EV Owners Need to Know Plug-In Protocol
If you have an EV, you likely charge it at home most of the time, but once in a while you might have to call upon a public charging station. Don't fret--there are new charging stations opening all the time but you should know a code of behavior for plugging-in. At Detroit Auto Body, we want a greener planet and that's why we support electric vehicles. More and more people in Covina and throughout CA, are driving EVs to help the environment. We all need a healthy world-- for ourselves, our children, grand children and generations to come.
The United States is quickly building new charging stations everywhere, including at shopping malls, sports stadiums, golf courses, schools and public parks. Some forward thinking companies are offering charging units for their customers to use while they're shopping--like at NAPA Parts stores and outside some IKEA stores.
But, even with all these charging locations and new ones being built all the time, EV owners still often encounter the stress and anxiety associated with running low. Kia is stepping up and installing more and more DC chargers nationwide now that sales on their Soul EV are going through the roof. Nissan offers no-cost charging for Leaf owners in every major city in the country and are now proactively installing more and more at its dealerships. Every company that makes an EV is moving quickly to add charging stations in locations that are easily accessible for their drivers. But, unfortunately, there are still not enough charging stations in places where not having enough juice can be crucial.
With more than 280,000 EVs on U.S. roads, you would think that owners of these vehicles would know that common courtesy and the basic rules of living together peacefully should apply. I call in Plug-in Protocol.
So, here is a list of all the no-no's when it comes to charging your EV:
• If you drive a non-electric gas or diesel vehicle don't park it in a spot with a charging unit, thereby blocking an EV from plugging in. This one would be common sense, and yet I see it happening every day.
• Follow the signs that say "parking for electric cars only" or "electric charging station." In many US cities, people love ignoring signs. One cab driver flying through the streets of San Francisco told me that road signs are simply "suggestions!"
• When you park in an EV spot, leave a mobile number on your dashboard (Actually you should always have a card with your cell phone number visible in your car for safety reasons.)
• It doesn't hurt to leave a note that that says "okay to unplug" or "charge needed", depending on your situation.
• And don't ever unplug another EV without permission, even if the unit shows that the charging cycle is complete. This is the worst offense committed by EV owners and rude beyond belief, in my opinion.
To avoid what many people call "range rage" behave yourself and act right when you plug-in and you'll be just fine. One of the main problems about breaking plug-in protocol is that there aren't yet any laws regulating any of this EV behavior. And until they start making those laws, gas guzzlers from CA all the way to Alaska will be making EV owners' lives not any easier!
Sources: Green Garage Challenge, EV News and Forbes