Charging your EV is a process that requires more planning and time compared to filling up an ICE car at the petrol station. That’s why there is a set of written and unwritten rules EV drivers should follow to make the charging process smoother for everyone involved.  

Here are some rules that will help you charge your EV quickly and efficiently, with consideration for other drivers. 

1. Charging points are for EVs only 

This rule is as simple as it gets — if you’re not driving a plug-in vehicle, you shouldn’t use the charging bays. 

Unfortunately, ICE vehicles parking on EV charging spots is a common practice among drivers in the UK, sometimes referred to as ‘ICEing’. Charging spots can be limited at times, and Uber drivers’ time is precious, so blocking someone needing access to a charger won’t bring you too much sympathy.  

Did you know? Some EV charging apps will inform you when a charging bay is ICEd so you don’t waste time going there. 

EV Uber drivers might also be guilty of blocking a charging bay, some parking in a charging station without having the intention to charge their car. 

2. Plug-in Hybrids can also use EV chargers 

EV charging stations are dedicated to electric cars, from fully electric vehicles (EVs) to plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). 

Some drivers argue on this issue, stating that PHEVs have the option to rely on their petrol or diesel engine, while battery powered EVs depend entirely on charging stations, so Uber drivers with EVs should be given priority. While this is true, PHEV drivers also have the right to use the charging stations.  

3. Charge at the right speed 

Several types of chargers are available to top-up your EV, from standard 3.7kW-7kW chargers to rapid and ultra-rapid chargers from 50kW to 350kW. It’s essential to know how fast your EV can charge — there’s no point in using a 180kW charger if your EV charges at maximum 50kW.  

Not only could you be blocking the access of an EV supporting the higher charging speed, but you could also be using the device at limited capacity while probably paying a higher price compared to a charger suitable for your EV.  

Did you know? Uber is working to introduce a new feature in their Driver App to help you locate the best charging station for your needs based on real-time data on charging fares and speed. 

4. Don’t overstay 

EV chargers are for charging only. That implies drivers should only use the charging bay when plugged in and recharging. Once charging is complete, drivers should vacate the spot and make room for another EV driver. 

IMPORTANT: Some charging stations have a specified time limit, applying penalty chargers when the limit is exceeded.  

Another trick is to avoid charging to 100% charge at a busy station. Sometimes, charging from 80% to 100% will take as long as charging until 80%.  

Did you know? Keeping your EV charged between 20%-80% is also beneficial to your battery’s life, so overstaying for that 20% won’t do you much service. 

Avoid spending too much time on a charging bay plugged-in is beneficial not only to other drivers but also to yourself, helping you save money.  

5. Don’t unplug other EVs 

Drivers in a hurry might feel the temptation to unplug an EV and plug their own.  

In most cases, this is not possible since the cables lock into place once the charge begins, but older EVs and PHEVs with Type 1 connectors can be unplugged by a third party. 

This kind of behaviour could lead to penalties or fines, as it’s considered to violate private property. 

TIP: If you’re in a hurry to charge, the best solution would be to find alternative options using an EV charging app.  

6. Be respectful when joining the queue 

When several drivers wait to charge in a station, it can become chaotic since there isn’t yet a real queueing system. That’s where drivers’ patience and consideration should come into play: 

  • Be respectful of who was there first, and don’t try to skip the queue. 
  • Don’t block other cars’ access to the charging stations while waiting in the queue. 
  • Allow extra time for charging in case you find a queue. 
  • Use a charging app that allows you to reserve a charging spot. 
  • Be polite to other drivers in the queue. You’re all in this together, and every act of consideration can make the EV driving experience better.  

7. Report an out-of-order charging point 

If you come across an out-of-order charger, consider reporting it as soon as possible. You can do that using the network’s charging app, informing the local council or calling the network’s customer service.  

Your effort of reporting the malfunction will prevent other drivers from wasting their time and energy trying to use it and will help fix the charger sooner.  

If you use Zap-Map, you can leave a comment to inform other drivers about the broken chargers, similar to reporting traffic hazards on Waze.  

8. Put the cable back correctly in the holster 

When you’re done charging, ensure to put the cable back properly in the holster. Leaving the cable on the ground or dangling from the charging point is dangerous to those using the charger next.  

Putting the cable back in the holster helps keep the charging bay neat, prevents tripping hazards and makes it easier for the next driver to use the charging point. 

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