With thousands of new EV drivers on the road and electric vehicles expected to take a double digit share of new car sales in Australia within months, it seems like a good moment to review and update how newbies can negotiate the new world of EV charging.

The main difference between refueling ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles and recharging EVs is that refueling typically occurs when the car is not in use, as opposed to having to extend your trip’s duration and mileage to account for refueling.

Therefore, when we utilize public charging stations, we frequently leave our car to “do its thing” while we take care of our own business. If we unintentionally inconvenience other users by occupying space at an improper charger or neglect to return in time to allow others use it, this may lead to conflict with other users.

The introduction of EVs into our transportation lives is not an exception to the rule that society invariably develops sets of standards to deal with social events (see the tale of Moses and the Ten Commandments as one example).

How to share the public EV charging space is provided below.


1. Minimise the time you spend at a DC charger

The key to EV charging is that, as ICE vehicles are phased out, the gas station model of filling up before every journey will disappear. The majority of EV charging will instead take place with AC (portable or stationary) chargers when the car is parked at home, the office, or while going shopping.

In contrast to the present petrol station paradigm, DC chargers offer speedy charging options (some are already down to roughly 10 to 15 minutes for an 80% charge), but there will always be “short” supply (particularly in suburban regions).

Therefore, only long-distance drivers and those who lack convenient access to AC charging should use DC chargers. and the sporadic individual who left their EV uncharged before leaving for the day.

Use DC fast chargers only when necessary in order to get the most out of them and minimize any delays they may cause you or others.

• Only charge up to 80%. (After 80%, DC charging rates begin to dramatically decrease. Due to this, the DC charging time from 80% to 100% is essentially comparable to the time between 0 and 80%.

• For EV owners without access to home charging, DC charge when commuters and/or travelers are less likely to need the charger. (For example, don’t do it on holidays or at the busiest commute times during the week).

2. Choose the right power level charger for your car and needs

When there are numerous chargers accessible, some of them can have options for higher or lesser power. For instance, several DC charging locations provide 50kW and 250kW possibilities using various units.

Leave the higher power chargers for the automobiles that can charge at these speeds if your vehicle cannot handle the higher DC charge rate. Make sure you return to move your electric vehicle (EV) away from the charger after the charge is finished if you can charge at greater rates but plan to take a longer break than the charging period.

The same rule applies to AC chargers; if a 7kW charger is available instead of a 22kW three phase charger, choose it if your EV can only handle 7kW on an AC charger.

3. If you do need to queue for a charger, ensure you do so legally

Make sure you line up in a fashion that complies with local parking regulations and that you:

  • Do not park in restricted areas
  • Do not block driveways
  • Do not leave the vehicle while in the wait.

This is especially important at charging stations where all of the EV charging places are already taken.

4. Report damaged chargers

Faults and damage could not be discovered or repaired right once by the owners of EV charging stations because they are typically unattended. If you come across a broken or malfunctioning charger, report it to the owner using the phone number or website listed on the charger to ensure that it is fixed as quickly as feasible.

5. Do not unplug other EVs when they are charging

By attempting to disconnect a charging line without authorization, you run the risk of upsetting the EV owner and/or harming the vehicle’s charging socket without understanding the owner’s intentions or the proper disconnection method for a specific EV.

Therefore, unless you have such authority, do not unplug another vehicle. If it’s very critical, locate a power outlet and utilize the car’s emergency portable charger.

On the other hand, in these early stages of the EV transition when there are few public charging alternatives, try your best to assist others.

There are several options available to you if you plan to use a public DC or AC charger to ensure a quick transition to the next car. These consist of:

  1. To make it easier for people to wait up, park such that a second car can use the charger.
  2. Maintain visual contact with the charger (for instance, across the street at a coffee shop). If someone pulls up, stop by, say hello, and work out the best method to switch over.
  3. If at all possible, stay with the car, or at the at least, get back home before the EV charge drops below the required level. Why not let someone in and go a little early yourself if they pull in and you already have “enough” charge?
  4. Attach a letter to the plug or leave it on your car. This might be as straightforward as, “The lead will release when charged.” – feel free to swap over then’‘I am at the café across the road’or ‘the charge will be finished by XX time, if you need to charge urgently, call 04XX YYY ZZZ’.

6. Do not park in EV charging spots unless charging

Early EV charging stations occasionally included the sign “EVs Only” without any indication that you could only park there while charging. Nevertheless, this banner is being replaced with the phrase “EVs only while charging,” and some jurisdictions have even begun to punish any automobile parked in an EV charging bay (ICEV or EV) that is not currently charging.

7. Do not run charging leads across public areas

Regulations governing electricity delivery typically prohibit the provision of power from an address outside of the confines of the property. Electrical leads that span footpaths present not just an electrical risk but also a trip risk.

Check your local bylaws and the rules governing the supply of energy before running a lead out to the curb for EV charging. Additionally, you should only do this in an emergency.

You must also offer suitable mechanical and trip hazard protection, as seen in Figure 1, when it is legal to do so. Additionally, you must utilize connections with an IP56 or above rating or a suitable rated enclosure to shield any exposed plugs from the elements.

8. Do not use any power outlet for charging without prior approval

In the modern world, outlets are everywhere. They are strewn around and easily accessible in many public buildings, parks, and the like. For many firms, the same is true.

But depending on the kind of electricity tariff the installation is on, EVs take a lot of current and can result in large rises in electricity costs for merely one charge.

If an EV is parked and uses their power without their consent, owners of street-accessible outlets will be understandably irritated.

It is recommended to use a power outlet that has been designated for use by electric vehicles (EVs) if you’re looking for one in an area without any public EVSEs yet.

This data is best obtained from Plugshare (plugshare.com). Ask before plugging in, even if the outlet is listed on Plugshare, out of respect for others.

9. Have some idea how much to pay an outlet owner for EV charging

Because the price per kWh of power varies greatly, the cost to recharge an EV might be negligible or high. Owners of outlets or AC destination chargers have the following options for reimbursement:

  1. A one-time payment of $10 to $20.
  2. A computation based on the time spent plugged in, the kWh rate, and the kW rate the car was charging at. The following is the appropriate formula:

kWh cost (in dollars) x hours x kW charger drain

For instance, a portable charger that uses 2.4 kW is plugged in for 4 hours when a buddy is around for a BBQ in the afternoon. At that time, their power costs 33 cents per kWh.

2.4 × 4 x 0.33 = $3.16 as payment.

10. Reach out to new EV drivers

Since there will only be 44,000 EVs on Australian roads by the beginning of 2022, many EV drivers on the country’s roadways now are new to the EV world. At the end of 18 months, there were 126,000. This indicates that a large number of recently licensed EV owners in Australia have yet to recharge their vehicle away from home!

Therefore, if you are an experienced EV user and you come across a perplexed EV owner (maybe trying to figure out why the Type 2 plug on a public AC charger won’t fit into their Japanese import Type 1 AC charge port) – take the time to stop and assist them. They will no doubt appreciate your efforts, and as a consequence, society will be a little bit friendlier.

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