EV driver Charge Rage on the rise as calls for code of conduct grow

Amid all the discussion over the need for EV infrastructure, do we also need to consider establishing what the etiquette should be at chargepoints? According to LeaseElectricCar.co.uk, a code of conduct is needed to prevent arguments from breaking out between EV drivers. bickering at charging points.

The company has cited the experience of new EV driver Jessica Fletcher, who used Facebook to express her unhappiness over a recent experience at a charging point in a supermarket car park: “I’ve had the car a week, never had to queue for a charger but tonight I think (if the shouting bloke is to be believed) I inadvertently jumped the queue. There seems to be so many unwritten rules and so much anger toward those who get it wrong.

“I pulled in the car park and saw a bloke in a little smart car waiting for the chargers. I thought I’d done the right thing by parking up in a bay out of the way so when the smart car had a space I moved into his space. Only then I ended up with some bloke in a huge Audi jumping out of his car jabbing his finger and shouting at me that I’d jumped the queue – he’d been waiting and I’d just pulled up.

“I soon realised that there was no point in trying to explain that I’d been parked in a bay and just begged him to leave me alone. Is this what it’s like? Did my first charge lull me into a false sense of friendliness because the guys using the chargers were lovely. How do you know what order to wait in? Or is it best not to bother waiting and not seek out supermarkets, gyms or restaurants with charging? I’m wishing I’d stuck with petrol right now if I’m honest.”

Tim Alcock from LeaseElectricCar.co.uk commented: “Sadly the story Jessica shared on Facebook is just one of dozens of similar incidents our customers have shared with us. We’ve even heard of drivers coming to blows over whose turn it is to plug their car in. These problems are likely to get worse in the short term as the number of EVs on our roads continues to rise and the number of charging points continues to lag behind. We need better infrastructure to keep up with demand but we also need a clear code of conduct around the use of public charging points and what is and isn’t acceptable. Clearly it is never acceptable to become aggressive and intimidating and what happened to Jessica sounds very frightening.”

Tim added: “Until the number of charging points significantly increases and a code of conduct is adopted and integrated into the Highway Code, we fear incidents of Charge Rage will only increase.”

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