise down and your space clean and tidy. Paying attention to your fellow EV drivers and tossing your trash in the proper waste receptacles are some of the best ways to keep the smooth and relaxing experience of an EV going.
DON’T Be Rude, Even When You’re ICEd
One of the things that EV drivers don’t want to see is an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle parking in areas designated for EV charging. If you find yourself getting ICEd when you desperately need a charge, resist the urge to retaliate.
Instead of giving EV drivers a bad name, try to be nice by leaving the ICE driver a friendly note that encourages them to leave EV spots open so that others can charge their cars. Don’t forget to thank them for understanding and helping EV drivers stay charged.
DON’T Unplug Someone Else’s Car
Public charging stations generally operate on a first-come-first-served basis. For this reason, you shouldn’t unplug someone else’s vehicle from a charging station even if you think you need the battery power more than they do. Unless you have explicit permission from the vehicle’s owner or it’s an absolute emergency, and you’re sure their car is fully charged, never unplug another driver’s connector from the port.
DON’T Press the Emergency Stop Button
Pressing the emergency stop button will cause the charger to go offline for the next user. Unless you have a problem, it’s best to press “stop the charge” on the screen when you’ve completed your charging session.
DON’T Always Aim for 100% When Fast Charging
Although topping off is a convenient way to keep your battery full while driving around town, an EV driver who’s at 10% may pull up to get their own share of electrons. Once you hit 80%, it’s best to wrap up your charging session or switch to a Level 2 charger if another vehicle is waiting for the fast charger. Consider getting a charge later or at home if you’re driving a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and don’t really need the extra miles to get where you’re going.
DON’T Forget to Be Considerate of the Connector
Once you’ve completed your charging session, be sure to place the connector securely in the charger holster instead of dropping the connector or leaving it dangling. Besides preventing damage to the device, hanging it back up in its port will also eliminate a tripping hazard for other EV drivers.
Do You Have More Questions About EV Charging in Portland, Maine?
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