Your Guide To Charging Station Rage, And How To Avoid It

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Charging Cable and Socket

Charging Cable and Socket

A few weeks ago while borrowing a 2012 Ford Focus Electric, Forbes writer Todd Woody experienced what he described as Electric Car Road Rage: fear and anger associated with unsuccessfully trying to charge an electric car.

It happened while he was at a cafe in downtown Berkeley, California, when the car he was driving was unplugged by another electric car driver who decided his or her need to plug in was far more urgent than Woody's. 

Woody was left feeling agitated, and full of questions about the reality of charging an electric car in the real world. 

We think electric car road rage -- or at least charging station rage -- is a real thing. But how do you cope with it, or avoid it altogether? 

Here’s our guide to the most common situations when you’ll feel charging station rage, along with our top tips on how to avoid it. 

Getting ICEd

A term adopted by most electric car drivers, getting ICEd is when you arrive at a charging station to find an Internal Combustion Engined (ICE) car parked there.

In our experience, the worst offenders are luxury cars and SUVs, but we’ve seen everything from subcompacts to minivans and sports cars park in electric car spaces. 

Local Cop Misuses Orlando Electric Car Charging Station

Local Cop Misuses Orlando Electric Car Charging Station

In some states, those who violate parking laws by parking a non-electric car in a plug-in space can get themselves a ticket, be towed or even booted. On the other hand, when cops abuse the spaces too, there’s little hope of retribution. 

Even worse, the parking garages where the problem is most pronounced are often privately owned -- and therefore out of jurisdiction of traffic cops.

The parking hog

Almost as frustrating as being ICEd, finding another electric car that has already finished charging blocking your access to a charging station can be infuriating. 

In most situations, you’ll find that the owner returns to his or her car pretty quickly, letting you plug your car in and charge. 

But in some cases -- most noticeably at airport parking garages -- you’ll find electric cars that have been parked and plugged in for weeks, monopolizing much needed charging stations. 

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