As cities transition to Electric Vehicles (EV), the industry introduces a new set of unspoken code of conduct encompassing the occupation of vehicle charging lots and the utilisation of chargers.
Given the rate of adoption of electric vehicles is still at its infancy, limited exposure and experience to EV charging might lead to unwarranted situations from the contention of the parking lots.
Most of us know the basic etiquette when it comes to fuelling at the petrol station, but charging an EV is probably a novel experience for most people and it will take some time before a courteous code of conduct is ingrained in our society.
This becomes more significant in a dense city population like Singapore, where there is a combination of a limited supply of parking spaces and charge points.
Access to public chargers is usually on a first come first serve basis, and as widespread adoption grows, it is more important than ever to understand how to utilise public charging points in a way that remains considerate to fellow EV drivers.
Charge point decorum
Charging spaces are for charging only
Do not occupy the lot if you do not require charging even if you drive an EV. An important guide to keep in mind is that EV Charging spots are for charging, not parking. Until the supply of charging stations has reached a healthy charger to EV ratio, an electric vehicle in a designated lot defeating the purpose of the space is equivalent to having an internal combustion engine (ICE) in the lot.
Do not hog the lot
Once your vehicle has completed its charge, do move away from the lot so others have the chance to utilise the station just as you did. It would also be helpful if you monitor your charge while away from your vehicle. Consider staying close by as your vehicle reaches its desired capacity, so to lower your inertia to return to your car and vacate the space.
Respect the property and hardware
Placing the connector securely in the holster and storing the cables neatly helps prevent damage to the charging station. You are also eliminating the potential of a tripping hazard by leaving the charge point tidy and ready for the next driver.
Do not press the emergency stop button unless in an emergency
Pressing the emergency stop button will cause the charger to go offline, and in some cases, all the chargers in the car park will cease to operate until a representative from SCDF arrives to determine the hazard. Instead, follow the instructions written on the charger itself, or the prompt functions on the app in your phone to stop the charging session safely, and remove the connector from your charging port.
Plan your charge
Consider ending your charging session once your battery reaches 80% instead of full charge and vacate the lot to someone else who needs it more, especially when there is a queue for the chargers.
Most batteries tend to slow down in their charging rate once the car hits the 80% mark. And studies have shown that to sustain battery life, it is advisable to keep its charge between 20% - 80%.
It is important to be considerate when charging your EV to avoid inadvertently preventing other drivers from charging when they need to. As the world transitions to vehicle electrification, understanding the charging process and the needs of our EV will serve as the base for a courteous and proper use of charging stations.