Navigating EV Charging Etiquette

14 August, 2023

In a rapidly evolving world, where electric vehicle (EV) sales are now doubling year on year in South Australia, it’s time for us to take a deep dive into the unchartered territory of EV charging etiquette.  

If concepts like ‘ICEing’ and ‘grazing’ are new to you, you’re not alone – we’re here to help you understand the dos and don’ts of charging an EV.  

Here are a few guiding principles when it comes to EV charging etiquette, particularly at public charging stations:  

  • EV Charging spots are for charging, not parking 

It might sound like common sense, but its not uncommon to find a non-electric vehicle parked in an EV charging bay.

Don’t park non-electric vehicles in EV charging bays. This practice is called ‘ICEing’ and refers to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles parking in an EV charging spot. Parking your vehicle in an EV charging bay without charging could cop you a fine of up to $3,200 depending on where you are in Australia. While we don’t have these fines in South Australia, it’s still important to do the right thing.

  • Don’t overstay your charge 

Monitor the charging status of your EV using the Chargefox app. Once your EV has finished charging, don’t stay parked in the charging bay. This ensures that the charging station is accessible for all.  

  • Follow the signs  

Additionally, it’s advisable to prioritise the use of the Accessibility bay as the last option, allowing mobility-impaired drivers access to the larger charging bay.  

  • Grazing is encouraged  

“Grazing” is an effective way to optimise charging times during long road trips.  

Grazing is the practice of charging your EV up to 80% and then moving on. Many EVs charge quite quickly up to 80%, but then slow down between 80-100%, sometimes taking 30 minutes to charge the final 20%.   

Grazing your vehicle allows more EVs to charge efficiently, resulting in reduced wait times at charging stations for all EV drivers.  

  • Keep it neat and tidy

Public EV charging stations are often situated in shared areas, such as parking lots, along highways, or shopping centres.  

When stopping to charge, always park within the marked lines of your designated bay and choose the bay nearest to the charging station you intend to use.   

Take care when handling the charging plug to avoid unintended damage, wrap your cables neatly when finished, and ensure the plug is safely secured for the next vehicle. 

At the end of the day, EV charging etiquette is all about being considerate and respectful to other drivers using the charging station.  

By following these simple tips, you’ll be playing your part in making sure everyone has a positive charging experience and is able to get back on the road in the shortest time possible.