Sun Country Highway electric-car charging station, Burnaby, BC, Canada [photo: Matthew Klippenstein]Enlarge Photo
No one wants to get ICEed.
That's when a non-electric car--one with an internal combustion engine, or ICE--blocks a parking space that has a charging station, thus preventing an electric-car driver from plugging in.
The simple solution is to put up a sign forbidding ICE cars from parking in those spaces.
Sun Country Highway is now selling "Electric Vehicle Parking Only" signs for public charging stations, complete with the standard line saying that other vehicles will be "towed at owner's expense."
After all, if sports fans can buy novelty "No Parking" signs to support their favorite teams, why can't electric-car drivers mark their territory?
Sun Country Highway electric-car charging station sign.Enlarge Photo
Sun Country will probably need a few of those signs for the free 240-volt Level 2 charging station-network it's set up along the Trans-Canada Highway.
SCH also recently opened an extension of its network along Highway 401 between Detroit and Montréal. All of SCH's Level 2 stations are free to the public, for now, though they are significantly slower than (admittedly rare) DC quick-charging stations.
Blocking charging stations with an internal-combustion car isn't the only faux pas in the evolving world of electric-car etiquette.
The limited number of charging stations has not only caused tension between electric-car drivers and drivers of internal-combustion cars, but also with drivers of plug-in hybrids, which typically need shorter charges.
DC quick-charging stations have caused issues of their own. While the initial 80-percent charge can be done in roughly 30 minutes, the last 20 percent takes significantly longer. So using a quick-charging station for a full 100-percent charge can defeat the purpose somewhat.
Electric cars are a new experience for most people, so there will continue to be aspects of using them that require some reconsideration. A little friendly reminder goes a long way, though.