General Motors Offers EV Drivers 10 Workplace Charging Etiquette Tips

June 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

With electric vehicle popularity on the rise, more and more employers are offering EV charging stations in their parking lots. General Motors is among them with 401 electric vehicle charging stations located at its numerous facilities all over the world, 20 percent of which are powered using solar energy.

The only problem with electric vehicle charging stations is that they must be shared among all EV-driving patrons of the facility they are located at. This might result in some drivers missing out on charging their car, so GM has compiled a list on its Fastlane blog going over basic “Electric Vehicle Charging Etiquette”, to help ensure all green-vehicle enthusiasts can get the most out of the charging stations.

1. Safety First

GM encourages all users of EV charging stations to properly manage the cord during and after charging. While plugged in, be sure to tuck the cord under your car so passers-by don’t trip or drive over it. Once you’re done charging, be sure to neatly wind the cord on its holder and tuck in any excess length.

2. EV Spots are for EVs

This one should go without saying, but we frequently see non-EV cars parked in an EV charging spot, so it’s not as obvious to some as you may think. Don’t park you’re internal combustion car in a spot designated for charging a plug-in car. Seriously.

3. EV Drivers Must Adhere to Posted Signs

Here’s another that shouldn’t have to be said, but it’s included in GM’s list for a reason. Just because you drive an EV doesn’t mean you can park in a handicap space just to be close to a charging station. Don’t do it. Unless having your car towed has historically been an enjoyable pass time for you.

4. Charge Only When Necessary

Just because you have an EV doesn’t mean you’re entitled to an EV charging spot. If you don’t need the extra juice, leave the spot free so another EV driver can use it. GM advises you to also use your home as a primary charging station and to use the charging station at work only when needed.

5. First Come, First Served

This one is self-explanatory. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re situation is, if someone else was in the charging spot first then tough luck. Try again tomorrow.

6. All Electric Vehicles are Created Equal

Owners of an all-electric vehicle such as the Chevrolet Spark EV don’t have the right to unplug an extended-range electric vehicle like the Volt just because it has a backup gas engine. We all want to save gas and reduce emissions, so share.

7. It’s Okay to Ask for a Charge

If a charging spot you need is being used by someone else and you are able to park next to the car that is currently charging, open your charge port door to let the other EV driver know to plug you in when they’re finished charging.

8. Don’t Unplug Someone Else’s EV… Except When They Are Done Charging

Unless someone’s car has clearly finished charging (indicated by a blinking green charge-indicator light on the dash) then don’t unplug it. If they’re car is fully charged up, carefully remove the chord and close the charge door.

9. Charge Up and Move On…

You should only occupy a charging spot while your vehicle is being charged. As soon as the charging session is completed, whether that’s when your battery is full or when you have adequate range to reach your destination, be prepared to unplug and move your car and make way for a fellow plug-in driver. After all, these are charging spots, not parking spots.

10. Workplace Charging is a Privilege, not a Right

GM wants its employees and any other EV drivers to remember that charging your vehicle in a company-provided charge-spot is a privilege. They say you are “an ambassador of an important and growing market for plug-in electric vehicles,” so be sure represent the EV crowd well.

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