EV Drivers Are Unplugging Other EVs - How Can A System Of Etiquette Arise


Sometimes people come up to full EV charging stations where cords can reach more than one spot and they unplug an EV that arrived earlier and take over the charger. Sometimes it's evil. Sometimes it's the earlier driver who is bad. How do we make a system to handle the problem?

Read more at Forbes.com in EV Drivers Are Unplugging Other EVs - How Can A System Of Etiquette Arise


Just make chargers have a 3 hour limit. If you need more come back and remove the plug and start a new session, if nobody is waiting for it. if the charger indicates it is not charging, then you have permission to remove it from another car. Charger shows if previous charge was complete to discourage cheating.

Charging operators want good utilization. Some operators limit time when they have other motives than selling power. Generally, though, it is not usually in anybody's good interest to have people end a session early if nobody is waiting. That's why you want a way to say "I'm waiting" or "I'm on my way to the station."

However, stations like Volta which are there for advertising would prefer you vanish quickly, though they also charge at a slow rate.

Glad you got a Forbes gig, Brad, it's good to see your stuff in front of a wider audience.

My Renault Zoe uses a type 2 connector, with a latch on the car side. Other people cannot remove it, I have to use a switch inside the car or the key fob.

This is the way.

In general, yes. But ideally, anyone should be able to remove the connector a) if your car is full and b) no other charging port is free. I have done this, so it works at some places with some cars.

The car should indeed release the connector upon full, or if the charger terminates charging. (If the charger has a 2 hour limit, it should let anybody come to it and say "I want the connector" after that limit, causing the charge to stop and thus causing the car to release the connector.) There is the problem of mobile EVSEs which, if released, can be stolen. You need a way to know if you use using the mobile EVSE, which sadly is not doable without the new data protocols.

I am curious to learn how much "plug purloining" goes on, and if it's a real problem or a feared one. Only some fraction of stations even have 2 or more spaces per plug, though many have plugs that can reach the adjacent space which has its own plug, meaning only the first and last can do it. Better design is to put charging down a row of spaces, but then often they just put one unit per space.

One minor issue with free chargers is if any member of the public can say "I want this charger" then griefers might do it. At a pay charger you can require authentication. Or even a free charger that requires an account.

Good point. The article about J1772 stations is of course for North America. Euro Type 2 and Tesla lock the plug in the car, not the plug. You physically can't unplug it without consent of the car owner. Which means nobody steals your station, but also means that unless you automatically unlock when full or at the time limit, you hog the station for no reason at that time.

Cars can and should be programmed to unlock when done -- but they don't want to do that with a mobile EVSE (like the one that comes with most cars) because that prevents theft. So cars need to know what is charging them. As the new digital protocol arises that will be easier.

J1772 is set up so that if somebody releases the mechanical lock, that stops the current, making it safe to then unplug. But it means you can't stop somebody from unplugging -- or stealing your mobile charger. I don't think mobile charger theft is a big issue today, but since they cost from $200 to $400, it could easily be.

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