Public Electric Vehicle Charging Etiquette - We Power Your Car
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Public Electric Vehicle Charging Etiquette

Public electric vehicle charging is a daunting task for any new EV owner, so to help give you the best possible experience, we are going to take you through the unspoken rules of public EV charging.

1. Charging spaces are for charging, not parking

Now, this may sound simple enough, but it is not unheard of for electric vehicle drivers to park in charging spaces when they have no intention of charging. You should, therefore, ONLY park in the charging bay if you intend to charge – it doesn’t matter how good the spot looks; it’s unfair to the EV drivers who need to top up!

2. Once your EV has finished charging, drive on

Again, this may seem obvious and is very similar to the first rule. However, once you are sufficiently charged, you should either leave or, if you intend to stay longer, park in a suitable parking bay. Whilst the number of charge points is snowballing (over 32,000 chargers across the UK, according to Zap-Map), some areas lack charging infrastructure, making every charger valuable. Someone could therefore be in desperate need of a charging point while you are busy hogging the bay – either dawdling or sneakily running off to run errands despite your charging having finished. So please be considerate and leave when you can. Some public chargers will notify you once your EV is charged, too, meaning there’s no excuse for you to linger!

3. If you get ICE’d, keep your cool

Getting ICE’d (or sometimes called ICEing) is when an internal combustion engine (ICE) parks in an electric vehicle charging bay, blocking you from entering the space and ultimately stopping you from charging. Whilst this can be frustrating, especially if you have sought out a specific electric vehicle charger that you favour or are in need of a top-up, the rule here is not to leave any nasty messages or get into arguments. If you are unlucky enough to be ICE’d, you should use Zap-Map to find your nearest electric vehicle charger. If you feel the need to say something, you could always leave a polite note on the windscreen informing the driver of their error so they can learn for next time.

4. Don’t always charge to 100%

Just because you can fully charge doesn’t mean you always should, and the reasons are two-fold. Firstly, as you wait for your EV to reach 100%, you could be holding up other EV drivers in desperate need of some juice. This is especially the case with rapid charging, as the charging speed tends to slow once you reach the 80% threshold, meaning you (and others!) will be waiting a while for your battery to reach 100%.

Secondly, not only could you cause a queue, but industry experts state that you should keep your charge between 20%-80% anyway, as this puts the least amount of strain on your battery. Lithium batteries also degrade faster when at 100% charge, meaning you could be causing damage to the longevity of your electric vehicle if repeatedly fully charging.

Our advice is to only charge to 100% if you plan on taking a long cross-country trip; otherwise, you should stick to keeping your charge between 20%-80% both for the health of your EV and for the sanity of your fellow drivers!

5. Only use rapid chargers if your EV can benefit from rapid charging

Did you know that even if you charge your electric vehicle at a 22kW rapid charging point, it does not mean your car will charge at that rate? It all depends on the type of onboard charger your electric vehicle has. For example, a Volkswagen e-Golf has a maximum charging capacity of 7.2k, meaning if you attempted to charge at a 22kW charging point, it would not charge any quicker than a 7kW fast charger as it simply can’t accept the rate.

Most electric vehicles have a maximum charging rate of somewhere around 7kW, which is why most dedicated home charging points and public fast chargers are 7kW. There are exceptions, such as the Tesla Model 3, which has a maximum charging capacity of 11kW. In fact, that is why there are specifically designed 11kW public Tesla charging points! (like the one in the image below)

However, the main rule is if your EV can’t accept rapid charging, please stick to fast chargers (unless it’s an emergency and there are no other fast chargers available!) as you are stopping others from taking advantage of the faster charging speeds.

6. Leave the charging point how you would want to find it

Nobody wants to turn up to use an electric vehicle charger, and it be a mess – or worse, broken! So, to ensure a smooth operation for everybody, please take care when using public charging points. This is especially the case for the cables as they are more susceptible to damage. For example, if they are left on the ground, they risk breakage if run over. Rogue cables are also a tripping hazard!

7. Don’t unplug someone else’s electric vehicle

This is not a pressing issue, given that nine times out of ten, you can’t remove a charging cable from someone’s EV mid-charge as the cable locks into place. However, if your car has a Type 1 connector, you won’t have the locking element, and you may be vulnerable to people pulling the plug! Moreover, it depends on the public charging point manufacturer as to whether the cable will lock. With this in mind, don’t attempt to unplug someone’s electric vehicle – even if you are desperate!

Want the convenience and ease of a home electric vehicle charger? Call us on 03333 44 96 99. Our expert customer service team are always happy to help.

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Tethered charger

This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.

Socketed charger

This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.

Spread over a 60 month period.

Also available over 24, 36 and 48 month periods.

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Underground cable

We lay SWA cable laid at 600mm deep, with a protective cable warning tape laid 150mm above the cable. These are laid on a sand or sifted sand soil bed then backfilled.

Overhead cable

We position overhead cables at a minimum height of 3.5m and are run along a catenary wire. The cable run should not be accessible to vehicles.

Standard Installation
Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.

Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.

Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.

What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.

If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.