14 Unwritten Rules for Charging Your EV
As Tesla opens its supercharger network to more EVs, Tesla and non-Tesla EV owners need to know the unwritten rules of charging etiquette. Do precondition first; Do move your vehicle as soon as it’s charged; Don’t share A/B stalls; Don’t leave chargers on the ground; Don’t charge above 80%.
If you’re a new EV owner, you’ll be happy to know that Tesla is opening up their extensive Supercharger network to all electric vehicles. Regardless of your choice in EVs, it’s important to know the unwritten rules of Supercharging, that go beyond simply being courteous and polite.
14 Rules When Using a Tesla Supercharger
1. Mind the order
When pulling up to a Supercharger station, look for Tesla/EV owners parked next to the Supercharger. Popular Supercharger stations often have a waiting line – just like gas stations. It’s a honor system, and people do keep track of the charging order based on the time drivers arrive. Park next to waiting drivers, and kindly ask one of them for the order. Most Tesla owners are super nice so don’t be shy. You also want to know the order because someone coming after you may ask you for it.
2. Only use Superchargers when necessary
Superchargers are designed for long-distance travel and should be used sparingly for local charging needs. If you have access to home or workplace charging, use that instead.
3. Don’t share A/B stalls
Whenever possible, choose a stall that is not currently occupied by another vehicle for full charging speed. Sharing stalls will reduce the charging speed of you and your neighbor. Only do it if there are no other spots available.
4. Avoid occupying more than one charging spot
Do not park your vehicle across multiple Supercharger spots or park in a spot designated for disabled persons.
Pro Tip: Many Supercharging stations do not have designated disabled parking spots, so if you see a driver that needs room for a wheelchair, offer the charging station with the most room.
If you are towing a trailer, disconnect the trailer from your EV before pulling into a charging spot.
5. Be courteous and patient
If all charging spots are occupied, be patient and wait for a spot to open up. Avoid honking your horn or blocking other vehicles. If you’re bored, plan to do some fun things in or near your EV while waiting.
6. Avoid leaving trash or debris
Supercharger stations are public areas and should be kept clean. Take your trash with you and avoid leaving debris behind.
7. Monitor charging
If you’re a Tesla owner, use your mobile app to monitor charging progress and receive alerts when your car is fully charged.
8. Don’t charge above 80%
Charging above 80% is usually a waste of your time and others behind you in the queue. Unless you really need that extra charge (e.g. going on a long trip), it takes about the same amount of time to charge from 0-80% as it does from 80-100%. It’s far quicker to stop at 80% and then move on to the next charger along your route instead of staying for an extra 30-60 minutes. Plus, lithium batteries are more efficient when not fully charged to 100%.
9. Avoid unnecessary noise
Loud music or honking can be disruptive to other EV owners and the surrounding area. Keep noise levels to a minimum while at the Supercharger. Remember that some drivers use charging time for work-related zoom meetings or a peaceful lunch break.
10. Don’t use Superchargers as a restroom
While it may be tempting to take a quick bathroom break while charging, Supercharger stations are not toilets. Many Superchargers are located near malls or restaurants – use nearby facilities instead.
11. Place charging cables back in their holsters securely after use
Don’t leave charging cables laying on the ground where they are exposed to rain, dirt and debris.
Pro Tip: If you see a charging cable out of its holster and placed on the bottom of the pedestal, this usually means the charging station is out of order.
12. Move your car when charging is complete
Once your car is fully charged, move it out of the charging spot to allow other drivers to charge their vehicles. This isn’t just common courtesy – if you leave your vehicle plugged in after it’s fully charged, you will be charged an idling fee.
13. Say Hi
If you’re a Tesla owner and happen to see another Tesla supercharging, remember to smile at the owner and say “Hi”. Tesla owners are happy folk who love to talk about their vehicles, updates, after-market accessories, wraps and experience.
14. Park within the lines
This may seem obvious, but ensure you park centred in your spot and don’t block any charging bays. A poorly parked EV that’s charging could mean another supercharger bay is unnecessarily out of action. If you’re in a non-Tesla EV that will block a bay while you charge (due to the position of your charge port) it’s best to stay with your car during your charging session.
How can I charge my Tesla faster?
Increase your charging speed with a few simple tips:
- Precondition your Tesla by routing to the Supercharger using the touchscreen
- Arrive with less then 20% of a charge
- Don’t park next to anyone using the same number on the charger A/B (sharing the same charger slows charging speeds for both vehicles)
- Only charge to 80%, then continue on your trip
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