Did I do it right? Charging etiquette (a bit long)

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by iluvscuba, Sep 24, 2018.

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  1. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    I got my car 5 weeks ago and I have always charged at home. This past Friday, 3 tornado touched town in the Ottawa area and most of the city lost power. My house/area lost power around 5:50pm on Friday evening, at that time, my car has about 1/2 tank of gas, 50km of EV range. Note that I have no power, no wifi and cell service for Friday night and most of Saturday was really bad most of the time, like everything 30 minutes I can get some data thru for may be a minute or so.

    By Saturday night, I have 0% charge and about 1/4 tank gas left as I was driving my friend to my house to eat. I have some propane gas left so I use my BBQ to cook. At this time, I did not know there are free food at a park near by organized by some community group (I have no internet) and I never thought of using the radio in the car (stupid right?). Anyway, I decided to check out a mall about 10km from my house as I know they have free charger but I have never been there so I use the Plugshare app and got the location of the charger.
    The mall opens at 10am Sunday so I planned to arrive at 9:45am (I didn't know the chargers are actually available 24 hours a day) so when I arrived, there was a 2018 Leaf and a 2nd gen Volt already charging. The chargin has a timer so I can see that they have been there for 1 hour and 1.5 hours. I left a note on both car's windshield asking them to call/text me when they are done charging. My kids and I went into the mall to charge our phone and laptop (kids are also doing their homework sitting on the floor). At the mall I remembered the Plugshare app and the Leaf owner actually 'checked in' using the app and she said you can message her thru the app if you need power in an emergency. Since it's not an emergency for me, I did not message her. About 1.5 hours later (11:30am), she texted me saying she is leaving so I went down to the parkade (multi-level parking structure) with bad cell reception, chat with her for a few minutes and after she left, I tried to charge the car.
    To my surprise, the charger is locked inside a box, after a few minutes, I realized I need a card to unlock the box (the charger belongs to the Flo network) so I downloaded the Flo app (need to walk to the edge of the parkade to get better reception), pay $17 to order the card and because of the slow signal, I accidentally ordered 2 cards :-(. After that I realized I won't get the card for a few days so I decide to call Flo, the operator told me I don't need the card, the app allows me to 'Authorize' the charger and it will unlock. Finally got it unlocked and start charging. As I was going back to the mall, a eGolf showed up and I told him I will be charging for about 2.5 hours but if he need to go somewhere soon, I will let him charge first as I can just still in the mall for the day. He said he's fine and we exchange number, I also gave him my paper (with the message to call me) so he left a note for the Volt owner to contact him if the Volt is leaving.
    About 1 hour-ish later (1:30pm), I got a messge from the HondaLink app saying charging has stopped, I checked the Flo app and it said it is still charging which got me totally confused so I went down to check on the car. Oh, I have also checked-in on the Plugshare app and indicate I will be done charging at 2:30pm and anyone can message me if they need the charging urgent.

    This is what happened:
    A Smart EV was parked next to me at a non-charging spot, this person removed the charger from my car and plug into his car and charging his car using my Flo account (even though it's free, it's still my account). So I wrote a semi-polite note asking him/her to message me thru the plug-share app if he really need the charger. At this point, I checked the percentage and I have only 23% charge after almost 1.5 hours so I guess HondaLink sent me the message after it was unplugged for quite a while. At 2:45pm, the eGolf owner contacted me to see if I am done (since I should be done around 2:30pm). I checked the HondaLink app and it showed 85% and 72km so I told him he can have the charger (Hydro Ottawa at this time said that my area should have power back around 7pm Sunday).

    At the time of 3pm, the Volt has finished charging after almost 5 hours, the owner is nowhere to be found and not checked-in on Plugshare so no way to contact him/her. The eGolf is using my charger, I didn't get a full charge due to the SmartEV took probably 30 minutes of my charge time. Nobody contact me thru Plugshare. A white Clarity pull up as I was moving my car so he took my EV parking spot. The eGolf owner told the white Clarity owner that the Volt is done charging and I did not know if he unplug the Volt or not.

    My question is, did I do it right getting my charger back and leaving a note for the SmartEV owner to contact me thru Plugshare? 1 lesson I learned is I will always leave a note inside my car that ask other people to contact me via Plugshare if they need the charger in urgent situation. And of course always check-in on Plugshare so other people can contact me if need be.

    ----- End of Story ------
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  3. Mikep00

    Mikep00 Active Member

    You did everything right. Unfortunately, you can’t make up for other people being stupid and inconsiderate.

    It is only courtesy to use plugshare, and you should always unplug within 15-30 minutes of your vehicle finishing its charge.

    Also, in times of high demand you shouldn’t charge past 80-90% unless you need the extra % because your rate of charge dramatically slows down beyond that point (80% for L3, 90% for L2)

    I had similar issues on Saturday. Showed up at world exchange plaza. All 4 spots full by PHEV’s none of whom checked in on plugshare causing me to driving my Leaf on very little range left to a charger that showed available but was actually filled. Fast forward 6 hours later, the same 4 vehicles were still sitting there totally charged for hours. I never did get a charge until my power came back Sunday.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
    iluvscuba likes this.
  4. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Moral of the story: Nice guys finish (charging) last. Your etiquette was impeccable.
    SkipperT, iluvscuba and Electra like this.
  5. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    Sorry to hear about that. That is one of the reason I did not get the Leaf on Jan after I discovered the Clarity since I am a 1 car household, I need a backup for the unlikely event that never going to happen (I thought...)
  6. mattheo0118

    mattheo0118 Member

    Owning this car and learning the "EV way" since July. I've been tempted to key the car that unplug mine in order to charge theirs without a valid reason/ note. Don't think I'll ever have the guts to do it, so I came up with a better solution...

    I carry around a wine glass pen "use to write names on wine glass" easily removable.. I used it once in a Prius who unplugged me (I was grocery shopping) to charge their car. Used the pen and wrote "asshole alert, loves to unplug others".. I then unplug their car and drive away... I get a good laugh from it... No harm

    The only time I think it's okay to unplug a car is when their car is fully charged and being inconsiderate by not moving it... Lots of Volt drivers sends to do this
    RobC2 likes this.
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  8. Mikep00

    Mikep00 Active Member

    I planned to get a Clarity and had one on order. However due to the EV rebate cancellation and my settlement with the dealership I had the order for the Clarity... I ended up with a Leaf.

    Short of tornadoes, it meets my needs.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  9. Emanuel Green

    Emanuel Green Member

    Personally, I think it's fine to unplug someone if they aren't actually charging anymore. All of the EVs I know of have some kind of light that shows up when they are drawing power. While it's rude (and possibly extremely inconvenient) to unplug someone who is still charging, I have no issue with taking the charger if the other car is at 100%.

    I also think that those of us who drive PHEVs should give first dibs to fully-electric vehicles. After all, a Leaf driver might need that charge to get home, whereas we can always run on gas if necessary. But if there is an open spot, I'm not shy about taking it. After all, any EV mile I drive is one mile less I won't be running the engine.

    At my office we have 3x more plug-in drivers than charging spots. We have a group chat to coordinate. The rule for hybrids is, take a spot if there's one open, but if a Leaf driver asks you to move so they can charge, do it. Of course, public chargers are harder to coordinate around!
  10. Jordan

    Jordan Member

    I will only unplug someone if they are totally charged. I absolutely don't believe we should be second fiddle to a EV just because they can't plan better and have enough charge to get home. Unless the owner of the plug has specific rules of course. But I have a plug in vehicle just like them and have equal rights to the plug as they do.

    Edit: and yes, that guy was a jerk, no question.
    ZedFez and toomie like this.
  11. Mikep00

    Mikep00 Active Member

    Completely agree that if a vehicle is 100% charged it is ok to unplug them. When I do I’ll leave a note in plugshare to make it clear I unplugged due to 100% charge (or max time reached eg. Ikea level 3 charges max 1 hour)

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  13. stanigu

    stanigu Member

    I think your etiquette was spot on. That Smart EV had no business unplugging your car.

    As mentioned earlier, though, fully EV cars are completely dependent on being charged up in order to operate, so in the event of an emergency and if gas is available, I might have skipped public charging altogether. I could use HV Charging mode to charge the battery if necessary. I know I kind of felt resentment towards PHEV cars charging when I owned a Nissan Leaf, and needed the juice to get home. But then again I never unplugged a car that was charging (and sought out Chademo charger instead)
  14. Electra

    Electra Active Member

  15. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    Something strange happened after this weekend's Level 2 charging.

    I have the car for 5 weeks now and for the last 3 weeks, my EV range are around 90-94km after a full charge at home. After I run out of charge Saturday and 3/4 Level 2 charge (85% 76km) on Sunday afternoon, for the past 3 nights charging at home with 110V charging, my max EV range is only showing 74-76km the last 3 days. I have only driven 30-45km each of these last few days and the Trip A (reset after charge) + remaining EV range in center screen always adds up to around 75km. The only difference is the temp which is now under 20C (70F) for the past few days but I have no A/C and no (or maybe minimum) heat on. I try to manually set the climate control to match the outside temp display shown to avoid climate control turn on.

    Another question, I can manually turn A/C off but how do I keep the heat off? I don't want heater to turn on until the temp is below 14C (59F).
  16. amy2421

    amy2421 Active Member

    I ran my car down to 0 EV range for the first time last week. My EV range has been showing a lower km range ever since too. I was getting 80-90km and right now, my battery is at 100% and HondaLink is showing range of 72 km.
  17. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I’ll throw some ideas out.
    1 You may have had more heater use than you thought and resistance heating uses a lot more power than the ac which reduces range. However minimal heat may not be enough to explain an 11 km drop in the EV estimate.
    2 Although the climate control monitors the outside temp and humidity, it modulates heat and ac mostly based on the inside temp. So a mismatch between outside and inside temps could cause some heat to be used if inside of car is cooler than outside temp you’re using as a set point.
    3 Did your driving conditions change lately. As in driving a different route or more highway or faster speeds)? More passengers (weight)? Rain, Etc.
    Or it could be a combination of all these things. Keep recording range and conditions and see if it changes again.

    The only way I’ve found to get plain non-conditioned air is to manually turn off the ac and select minimum temp (Be sure the auto light in the knob is out). I do this for nice days in the high 60s to low 70s F. But you can do the same and set the temp to your desired 14C/59F.
    Enjoy the range now because your first winter will be brutal on your range up there. A garage and plugged in O/N with battery heater and some preconditioning on EVSE power and not battery will help a lot.
    Keep us posted on how it goes.
  18. iluvscuba

    iluvscuba Active Member

    I had gone down to 0EV twice before and that did not change my range
  19. Ben Washburn

    Ben Washburn Member

    Here's a charging etiquette question coming from something I read on another thread--no need to repeat who/what/where/when here. But a comment was made that made me think this person was planning to use dealerships to recharge on trips. Is that generally considered kosher? I live in the sticks and I'd say half the chargers I see listed are at dealers, but never in a million years would I have considered they were there for me to use. But maybe I'm too deferential. Actually, I know I am, I won't come to a full stop to make a left turn if someone's behind me, for example.

    But anyway, would most people say no big deal, cruise in and charge up, and hit them up for a cup of coffee while you're at it?? Any dealer, or just Honda?
  20. stanigu

    stanigu Member

    I'd be surprised if any dealerships are very cooperative. Many times, I've seen ICE cars parked in front of the chargers, and frequently they're reserved for cars that they are servicing. At least, in my area it appears to be that way.
  21. amy2421

    amy2421 Active Member

    I have wondered the same thing because there are a lot of dealers in my area with chargers on the apps and I would feel pretty bold just cruising in and charging. But I see all kinds of cars checked in, and not necessarily of the brand that the dealership promotes. So I guess it is allowed, and people do it, but I think it would still feel weird. Less so at a Honda dealer, but still odd if the only reason I'm there is for a free charge?
  22. weave

    weave Active Member

    I see a lot of charging stations at Nissan dealerships but never one at a Honda dealership for some reason. I'd feel a bit weird charging a Honda at a Nissan dealership. According to Plugshare comments there are people who do it without a problem though.

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