Brian Joss – The number of electric vehicles (EVs) on South Africa’s roads is expected to grow exponentially in the short term, so the sooner some basic ground rules for public charging etiquette are laid, the smoother the experience will be for those who drive EVs as well as those who drive traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
While South African EV drivers will primarily charge at home where the topping up process is most convenient and cost effective, it’s inevitable that the country’s growing network of public chargers, such as the Jaguar Powerway, will see increasing traffic as more electric vehicles come to market.
Jaguar has some helpful tips to ensure a happier future of electric mobility for all road users.
The number one rule in public EV charging is to never occupy a station’s parking bay if your car isn’t charging.
Most EVs, including the Jaguar I-PACE, offer handy phone apps to remotely monitor charge levels. Keep an eye on your car’s battery level, and politely move it to another traditional bay when sufficiently charged in order to make space for the next EV to arrive.
Don’t prolong the charge process by unnecessarily waiting until your car is brimmed to 100% if not needed. If home, or your next destination does not require maximum range to reach, it would be courteous to unplug and vacate the bay when your car is charged to a comfortable enough level to reach the next destination.
Many of the public charging stations in South Africa are, and will continue to be, positioned in premium locations such as near mall entrances or close to other points of interest, so the temptation to steal these convenient spaces will be strong for non-EV drivers. If your vehicle has an internal combustion engine (ICE) and occupies a charging bay reserved for electric vehicle charging, it can be very frustrating for EV drivers in need of urgent top-ups.
Overseas the terms “ICE-ing” or “getting ICE’d” have been adopted for the inconsiderate art of parking normal cars in EV bays. ICE vehicle drivers are urged not to park in dedicated EV bays, even for very short times, no matter how unlikely the arrival of an EV may be.
Unlike full service petrol and diesel filling stations in South Africa, EV charging will be performed by owners and drivers themselves, so the responsibility of keeping each site in tip-top condition lies with them.
Put the charge connector back in its receptacle and hang the cable as neatly as possible on its hooks when finished charging. A cable and connector left on the floor can pose a tripping risk for pedestrians and could lead to unnecessary wear and tear. Charge cables are designed to be incredibly tough and weather proof, but are not intended to be repeatedly driven over by cars or exposed to elements on the ground.
Just like public bathrooms, leave EV charging bays like you’d like to find them.
All public charging stations within the Jaguar Powerway network, whether at Sandton City or in Beaufort West, can be viewed remotely via live maps on the Jaguar.co.za or Gridcars.net websites.
The live map displays the entire network of Jaguar Powerway and GridCars supported public charging stations, and indicates the current status of each including if it’s online, offline or in use. The map also shows the time and date of the station’s last successful use, as well as a tally of that particular station’s total charge sessions to date.
Avoid log jams at public chargers by viewing in real time if another car is charging at your next destination, and consider altering your trip to make use of an alternative public charger if it’s occupied.
CAPTION: Fill ‘er up: etiquette at the “pumps”. Picture: Motorpress