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Level 2 charging etiquette and ideas for the future

aburrows

Member
May 30, 2020
131
50
Denver
First a question, I use level two J1772 a lot at hotels, malls, parking structures, etc and even at airports. They are great for charging up over 5-6 hours. You can usually fill your battery in just a few hours. Here is the question: If a vehicle (let's say another Tesla) has been present for a LONG time on that one J1772 charger, is it against proper etiquette to unplug their power cord so you can use it (obviously keeping the persons adapter locked in their charge port)? Is it dangerous to unplug the cord without officially pushing the "stop charging" button INSIDE the car? Ive seen a Tesla sit at a J1772 charger for 6 or 7 hours (more than enough time to get 200 miles of mileage) and wished they would move their EV and open up the spot for others.

A second observation, As more and more drivers get EVs that use plugs like J1772, it would be nice to see an increase in the NUMBER of J1772 chargers around. In reality, it will take a long time for 100's of J1772 chargers to be placed in lots and airport parking lots. In a long term parking lot where people might plug in for 5-10 days, it would be very nice to unplug them once they have reached a full charge rather than everyone waiting for that one person to return from their vacation to Mexico or Hawaii a week later. Can Tesla allow an update where perhaps knocking on the window (or tripping sentry mode) would bring up the SOC on the big screen of someone's vehicle so that others would be able to check the state of charge, confirm that it was "full" (or whatever the person had set it at) and then we would know we could unplug them and plug in ourselves. You could have 4 spots for one J1772 charging post in the middle and EVs could come in and plug their cars in as necessary. Just an idea.

Another option would be a slower charging "quad" plug at airports. Say, one that splits a normal J1772 charger into 4 trickle chargers charging at 5 mph (again, more than enough to charge a vehicle over 3-7 day trips). Or even regular 110 outlets. Im trying to think of inexpensive electrical solutions that allow EV users to keep their vehicle plugged in to charge while they are out of town.

But certainly, unplugging someone who has been sitting in a level 2 charge spot all day would be a good start to spread the "juice" around more easily.
 

andrewFW

Member
Nov 4, 2019
158
418
Seattle area
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has a few rows of parking for EVs, and there are regular 110v outlets there. It's plenty when you're gone for multiple days.

As for etiquette with regard to unplugging, I wouldn't like it if someone unplugged me. They might be in some situation where they need as much as they can get, or by unplugging them they might be seen as someone that parked in an EV spot without plugging in. In some places laws that prevent ICEing also apply to EVs that occupy a charging space without being plugged in, so it could result in a fine.
 
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Watts_Up

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
3,330
2,253
In a galaxy far, far away
This is one of the big drawback of the L2 chargers compared to the Tesla Superchargers.

I have been relying on L2 chargers for a while, but you cannot predict in advance
which location will have one spot available
and you cannot get informed when available.

Sometime I left a note with my phone number to get a text when the plug will be available
but I never received any call, even from Tesla owners.

When watching last Bjørn Nyland road trip to see the aurora borealis, he tried using only L2 as he was staying in hotels,
he mentioned that some L2 have a 3 hours limit, but this would be sufficient especially in you have an 11 or a 22kW charger.
 

RedTesY

Member
Mar 26, 2017
26
26
North Central, WA
Charging etiquette that I have followed at L2 stations has been to leave a note on your dash with one of two messages displayed:

"I am Opportunity Charging
I have enough charge to reach my next destination.
If you need to charge, text or call me, and I will unplug.
(cell phone number)"

or

"I am Necessity Charging
I need to charge to reach my next destination.
I will return and move when I have enough.
If needed, text or call me.
(cell phone number)"

Since all production EVs I'm aware of will notify the owner's cell phone when charging is done, it's easy to know when you should move your car. While these signs won't work in all situations, it's often helpful to all concerned. I also would not like someone to unplug me without my knowledge.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,271
7,326
Boise, ID
is it against proper etiquette to unplug their power cord so you can use it?
The funny thing is, you will get two opposite answers, depending on what brand of electric car the person has:

(1) If the person has any other electric car other than a Tesla:
Yeah, of course. That's what public charging plugs are there for--to be shared by people and taking turns.

(2) If the person has a Tesla:
DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH MY CAR, YOU FILTHY A-HOLE!!!! YOU MIGHT DAMAGE IT! THAT'S MYYYYY PLUG!!! I OWN IT NOW BECAUSE IT'S PLUGGED INTO MY CAR.

I have seen this play out in several threads on this forum.
 
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GtiMart

Member
Nov 13, 2019
861
699
Quebec City, Canada
I think the idea is to show your intent. Some local EV clubs have actually prepared templates for cards that you put on your dash. I find the dash a bit far, we'd need something closer to the plug without scratching the paint :) EVAnnex (and probably others) sell plastified versions like this: Charging Hang Tag / Courtesy Notice Bundle . I don't have it since I don't use L2 much but I think that's the general idea. Or leave you cell phone so you can be reached. I have a Tesla so I'm in the "don't touch my car" camp.
 

swaltner

Active Member
Oct 13, 2012
1,603
1,617
Kansas, USA
For me, if the car is actively charging, I would not unplug it, even if they had been there for several hours. We're soon going to have EVs with 100-200 kWh battery packs in them. At a 6 kW L2 charging station, the 200 kWh pack in a Hummer could take 33 hours to charge. They were there first, they have priority. That hypothetical Hummer may be attempting to tow a trailer 200 miles without other charging opportunities, so they may need the long charging session. Do not disconnect them at 6 hours into a charging session just because you feel that your charging needs are greater than their charging needs.

IF the charging station has status lights that you know how to PROPERLY read and they say the vehicle is not actively charging at a public station, even if it's only been connected for 15 minutes, I would disconnect and move the cable to my vehicle. Even the simple charging stations tend to have a LED that lights while the EV is actively drawing power from the charging station. See below for "vehicle connected" and "vehicle charging" status on the simple AV public charging stations. This shows the status of these stations during an active charging session.

Plugged in, but not charging is pointless and can be disconnected. Plugged in and actively charging has absolute priority over you unless the person has left an "opportunity charging" note like mentioned above granting you permission to disconnect them during an active charging session.

Screen Shot 2020-10-30 at 8.26.08 PM.png
 

aburrows

Member
May 30, 2020
131
50
Denver
For me, if the car is actively charging, I would not unplug it, even if they had been there for several hours. We're soon going to have EVs with 100-200 kWh battery packs in them. At a 6 kW L2 charging station, the 200 kWh pack in a Hummer could take 33 hours to charge. They were there first, they have priority. That hypothetical Hummer may be attempting to tow a trailer 200 miles without other charging opportunities, so they may need the long charging session. Do not disconnect them at 6 hours into a charging session just because you feel that your charging needs are greater than their charging needs.

IF the charging station has status lights that you know how to PROPERLY read and they say the vehicle is not actively charging at a public station, even if it's only been connected for 15 minutes, I would disconnect and move the cable to my vehicle. Even the simple charging stations tend to have a LED that lights while the EV is actively drawing power from the charging station. See below for "vehicle connected" and "vehicle charging" status on the simple AV public charging stations. This shows the status of these stations during an active charging session.

Plugged in, but not charging is pointless and can be disconnected. Plugged in and actively charging has absolute priority over you unless the person has left an "opportunity charging" note like mentioned above granting you permission to disconnect them during an active charging session.

View attachment 603995
Great points all around! Yeah, it feels weird unplugging people. I totally forgot that most public EV chargers have lights that tell you whether it is charging or not. Great point.

Alot of frustrating events can be handled by following your tips as well as having the sticker like the second poster put. I may do that as well.
 

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