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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!!! 0:)
 

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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. :D
 

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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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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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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... :p
 

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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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I just want to know, what is the protocol? I swear I'll never violate it again!!! 0:)
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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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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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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I personally would not unplug a charger from a stranger's car.
I agree, it would be a lot of work to get the charger out of the car. LOL Could it be that understanding the technical difference leads me to a different conclusion about the moral issue?

Also, in my case most of the EVSE's that I have unplugged, provide information about how long the car has been charging and whether it is finished or not. In most cases I know the car owner also, but don't have explicit permission. In the few other instances I don't understand what the issue is with unplugging a fully charged stranger's car. I do resent that someone is taking a charging spot. Those spots are for charging.

On the otherhand, at places like LAX there are more spaces than EVSE's and that invites that practice. Does anyone care to articulate the moral issue?
 

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If the charger reads "not charging" or "charging complete", I don't worry about unplugging them.

If it's a Tesla, that's another issue, as you will not be able to unplug it, even with permission.
 

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If the charger reads "not charging" of "charging complete", I don't worry about unplugging them.

If it's a Tesla, that's another issue, as you will not be able to unplug it, even with permission.
Not necessarily. If it's a J1772 station, not all Tesla have a locking adapter. You may not be able to pull the converter out of their car, but the plug you may be able to.

As for the "not charging" state, you may want to be cautious about that. Those states can mean two different things. "Not Charging" means the station has been put on temporary hold by the car, maybe because it's cooling it's packs, maybe because it's done. "Charging Complete" usually means the EVSE has decided to stop powering the car, because time or funding ran out, or because the car stopped asked for power for a long enough time.

Best practice would be to not unplug someone unless you needed to, and preferably if you can tell they are done. One of my largest complaints on the US Gen3 smart is that there's no indicator on the car that tells you it's state. The Gen2 models and the EU models have LEDs that indicate charge cycle. (And no, the parts are not electronically compatible in a way that the LEDs would work in a US model sadly.)
 

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I would be really upset if a stranger disconnected my car from a charger I was plugged into. I imagine anybody else would feel the exact same way.
 

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I would say that if the other car is done charging and you would otherwise be unable to make it home and you leave a note that it's okay to unplug someone else's car.Note that ChargePoint stations that have a single charge cable generally also have a 120 volt plug available that you can plug your level 1 charge cable into. After you wave your RFID card a panel is unlocked which you then lift and plug your cable in. The panel then locks your cable to the station so it can't be unplugged and stolen. When you come back your wave your RFID card to unlock it again.
 

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I would be really upset if a stranger disconnected my car from a charger I was plugged into. I imagine anybody else would feel the exact same way.
If your car was fully charged and I needed a charge to get home, would you still be really upset?

I can imagine many people would would be upset if someone was hogging an EVSE. In fact, in my little beach town of Hermosa Beach you would get a parking ticket for occupying a car charging space if you were not actively charging. So come on down and use our free EVSE's. EV's park downtown for free, but don't stay too long at an EVSE. LOL.
 

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........... One of my largest complaints on the US Gen3 smart is that there's no indicator on the car that tells you it's state.
It doesn't matter as far as determining charging status is concerned because every public EVSE that I have seen has a screen that shows status or an indicator light that shows status.

As far as a car cooling its pack is concerned, I think the pilot signal would still be on and the relay on the EVSE would be closed allowing current to flow. The car might not be drawing much current unless it has active thermal management. In the case of the Smart, I believe, when plugged in, it runs the AC system off the power coming from the plug.
 
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