In the spirit of the golden rule – do unto others what you’d wish done unto you – we’ve attempted to make that document here. In this article, we ask Australian electric vehicle owners what they think is good etiquette, and what new EV owners should know, when tapping into the public charging network in 2023.
“Charging infrastructure is a good example where a combination of people not completely knowing what they are doing, combined with sparse infrastructure of varying capability and reliability, can lead to some unhappy campers. We have to acknowledge that we are all in this together right now, and help each other where we can.”
Even if it’s not busy, monitor your car’s charge using an app if available (for your car, or the charger) and return, unplug and move the car into a nearby spot the minute you can if you intend to roam around the local town, go shopping or similar.
Someone might show up and be in a hurry, and discovering your fully-charged car parked, locked and plugged into the charger is something that would surely annoy you if the roles were reversed. At the very least, if it seems quiet, put a phone number on the dashboard and don’t go too far.
If your EV’s maximum DC charge rate is 50kW, don’t hook up to the 350kW charger if a 50kW charger is free. EV owner Dan Hockin was driving to Adelaide and made a stop to charge in Horsham, Victoria, where he discovered two 50kW chargers free, and a Nissan Leaf plugged into the only 350kW charger. The Leaf can only accept 50kW DC maximum.
Users can also keep the app up-to-date by listing public charging locations, their status (often they’re out-of-order), plug types and charging rates, and availability. If enough users are keeping it updated, it’s an invaluable resource for an EV owner – especially if you’re travelling in unfamiliar areas.
“PlugShare is great for trip planning, and invaluable for local conditions for advice of broken chargers, to where to find the charger hiding in large car parks,” says electric vehicle owner Rhys Timms. “I always look ahead to ensure the charger I plan to use is working before setting off on my journey, and always leave feedback when I charge so other users know it has been used recently with no issues.”