Charging Etiquette

Be kind and together we will keep the green ball rolling.

The note taped onto the charge port of the Tesla says "Thank You".  And the Tesla's J1772 adapter is in its charge port.  So what's going wrong in this photo?  Hard to say which EV driver has demonstrated poor charging etiquette, or if both have!


A)  Was the Tesla driver being unkind by taking the only charger port available, when he/she didn't really need a charge in his/her large-battery car at 9am while at the gym? And then, the Bolt driver unplugged the Tesla because he/she felt she needed a charge more and had a right to take away charging from a car with a bigger battery, and then leave a pleasant "thank you" note on the Tesla?  

B)  Did the Tesla driver legitimately need a charge? And then, the Bolt driver unplugged the Tesla because he/she felt she needed a charge more and had a right to take away charging from a surely-snooty Tesla driver, and then leave a sarcastic "thank you" note on the Tesla?  

C) Did the Tesla driver need a charge and put the "thank you" note on their own car to indicate that they would like the Bolt driver to plug them in once the Bolt was charged?


C'mon EV Drivers, we are all on the same team!  Be kind and together we will keep the green ball rolling.

I think we can all agree that we EVers (hybrid drivers too) should think hard about how we use chargers, so that we help maximize the benefit to us all and encourage the continued growth of EVs.

Sure there will always be people who abuse the system --- take the high road, when you come across them. They are the same people who used to leave their car by the gas pump after filling, while they went inside to have a bio break or to buy a snack. So be happy that they are now driving an EV or a hybrid, and go high when they go low!


A tension reducer...

I've updated my home-grown EV charging display card (below). Just add your phone number and have it printed, folded, and laminated... then leave inside a window... works great! Or contact me, if you would like me to add your phone number for you.




Charging Etiquette Display Card

Charging Etiquette Display Card

Money drives all, even EVs.

Let’s hold aside for a moment the now indisputable fact that Electric Vehicles are better for the planet and better for the health of our human bodies.  And let’s steer clear of spending time busting the myths to the contrary, that are still being perpetuated by climate change deniers.  Instead let’s look at why EVs will revolutionize the world of transportation --- features and money!

History has shown us again and again that any innovation that unequivocally improves on the features of its predecessors will take market share far more quickly than the old guard predicts, after cost parity has been established.  EVs are rapidly advancing down this innovation adoption path.

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If you take a test drive in just about any EV being offered today, you will not get out of that car with any doubt lingering that EVs offer a better driving experience to ICE (internal combustion engine) cars.  Don’t take my word for it, go test drive a Nissan Leaf, or a Chevy Bolt, or a Tesla sedan or SUV, or any other EV that is in the same class as the ICE car you are currently driving. 

You won’t be able to help but conclude that the smooth acceleration, which is the result of electric motors generating torque linearly without the need for a transmission, is simply better and more fun.  And if you happen to be a car fanatic who loves powerful acceleration, you will also love the complete lack of torque steering. 

No noise, no vibrations, just continuous power delivered in a straight line, like you are sitting on some kind of futuristic space craft while starring in a sci-fi thriller. 


It is true that EVs are currently more expensive than similar ICE cars from a “purchase cost” perspective, though it is already becoming untrue from a total cost of ownership perspective.  I am an engineer and an overly analytical type by nature.  After we test drove EVs and experienced what was clearly a revolutionary new driving experience, I turned to doing my own rudimentary financial analysis before buying. 

I concluded that over a 6-year ownership period, EV operating costs would be over $20,000 lower in the luxury sedan class, and over $8,000 lower in the economy compact class.  These savings come from: gas vs electricity cost; lower brake system cost, due to the use of regenerative braking (pads, rotors, and calipers all last far longer); and lower general maintenance costs, due to far fewer wearing parts (oil and filter changes, radiator coolant, exhaust system, spark plugs, timing belt, alternator, and more).  Look up online how ICE cars and EVs differ in the number of moving parts that each has, and I think you will quickly start to smell cost-savings.  And these savings become more significant if you plan to own a car for more than 6 years, since the wearing parts of gas cars really start to trigger large maintenance bills as they reach 7-10 years of age.

EVs are already close to cost parity today, even if you don’t put any value on the environment and your health, or any value on your own personal time, or any value on improved safety (large battery packs in the floor of car lead to an indisputable safety advantage), or any value on teaching your kids about how we can take action to reduce climate change.  And soon EVs will offer far better than cost parity, as battery technology rapidly continues down its steeply sloped cost curve.  

My simple analysis leads to a conclusion that I believe is hard to refute…


Kids Just Get EVs

In June of 2016 our family was already driving a Nissan Leaf EV, when we test drove a Tesla Model S with our 8 year-old daughter along for the ride. Now J is a big hugger, but that morning a very unconventional hug of hers taught me something new — Kids Just Get EVs!

As we gave the Tesla back after the test drive, J asked if she could hug the car goodbye. I said yes and asked her to be gentle, and she went ahead and laid her little body on the hood with both arms outstretched across it. With her ear against the smooth metal she said, “she’s making a sound”. I couldn’t hear the car making even a peep, so I put my ear on the hood and sure enough it was making a very faint hum… I told her it was the car’s heartbeat and she smiled and gave it a soft pat as she said, “bye bye, have a good rest”.

I had never witnessed anything remotely like that after a drive in a car before that day. It amazed me then, and has many times since, how young kids treat EVs like family members from the first time they have an experience with them. It is fascinating to watch how children sense a different vibe from these machines — it’s got to be because these cars give off an aura of being calm and gentle — they are quiet; don’t get hot to the touch; and don’t give off bad smelling fumes. If I was a sociologist, or the VP of Marketing at Tesla, I would initiate a study of this!

Two years later, we still love our Leaf and we now also drive a pre-owned Model S. This month J had to prepare for her first public speaking gig in her 4th grade class. She came home from school a couple weeks ago telling us that she had chosen to speak about why EVs are good for the environment, and that her teacher would be helping her to write the speech. The draft of her speech is attached (they start by writing quite phonetically, so I have transcribed it below with the spelling corrected ).

You can argue the accuracy of some of the points in J’s speech, though what you cannot argue is that very young kids intuitively understand the benefits of EVs. Having spent time with them in their schools, it is clear to me that most of today’s children will develop strong “energy literacy” by the time they are young adults. I am uplifted by the realization that these kids are going to work harder and more creatively at repairing the planet than we can yet imagine!


“Electric Cars Are Good For The Environment” by J Shore

“Electric cars are good for the environment because they don’t pollute the world. Electric cars are good for the environment because their batteries can be recycled or reused. The batteries last for 10 or more years. You can charge your electric car at home, while cars that run on gas can go to the gas station. Energy in BC comes from rivers, while gas comes from fossil fuels. Electric cars are good for the environment! The cars that run on gas stink and make people sick, and then they have to go to the doctor to see if they are ok! Electric cars are cheaper to drive than gas cars. Cars that run on gas make noise and it hurts people’s ears, while electric cars are quiet! Electric cars go faster than gas cars.”