General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

At public electric vehicle charging stations, do you have to stay by your car?

Asked by elbanditoroso (30672points) 1 week ago

I see those Tesla charging areas (8–10 spaces in a row) at parking lots near me. People drive up, plug in the charger, and wait.

How does this work? Does the driver need to stay in the car for the duration?

Can charging continue even if a person isn’t nearby (maybe in a store or office)?

What’s to prevent a bad person from pulling the charging cable out of the receptacle?

How does a person know when the battery is ready to be used?

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7 Answers

jca2's avatar

No. Someone I used to work with would use a free public charging station, walk home and then walk back in the morning to get his car.

zenvelo's avatar

You can charge your car while shopping, or working out at the gym, or while you’re at work. There is no “proximity rule”.

The cars are well designned so that once fully charged, the charging process ceases.

And, if someone comes along and disconnects you, well, you won’t be fully charged. But that’s about all.

KRD's avatar

No but you might want to if you are charging your car on a trip or in a high crime area.

gorillapaws's avatar

In the case of Teslas, a stranger can’t pull out the plug because it gets locked into place. There’s an idle fee on Superchargers though. Once you’ve charged to full, you’ll be charged an idle fee of $0.50/minute if the station is 50% full. If it’s 100% full the idle fee is double. You do get a 5-minute grace period though, and your phone app will send you a notification when charging is complete.

I think you see a lot of people waiting around is because charging goes pretty fast. They may want to stretch their legs, or they’re using the car’s infotainment system to pass the time. I usually run into a nearby restaurant to grab some food to go and eat in the car.

filmfann's avatar

In Reno, there is an entire section of a parking structure designated for recharging electric vehicles. This is at a casono, and you KNOW they want people inside.
My daughter has a Volt, and she says it takes an hour to charge. It seems unreasonable to expect people standing by their car for that long.

Lightlyseared's avatar

The cable locks into the charging port on the car so you can’t unplug the car without the key (at least in my experience)

kritiper's avatar

If a car was left too long and others wanted to use the station, traffic control officers could surely unlock the plug and tow the car.

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