Public Charger Etiquette

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Mckersive, Mar 30, 2018.

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  1. Mckersive

    Mckersive New Member

    Today, for the first time, I left my Clarity at a municipal parking garage (pay by the hour type) that had a row of 6 chargers. What is the proper etiquette for me when the batteries get full (another hour or so)? Should I return to the parking garage and move my car to an empty non-EV spot?

    Here are some additional considerations. The charge is free, but I pay for parking. This parking garage is sort of near me but it will still take 20-30 mins (non-rush hour) to get there by subway and foot (I work in manhattan and the garage is in Queens). This garage (like most garages around the City) fills up and if I take my car out of the EV space there is a non-zero (most likely 45-75%) chance that all non-EV spaces are filled.

    My incliination (in this particular case) is to leave my car in the EV space all day even if I am likely done before lunch time. What are your thoughts about this particular set of facts and what about other situations? (You are close to the parking lot and there are ample non-EV spaces, for example.)
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  3. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    Normally I would say that you should definitely move your car as soon as possible after it is finished charging, but if there are no spaces to move your car into then you are screwed. Also, it seems like this parking garage might be the type to fill up and remained closed most of the day since the people who park there are probably at work all day like you. In that case it is unlikely that another ev car will be looking for your space after a certain point in the day.

    I guess it would be helpful to know what other cars are parked in those six spaces? Are they all ev's, or are some of them filled with ICE cars (another etiquette issue altogether)? Also, when you come back at the end of the day to get your car do you notice if the cars in the other spots have changed or are all the other ev cars staying there all day? Maybe also ask the people running the garage what they expect you to do.
    Daniel M W, Mckersive and Timothy like this.
  4. Timothy

    Timothy Active Member

    I think leaving a car that is not charging all day in a charging spot (a very limited resource) is wrong. The Clarity takes a max of 2.5 hours to charge which could mean your car was in the charging spot 6 hours or so a day without charging. The scenario you described makes this garage seem like a bad place for you to charge rather than making leaving the car in the charging spot seem ok. Of course this is just my opinion, but it does seem that most EV users are very frustrated by charging stations occupied for hours by cars that are no longer charging.
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  5. descolado

    descolado Member

    In my area there are a few multi-charger level 2 stations with more parking spaces than vehicles. I think leaving your vehicle parked is acceptable if it meets the posted rules of the parking lot if there an hourly park maximum.

    For other vehicles that need to use the charger when my vehicle is fully charged...

    If my car is fully charged per the indicator lights on charging station, I personally have no issue with someone unplugging me to charge their vehicle - so long as they don't damage anything. I think this is acceptable etiquette in general.

    There's a person on Etsy I came across where you can hang a EV etiquette handle cover letting people know its OK to unplug your car if it is fully charged ( This is probably paranoid overkill, though.
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  6. prestoOne

    prestoOne Member

    If it only takes an hour to charge does that mean you have enough EV to get home?
    Do the spots normally fill up?

    For every 10 good guys there is an inconsiderate person that will park in those spots even on the full charge just because it is closer to where they want to be.
    Saw a guy in a big pickup truck park in the for expectant mothers only spots. There were plenty of free spots a 30 second walk away.

    You are probably a good guy and will make the right decision.
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  8. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    But if there are no other available spots he doesn't have much choice. I agree that if there are empty regular spots he can take then he should definitely move his car, but this is New York he is talking about so any spot may be at a premium.
  9. Mckersive

    Mckersive New Member

    Great responses!


    Yes this is true. The other day when I discovered this parking facility when I went to work late (I arrived 2:00 pm) I couldn’t even enter the facility as it was marked full.

    There were 3 EVs (including me) and while I was trying to figure out the app to start charge two ICE vehicles quickly took the other spots. (I have them a bewildered look).
  10. Mckersive

    Mckersive New Member

    I tend to agree with you, but I think the point of these chargers are to encourage EV commuting and NYC area parking tends to be far from office locations so the going back and forth from office to garage will always be cumbersome. Anyway the whole parking lot tends to fill up by 10 (and no cars can come in) so I think I am OK for today. I usually take the railroad, but I drove in because I had to run an errand first.
  11. Mckersive

    Mckersive New Member

    No maximum, but about $20 for the day.

    I am OK with this too.
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  13. Mckersive

    Mckersive New Member

    I do have enough but I am planning on using it right after I get home. My dilemma isn't the convenience factor of closer space, etc. It is that I will need to use my full hour of lunch to get to my car and back and there is a great possibility that there are no other spaces available for my car when I get there.
  14. prestoOne

    prestoOne Member

    It sounds like leaving it there all day is OK to me.
    Taking an hour out of your day just incase someone else absolutely needs to use it sounds unreasonable.

    People with EVs will likely have enough charge to make their whole commute or stick around for an extra hour for that extra boost because who is going to risk it?

    I thought there was one charger per parking spot. If someone takes the charger from your car how will it reach their car?
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  15. Mikep00

    Mikep00 Active Member

    I suggest you talk to the parking lot attendants to find out what they would prefer

    As you explained, using your entire lunch to move the car only to have a significant risk of no other spaces being available isn’t a viable option.

    But I agree that as a general rule you shouldn’t stay in a charging space any longer than necessary in case someone else needs it.

    The parking attendants will easily be able to tell you if by you staying in that space they have had to turn EV’s away. More likely they are turning all vehicles away because the lot is full.

    If you’ve asked the garage and they tell you it is best to just stay put, then you don’t have to feel guilty as you are doing as instructed. After all it is the garage’s choice how they run their business.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  16. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    I think the main idea is to consider others who might need to use the EVSEs and charging stations. The notion of 'hogging' can come up if you tie-up a charging station every day, all day. So maybe try to change up where you plug in. Most of these public charging stations are meant as convenience charging - while shopping, running errands, etc. So taking those places up daily as one's own personal charge spot could be wrong.

    I think this one is an 'it depends'. For example, in a public area where there's some expectation that others might need to use the EVSE, then yes you should make an effort to move your car when charging is complete. In the case that you obviously can't - you're parked far away from where you work, you are charging while at an event that you can't re-enter, you're in class or at a long meeting, etc. then what else can be done? Try to move as soon as possible when you can.

    Obviously, this is a special case. And not a convenient one. I would either not drive at all - take the train all the way from home since it sounds like you already take the train from Queens anyway - or just not worry about moving the car until the lot owners complain. Since it's a public lot, that probably won't happen.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
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  17. Mckersive

    Mckersive New Member

    Yeah I normally take the train from home but I had to leave later than typical and that threw off my train schedule and would have taken 2 hours to get to work (due to trains not running as frequently). So I took it as an excuse to drive to work and test out the low speed follow on the notorious Long Island Expressway (a misnomer for sure).

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  18. Allen Young

    Allen Young New Member

    Well, I park in a commuter parking lot at a train station that only runs in the morning and those in the afternoon. Also the trip to work is 1 hr 30 mins normal by train and by car, maybe 2 to 3 hrs. So the way I park, I use the charger three days a week and the rest, I just park, no charger. There is NO way I can return just to move my car.
  19. SkipperT

    SkipperT Member

    Has anyone mentioned "leaving a note" yet?
    If you simply attach a small note to the charging handle, or the charging door of the car that says something like 'OK to unplug if green light is Off" or whenever your criteria is met - I'm sure that most EV drivers would respect you.

    I get that most drivers are parked at this garage for the entire day - but that way someone can unplug your car and charge their EV if your Clarity has finished charging for the day.
    Most other EV drivers don't know the signs that a car has finished charging.

    I unplugged a Volt one time by mistake, thinking that the solid green light meant that the car was fully charged because my LEAF was on "fumes". Set the Volt's alarm off and felt badly that I interrupted the other person's charging before it was completed.

    Lesson learned.

  20. Hamid

    Hamid New Member

    We have a couple of EV chargers installed in our Office complex Garage, I move the car when HondaLink notifies that it is complete.
    Daniel M W likes this.
  21. megreyhair

    megreyhair Active Member

    I was pissed off one time when I got to a charger and found 2 Leafs were "hogging" up the charger. They will never be 'full' in a reasonable amount of time. :( Luckily, Clarity has a ICE and I don't have to seat around waiting for the owner to show up so i can get some juice...
    They should ban EVs from charging at level 2 chargers.
  22. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I nominate you for Sainthood, Hamid. I wish everyone was as courteous as you are.
    I don’t mind EVs using the only free Level 2 charger close to me but it really bugs me when they leave the car there plugged in well after it has charged. Very inconsiderate!
  23. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    A new etiquette is brewing in Ann Arbor that suggests plug-in hybrids should NEVER use public EVSEs because they can get around without a charge while pure EVs cannot. For this sentiment we must thank the 1 or 2 thoughtless plug-in hybrid owners who selfishly leave their cars in the space long after recharging is complete only because the EVSE spaces are so conveniently located.

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