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Why etiquette is key when charging your EV

EV charging can be a free-for-all, especially at hotels.

By Michael Bettencourt Wheels.ca

Oct 30, 2022 2 min. read

Article was updated a month ago

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A post on a social media account popular with Canadian EV owners really hit a nerve recently. The topic? How travellers, who selected a hotel because it had charging stations for their vehicles, where not able to charge their car because of other drivers.

The saltiest posts were directed to the drivers of gas vehicles who parked in spaces identified for EVs, and for those who parked their EVs at charging stations but didn’t have them plugged in. These “courtesy” charging stations turned out to be anything but.

Some hotels have developed systems to avoid this. At a Niagara-on-the-Lake hotel I stayed at there was a concierge who scheduled guests for three- or four-hour charging windows (you had to move your car once your time was done). At other hotels, the valet staff will rotate EVs at charging stations or offer guest parking near wall outlets were trickle charging overnight is possible.

At most hotels I have stayed at, however, charging is a free for all. This is when charging etiquette becomes key. The best source I’ve seen for this is on EVSociety.ca, a website run by Canadian EV owners. It has a detailed public charging etiquette page. For example, no matter how tempting, do not unplug an EV without the owner’s permission so you can charge your car.

Other advice? Park near a station being used with your plug flap open so people know you are waiting to go next. Or the suggestion plug-in hybrid owners should concede their spots to battery-only vehicles that need a charge more – or risk not being able to even drive to their destination or hotel.

Michael Bettencourt bought his first EV in late 2011 and has followed the Canadian EV scene ever since. Follow him on Twitter @MCBet10court

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