The EV equivalent of spam is parking an internal combustion vehicle at a spot where there's a charger (also known as getting ICE'd), or leaving your electric vehicle in a charge space long after you've juiced up. Now that plug-ins are going mainstream, and municipalities from San Diego to New York City are installing charging stations in public places (okay, so far in NYC they're only in public garages), we've got to learn to play nice and share.

I'm calling it EV-iquette, which is a whole lot faster to say and snappier to remember than "electric car vehicle etiquette," which is what Plug In Cars' Brad Berman calls it. But Berman did the hard work of coming up with a set of eight rules everyone should plug into (forgive the pun) at a charging station. Here are a few:
  • Leave EV spots for EVs because it is "absolutely never acceptable" for an ICE vehicle to park where you can charge up.
  • Don't snag a charging space just to top off your range because you could be denying the plug to somebody whose range is low enough to cause real anxiety. Charge only when necessary, and leave when you are done so somebody else can have a turn.
  • It's okay to park alongside another EV which is charging, and leave a note for that owner to plug your car in after his/her session is done, the EV version of "pay it forward."
  • Never unplug anybody to plug yourself in, unless you notice that the other vehicle has completed its charging cycle. If you do, leave a nice thank you note, perhaps including your cellphone number.
Check out the full list.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      drewbiewhan
      • 2 Years Ago
      EV-iquette is way too awkward to pronounce. EV-ettiquette is better.
        Ziv
        • 2 Years Ago
        @drewbiewhan
        Drew, I think you are right. The difference between a 4 syllable word and 5 syllable word is slight, and the longer version is more descriptive and almost alliterative. It rolls trippingly off the tongue. And please don't unplug my Volt. I know about when it will top off and I will be there shortly. Maybe I should put my business card with my mobile number under the wiper just in case. I will defer to a Leaf nearly every time, I really don't need the juice though it is nice to have the charge topped off.
        SublimeKnight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @drewbiewhan
        I think its pronounced "ev-iquette" which is pretty close to etiquette. E-V-iquette would be awkward to say.
          Ele Truk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SublimeKnight
          Still clumsier to pronounce than E-V-etiquette.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is pretty stupid.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        Oh, you'd be surprised. I saw plug-in Prius that hogged a level-2 charger for 8 hours. I mean come on people, show some respect for your fellow electrified drivers.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      plugging someone else in only works on free chargers. unless you want to pay for someone else. how about some parking ticket for ICE nitwits. maybe flogging in a public square. 3 strikes leads to death penalty, that sort of thing :)
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        The property owner can have the ICE car removed, if they choose.
      David Murray
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm going to have to disagree with #3 on their list about not charging unless you absolutely have to. That may be a good way of thinking when you are in a city with busy charging stations. Here in Dallas Ft.Worth most of our charging stations sit unused 99% of the time. In fact they can even be broken for weeks before anyone notices. I make it a point to always plug in and charge up even if I don't need the charge. That way I make sure the station is operational, I show people walking by that these stations DO actually get used as well as the owners of the stations. Even if I have to pay a few bucks to use it, I want to make sure the owner gets something for their trouble for installing the station. It is also worth mentioning that should a desperate EV driver pull up in need of a charge, there is usually another empty station next to me. If not, my phone number is posted on my car inside the charge door. I'll be happy to come unplug for them.
        purrpullberra
        • 2 Years Ago
        @David Murray
        Did it again, I hit- instead of +. I just hate using the track pad. I would say you are going above and beyond, kudos!
      Smooth Motor
      • 2 Years Ago
      If I wanted to charge my EV I would have no problem unplugging someone else. If something is free you can't then be accused of stealing it..........
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smooth Motor
        Nah, but you are showing them disrespect. And chances are they'll come back to their car before you. What happens to your car then if they get the impression that respect doesn't matter?
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          There has to be respect for this to work. Once widespread social rules for EV charging are accepted, it'll be easier for everyone. Check out www.evRules.com
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          There has to be respect for this to work. Once widespread social rules for EV charging are accepted, it'll be easier for everyone. Check out www.evRules.com
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rotation
          There has to be respect for this to work. Once widespread social rules for EV charging are accepted, it'll be easier for everyone. Check out www.evRules.com
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the space is reserved for EVs and for charging purposes *only*, then it should be clearly marked with appropriate signage, and with the resulting penalties listed (tow-away, ticket, etc.) A property owner has the right to remove any vehicle from a lot, as long as certain legalities (a sign, mostly) are observed. Otherwise, it's a public parking space and anyone (even an ICE) can use it legally. Granted, ICE-ing a space is a jerk move (which is why we civilized people are establishing a standard of etiquette), but it really on the same level as those "Expectant Mother" parking spaces.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        Have you ever seen an EV charging spot that is not clearly marked?
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Yes. I have! Oddly, in Sacramento. The EV charging spots are not well marked. They do have a lot of them though.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          For the time being, most EV charging spots are clearly marked. That is how it should be, because of the need to reserve the spaces. OTOH, a property owner isn't *required* to enforce EV-only access to an EVSE-accessible space, unless they want to - and installing a sign is the legal requirement in most places to reserve a parking space to a specific group of users. In the future, as EVSE-accessible spaces proliferate, it is very likely that they will no longer need to be EV-only, and this EV-etiquette will seem like a quaint reminder of the early 21st century. *But since you asked: Yes, I have seen public parking spaces that were not marked "EV-only" that had access to 120/240V charging. Anyone can park in those spaces, and in particular, they will be in high demand tomorrow when everyone is tailgating at the parking garage waiting for the fireworks display.
      Derek
      • 2 Years Ago
      When all the EV charging spaces are filled, it's what economists call a "shortage," meaning the price was "set below the going rate determined by supply and demand"[1]. The proper etiquette is allow the market to determine the price instead of setting a price ceiling and then wondering why ICE drivers would choose to park in underpriced EV charging spaces. [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_shortage
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Derek
        I'm with you Derek. While people can talk about etiquette all they want, the real answer is to have enough parking spots. And if the spots make money, the people who make the spots will ensure they have enough. If the spots are run as a giveaway, then they will only have enough so they can claim they have spots and get the PR value (and attendant increase in customers that brings).
        mycommentemail
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Derek
        Not completely sure what you mean by "under priced EV charging spaces" when you mention an ICE driver parking there. It would seem that you are suggesting that there is a pool of available parking spaces (supply) and a pool of drivers trying to park (demand). As long as there are more drivers than spaces, the "cost" of a space means that it will be filled. In other words, if an EV spot is filled with an ICE car, it merely means that there weren't enough spaces as a whole and, as such, the fault lies with the parking lot planners, not the ICE driver who chose to park in an EV space. Assuming my understanding of your analysis is correct, I think you incorrectly add EV spaces to your supply side. Using that same rationale, handicapped spaces should also be in that pool and then non-handicapped drivers would be forgiven for parking in those spaces. Also, not all parking spaces would have the same value. In a culture where people will circle the parking lot in their 4 ton SUV looking for a space that doesn't require them to walk more than ten paces to the entrance of the gym, some spaces have more "value" than others (but cost the same to acquire - you merely have to be there first). EV spaces, often being closer to the entrance of a facility, would have more value. So even though there may be plenty of supply (all spaces cost the same), "demand" for these spaces is higher and they will, again, fill up first. By adding more "cost" to these spaces (i.e. you have to be driving an EV) then your market analogy works. But this cost is artificial (just like the parking "economy" as a whole). Economics is interesting, but overly simple supply and demand equations hardly ever manage to describe any real world situation adequately.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mycommentemail
          " Alternatively that could be considered a whole separate "market"" At that point, the space ceases to be available to the general public, and is instead limited to a specific group of users who are allowed at the discretion of and only with the permission of the property owner.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mycommentemail
          Read his link. He's saying that if charging prices are too low, then the spots lose money and the people who put in spots have no incentive to meet demand. If the spots make money then they will put in more so as to capture more profits until they meet demand. What he's saying is that as long as EV spots are run as a loss leader they will continue to be in short supply which ironically may stunt EV sales growth.
          Derek
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mycommentemail
          "As long as there are more drivers than spaces, the 'cost' of a space means that it will be filled." Correct, when there are more drivers who desire spaces at the current price than there are spaces. In other words, demand is greater than supply at the current price. Raising the price is a simple way to reduce demand, and if you raise the price enough, demand will fall to the level of supply and achieve economic equilibrium, the same way that as the auction price goes up, bidders drop out until the number of items offered equals the number of bidders. And we all know that auctions work very well in the real world.
          Ele Truk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mycommentemail
          Actually, ICE will park in an EV spot if it's closer to the door than other available spots. I rarely have seen and ICE'd EV spot with absolutely no other parking spots available. I have on the other hand seen ICE'd EV spots being used by inconsiderate jerks (I call them that because I actually wait until they return to their car to talk to them, most are just that - and I do try to talk to them civilly).
          mycommentemail
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mycommentemail
          Presumably then we could simply raise the price of an EV charging spot by making it "EV only". Alternatively that could be considered a whole separate "market"
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