Fast Charging 2011 Nissan Leaf
Fast Charging 2011 Nissan LeafEnlarge Photo
The phantom ‘unplugger’
This is the particular woe that Woody experienced above. Arriving at a charging station, you park and plug in, but while you’re away from your car, someone else unplugs you to charge their own car.
This can either happen accidentally, or intentionally
In accidental cases, the other person unplugs you because they think your car has finished charging.
In intentional situations, your car can be unplugged maliciously by a passer by or another plug-in driver -- or in a rare cases -- an emergency unplugging because the other person needs a quarter of an hour or so of charge to get them somewhere.
But whatever the situation, it’s rude, and bound to get you angry.
Worse still, in some states like California, it’s now illegal to be parked in a charging space and not be plugged into a charging station thanks to Californian Law AB475.
That means your car can be towed if it is unplugged by someone while you’re away from your car.
Charging Station Shares Handicapped Parking Space
Charging Station Shares Handicapped Parking SpaceEnlarge Photo
The non-functioning station
Also incredibly irritating, and bound to give rise to charging-station anger, is the non-functioning charging station, especially if you’re down to your last few miles of charge.
Upon arriving, you do everything you can to charge, but to no avail. Either the charging station is powered down, there’s a technical fault, or your car just isn’t happy charging there.
For extra frustration, add a lack of technical support or no-one at the parking garage to help.
When you arrive at a charging station and find you can’t charge, it’s very easy to want to blow your top, but very rarely advisable.
Instead, here are our tips to keeping your temper under control
Someone might be blocking your access to electricity, but you won’t think straight if you’re cross. Take a deep breath, calm down, and think about what you’re going to do next.
Tesla Roadster recharging at Denver International Airport, from SolarDave blogEnlarge Photo
Unless you’ve made a long-distance trip, or have more errands planned, you may not really need a charge. Look at your car’s state of charge and ask yourself if you really need to plug in.
If you don’t, go find somewhere else to park.
You’re cross that someone isn’t using the charging station properly. In your situation, we’d be cross too, but finding someone to explain the situation to can sometimes hep.
Find the parking attendant, or garage owner, and tell them what’s happened. If it’s privately owned, reiterate what the charging station means to you, along with why you’re cross it isn’t being used properly.
Stay calm, and rational. Ranting won’t help, but calmly explaining to someone who can help you what the problem is might.
If you can’t find anyone to help, make a note of the offending car’s license plate (smartphones are great to take pictures), or make notes of what is wrong with the charging station. You can use them in future correspondence with the charging station company and/or parking garage.
If there really is no-one around, write a polite note and stick it to the windshield of the offending car. Tell them why you need the charge, and why they shouldn’t be parked there.
Don’t drop F-bombs however. Keep your note professional, polite and informative.
However tempting it might be to retaliate -- whether it’s unplugging someone else or damaging their car -- don’t.
At best, that kind of action is impolite. At worst, it’s criminal.
Are there any other ways that you experience electric car charging station rage? And how do you overcome it?
Let us know in the Comments below.