I wish public chargers were capped at 80%

Do you really need that last 20%?
Public charger cap

The most annoying thing in the world happened to me last week.

No, I didn’t stub my toe, but I would have taken that option instead of waiting nearly 30 minutes for another electric car to charge from 90 to 100%.

I couldn’t use the charger during all that time, and god it was annoying! Unfortunately, I had no choice because all the other chargers were full or broken.

As I sat waiting at the Gridserve Electric Highway rapid, a few things crossed my mind fuelled by Red Bull and Snickers:

  • Why does anyone charge to 100% at public chargers? That last 20% takes as long as the previous 70%. It is smarter to drive on 80%, deplete your range, and charge from 10-30% (the 20% you missed) further down the road.
  • Why do public chargers allow people to top up at painfully slow speeds beyond 80%? Surely this is bad for business because it limits the number of people who can use the charger.
  • Why should I have to wait for an inconsiderate driver to return to their car? I might sound frustrated, but that’s because I am. Waiting for that painfully slow 80-100%< charge is akin to waiting for someone to set off on a petrol forecourt after getting in their car 10 minutes ago.

Sorry, but it’s ridiculous.

The chap who returned to his car was oblivious to me waiting nearly half an hour. Thankfully, I had a bathroom break and got a bite to eat in that time, but a simple pit stop that should have taken me 25 minutes took me 55 minutes.

The problem as I see it isn’t a lack of public chargers or a lack of working chargers (yes, more of these would be nice) but the fact that some people are hogging public chargers for too long.

Yes, it is a free world, and yes, some people might really need that 100% charge, but the vast majority of people don’t.

It is bad etiquette and I wish public chargers were capped at 80%. One way around this could be to charge a much higher rate for the final 20%.

Have you experienced drivers hogging chargers for that last 20%? Be sure to leave a comment below on your experiences.

James Lewis
James Lewis is our resident electrical head. He drives an MG ZS EV (2018, which he loves) and plans to get the new one soon. James is much more excited by the lower end of the EV market and is looking forward to the Ora Cat.