What's the protocol for unplugging someone else? - Smart Car Forums
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question What's the protocol for unplugging someone else?

This week, for the first time, I unplugged someone else. Is it ever okay to do that if they appear to be fully charged?

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are experiencing "charge rage" because there aren't enough charging stations. I went to a parking structure in SF and all of the 7 chargers were in use at 11:00 AM. However, the posted sign said there was a 4 hour limit of charging time. There was no fee for charging since you were already paying for parking.

A Tesla had been charging for 4.5 hours. It didn't have a charging light on, and it was over the posted limit, so I unplugged it. I had already driven 35 miles, so without a charge, I would have trouble getting back home. When I came back to my car 2 hours later, the Tesla owner had apparently returned to his/her car and plugged into another charger. I thought I was forgiven for my transgression. But the next day, I realized someone had removed one of the diamond-lane stickers on my eSmart (in CA, this allows EVs to drive in the commuter lane). I assume the Tesla person retaliated, but I accept it is my fault for creating his/her charge rage. I should have just toughed it out...

I just want to know, what is the protocol? I swear I'll never violate it again!!!
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 04:11 AM
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Leave a note on his windshield on why you did what you did.

One must tread carefully here.

Dare I suggest giving advice when I own an ICE smart? Yes.
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 06:14 AM
 
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I would have never would touch some one else car. I would have found another charger some place. If you were waiting at a gas station, would you pull someones nozzle, at the pump? No. You only drove 35 miles. How much charge did you have left, to find another charging station.

Bad boy!!!!!!!!!
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 07:12 AM
 
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I'm surprised that the 4 hour charge restriction isn't programmed into the charge station. In my area there are charge stations that place a time limit of between 2 and 4 hours (depending on location) on the charge station and when you've reached your limit the charge station will interrupt the power. If you want to charge for another 2-4 hours, you have to swipe/pass your card again.

Again, not all of our charge stations have this time restriction... it's mostly limited to the charge stations in the downtown (center city) area where parking is limited as well as the number of charge stations. These charge stations are usually free (they include an attached card to activate the station), since they have a general parking fee for all cars.

I would leave a note explaining the situation you're in, and mention that you observed a 4+ hours pass (while he/she was connected) reference the charging time restriction posted nearby. If you still feel like you're getting "charge rage" from them, then report the offense to the facility that you're parking at & the police.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 07:56 AM
 
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I agree that I would have left a note. If someone did that to my +$60K Tesla, regardless of charge level, I would have been ticked.

I would leave a note explaining why you took his "charging space". I keep pre-printed "learn to park" notes and "Please Join SCoA" fliers for other Smarts in my glovebox.

I'd hate to compare this to a gas engine, but I agree. His car was plugged in and charging/refueling for a reason. If I pulled in to a crowded Hess, and someone left the nozzle in their car, I wouldn't pull it. I'd go elsewhere. EDs should be no different.

Now that crappy old Civic that took a charging station parking space at Syracuse Mall... I called until he got a ticket - and my Smart is an ICE! A second complaint would have gotten the car towed. Another story, though...
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 08:10 AM
 
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I wouldn't be surprised if eventually a "parking/meter maid" police force becomes tasked to enforce charge station laws/restrictions and pass out tickets like they do in crowded parking meter spaces.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 08:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvesmart View Post
I just want to know, what is the protocol? I swear I'll never violate it again!!!
Hindsight is 20/20 :-) Knowing what happened to you, perhaps I'd have left a note like this on the other car's windshield to reduce the rage:

Dear fellow electric car driver,
Nice car! My car was badly in need of a charge and it seemed like your car had been here for longer than the 4-hour limit. So I took the liberty of using the charger originally plugged into your car. I hope that was OK. If not, please leave this note back on my windshield so I'd know not to do it next time.
Thank you.


I live in the valley too, but I have not experienced charge rage as I am yet to use a public charge station. But I really hope that the missing Access OK sticker was just a coincidence and not the result of rage.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 08:16 AM
 
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Here's a good article with templates that may help with Charge Station Etiquette...

Electric Charging Station Etiquette for Plug-In Cars

EV Card | Plug In America

http://www.evchargernews.com/chargeprotocolcard.pdf
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smark View Post
I would have never would touch some one else car. I would have found another charger some place. If you were waiting at a gas station, would you pull someones nozzle, at the pump? No. You only drove 35 miles. How much charge did you have left, to find another charging station.

Bad boy!!!!!!!!!
It depends. If it is a Chevy Volt that is fully charged, I have done that several times. The analogy to a gas station could be reversed by making some assumptions. One if the gas pump was finished pumping, and two, if the pump, or the attendant told you how long the car had been parked there.
By the way, a Chevy volt beeps its horn a few times when you do that. Annoying, but less annoying than having an EVSE unusable because some one overstayed.

Most of my public charging is convenience (and free) so I put a sign in my window telling people that they can unplug me anytime.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 08:44 AM
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Public EV Charging Station protocol?

Sadly, the video of fisticuffs at the PUBLIC EV Charging station will soon be on the 24/7 news channel and You Tube.

As JohnnyFYX has suggested, a dash placard with some pertinent information might be helpful?

Seems some variant of this Volt/Leaf EV Courtesy Charging Protocol might help? And if you are really EV friendly, might want to including your mobile phone number to allow for a text or a phone call?
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