It’s about time public chargers had idle fees

One of the most annoying things about public charging is other drivers leaving their vehicle plugged in and unattended after the charging session is over.

We can forgive a 5-minute wait, but where do we draw the line?

10 minutes? 30 minutes?

This hogging of public chargers has to stop. Not only is it annoying, but it’s bad etiquette and sours EV ownership for other people.

Idle fees

One way around this is to have idle fees, where after a 5 or 10-minute grace period drivers are charged per minute. £1 per minute sounds like a good deterrent.

Tesla already does this with Superchargers, charging drivers £0.50 per minute when chargers are 50% occupied and £1.00 per minute when they are 100% occupied.

Suffice to say, idleness at Tesla Superchargers is expensive!

In the words of Tesla, “We designed the Supercharger network to enable a seamless, enjoyable road trip experience. Therefore, we understand that it can be frustrating to arrive at a station only to discover fully charged Tesla cars occupying spaces. To create a better experience for all owners, we’re introducing a fleet-wide idle fee that aims to increase Supercharger availability.”

Sounds reasonable to us!

The case of Mr. EV

Andrew Till of Mr. EV recently experienced this issue of idleness, getting into a spot of bother with another EV driver. Here’s the video:

To summarise:

Andrew unplugged another person’s electric car after waiting for them to return. The other car was not charging, so the charger was free, but the cable wasn’t. Andrew left and returned to an angry driver. Despite trying to explain his car wasn’t charging, the other driver wasn’t having any of it.

In the words of the other driver, “not cool mate!”.

You know what’s not cool? Hogging a charging bay when your car isn’t charging.

Andrew isn’t alone. Forums (and Twitter) are littered with disgruntled electric vehicle owners who have experienced this poor etiquette.  

We think it’s about time public chargers had idle fees to hurry drivers up and build efficiency into public charging. Waiting can only go on so long.

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.