According to a 2017 Bloomberg report, electric vehicles will comprise 54% of all new car sales worldwide by 2040. More and more motorists are starting to embrace the benefits that EVs can provide. What’s more, businesses and municipalities nationwide are more inclined to install electric car charging stations to accommodate these consumers. That means EV drivers will have the increased accessibility and convenience they need to drive around town or across the country.

Although EV stations are more abundant than ever, that doesn’t always mean that electric car owners are always able to charge whenever and wherever they want. Additional vehicle charging stations can alleviate much of the scarcity, but it’s also up to the individual drivers to behave properly when using these electric car charging stations. If you’re a new EV owner or used to charging at home, you might not be familiar with charging etiquette. Today, we’ll teach you how to mind your manners when plugging in your vehicle.

Don’t Block the Plug

As an EV driver, seeing an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car blocking access to EV charging stations probably makes you feel a bit enraged. Don’t become the kind of person you despise by parking in front of a charging station when you aren’t using it. Whether you drive a gasoline powered vehicle or an electric car, don’t park in front of a charging station if you aren’t using it. Even if it’s “just for a few minutes,” find another place to park. Nothing makes EV drivers more upset than getting “ICEd” when they desperately need a charge. And if you finish charging before you finish running errands? Move your car to regular (non-EV) parking space so other EV drivers can use the charging station.

Correctly Assess Your Needs

Some EV owners panic when they know they might not be able to find electric car charging stations in close proximity to their location. It makes sense that when you see one, you’ll stop to fuel up. But is it really necessary to always top up? If your battery is close enough to being fully charged and you’re not far from home, it’s a good idea to leave the charging station open for a driver who really needs it. There’s no reason to top off your charge if you’ll have private access to your own port and you can easily make it there without running low.

Know When to Leave a Note

If you need to complete a full battery charge, it can take several hours. Though you’ll probably do your best to return before your battery is done charging, you might get caught up in a checkout line or on a hiking trail. If you aren’t sure you’ll make it back in time, you should make a point to leave a note for other EV owners. This can let them know 1. that they can unplug your vehicle once it hits a certain percentage or 2. that they should only unplug your vehicle in the case of an emergency. Some EV drivers put signs on their windshields, while others leave notes on PlugShare.

Never Unplug Someone Else’s Vehicle

Finally, you should never unplug another EV unless you have explicit permission from the owner. Because electric vehicle charging stations typically operate on a “first come, first served” basis, unplugging someone else’s car just because you think you need the battery power more is immature and misguided. Unless it’s an absolute emergency and you’re 100% certain the car is fully charged, you should follow this rule to the letter. After all, you wouldn’t want someone to unplug your car while it’s charging!

Whether you’re using an EV station at a hotel, work, shopping center, or another public place, you should make certain to keep these etiquette rules in mind. By being conscious of everyone else’s needs, you’ll make the world a friendlier one for electric vehicles and their drivers.

Looking to start a charge at a SemaConnect station? We offer five ways to charge. Click here to initiate a charging session.