Keeping EVSE in good working order requires a little bit of work on the part of both EVSE host and the drivers who use the charging stations. Keeping chargers and the area around them safe and clean is essential to keeping chargers in prime condition. Keeping public chargers and the area around them safe and clean is everyone’s responsibility. Do your part to maintain public chargers. Be a thoughtful host and a polite driver by putting etiquette and equipment safety first.
Misused or damaged equipment can’t be used by potential customers and also present liability issues. Remember the following etiquette rules to keep public chargers working safely for years to come
1-Make Sure Guests Use Charging Spots Just for Charging. Most EV drivers are polite EVSE users and remember to move their cars after the vehicle has been charged. Drivers do however sometimes forget or ignore signs telling them to move their car once charging is complete. That doesn’t mean you have to leave a car mis-parked in a valuable charging spot all day. Blink is the first EV charger network to issue fees for leaving an EV parked in a charging spot after the EV is fully charged. Charges don’t kick immediately; drivers have a 15-minute grace period before additional charges kick in.
They are reminded several times via email and text to move the vehicle once charging is completed, but sometimes they still fail to move the EV. Charges then accrue of $0.08 a minute, which equates to $4.80 an hour, or $115.20 per day. There is no ceiling to the charges; charges will continue as long as the vehicle is plugged in.
Charge occupancy fees if the charging station is busy to let as many other customers use the chargers as possible. In less busy locations, during off-hours, it may not be necessary to charge occupancy fees.
2—Limiting Liability. Don’t leave charging cords laying on the ground; instead, wind them up and put the plug back where it belongs. You want to check this a few times a day, especially in areas with poor lighting. Cords on the ground present a tripping hazard, which is a potential liability for garages and lots.
3—Get a cellular repeater. This device can ensure a strong connection to the Blink network so you can always control the equipment and charge for use. At the same time, it makes your garage a safer place for your customers. According to alternativewireless.com, Sina Khanifar, founder at Open Signal & Repeater Store says, “The two main things are power and connectivity. In order to be able to create reservations and bill users, most… are choosing to use cellular connectivity.” The FCC reports 70% of emergency calls come from cell phones, but they’re useless if they don’t work in concrete garages. Cellular Repeaters not only allow EV chargers to connect to the network, but they also allow guests to use their cell phones in the garage, increasing public safety.
4—Keep up maintenance. We never like to see a Blink charger out of use, and of course, as a vendor, you can’t charge for use of the equipment if it’s unusable. If you’re a member of our network, our team comes to you to fix the problem and it’s on us. If you own the charger, we’re more than happy to set your business up with a third-party repair shop if possible.
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1—Charging Spots Are for Charging. As obvious as it seems, cars that are not being actively charged should not be parked in a charging space. Once your car is finished charging, move it as soon as you can so the next driver can use it. While few may mind waiting 10 minutes, leaving your charged car in a space for hours won’t earn you any points with other EV drivers. Some apps can create online waiting lists so it’s obvious when each driver’s turn is up. Leaving your car in a charging spot long after it’s charged can result in pricey occupancy fees.
3—Don’t Unplug Other Vehicles. On the other hand, it’s also considered impolite to unplug the vehicles of other drivers, even if their car has been there a long time. Exceptions? If you’re 100% sure the car is charged and you’re desperate. A car has been parked there all day, you’re at 10%, and have an emergency? Unplug them and use the charger. Another exception is if the car has a sticker on it that says it can be unplugged. Putting these stickers on your car is an excellent way to maintain goodwill if you know you’re likely to forget to unplug your car right away.
4—Leave the Charging Station Tidy. Don’t leave charging cords laying on the ground; instead, wind them up and put the plug back where it belongs—even if you didn’t find it that way. Cords on the ground present a tripping hazard, which is dangerous for users and potential liability for garages and lots. Don’t leave litter, such as cans and snack bags around the charger. Remember, you purchased an EV partly because it’s good for the environment!
5—Be helpful to other EV drivers. Tipping off other drivers about the location of chargers, how busy they are, the rate charged, and parking fees are considered good form. Sites like PlugShare gather this information and share it with users. Unfortunately, the most common posts on these sites are complaints about drivers breaking rule one! Be courteous and unplug your car when it is charged.
6—If the charger is in a neighborhood, keep in mind you’re now part of it. Blaring radios, yelling, screaming, and loud conversations around charging stations are likely to rub neighbors the wrong way, especially after 9 pm. So is leaving a mess behind. Such actions will result in complaints, and a large number of complaints may result in the charger being taken out.
When hosts and driver both do their part to maintain the public chargers, everyone wins, creating safe, clean spaces charging stations designed to last a decade! Be everyone’s favorite garage and a polite EV driver by following EV driver etiquette and making it as easy as possible for all EV drivers to charge up.