Finding an available electric vehicle charging bay when you need it has become critical with the accelerating popularity of EVs. As the world increasingly embraces sustainable energy, electric vehicles (EVs) are rapidly gaining popularity. Today, over 1.8 million publicly accessible charging points are available, 37% increase in 2021 compared to the previous year . However, as EV markets continue to grow, there’s a pressing need for more EV charging infrastructure to match consumer demand.
Which begs the question, are there enough EV chargers?
And the answer seems, not yet.
The term for the mismatch between demand and supply is the “charging capacity gap”. When there are not enough available chargers when and where you need them, it causes “range anxiety”. This means that you think you will run out of power before reaching your destination or available EV charging bay.
Drivers charge their electric vehicles at home because it is convenient and easy to top up, according to global surveys. Simply plug in your own EV charger at home, and it will always be ready when you need it. But what if you have to go great distances and charge along the way? EV charging in shared spaces like apartments poses challenges; accessible solutions are vital for seamless electric vehicle adoption. Seek accessible EV charging solutions for shared spaces; equitable behavior promotes hassle-free electric vehicle adoption in such environments. It’s a smart move that helps both present and potential inhabitants.GET A FREE INSTALLATION QUOTE
What Are ICEing and Range Anxiety?
ICEing and range anxiety are two key challenges that EV owners face.
- ICEing refers to the situation when an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle parks in an EV charging bay, preventing access for electric vehicles. Limited charging stations can be especially frustrating.
- Range anxiety refers to an EV driver’s fear that their vehicle’s battery will run out of charge before reaching the destination or a charging station. Having access to an abundant and reliable network of EV charging bays can help reduce this anxiety.
Range Anxiety, ICE’ing and the charging capacity gap are all identified as putting brakes on the rate of EV adoption. Something we need to address,
ICE’ing is frustrating because it blocks EV drivers from recharging. It’s inconsiderate, inconvenient, and downright rude.
Think about it: an EV parked at a petrol pump while the driver goes shopping – it’s just not right. For EV drivers, the impact of ICE’ing is far worse than a petrol car blocking a petrol pump. EV chargers are still fewer in number, and being ICE’d means waiting if you’re running low on range. Running out of charge leaves you stranded; it’s not an option.
Importance of EV Charging Bays in Private Properties
Installing EV charging bays in private properties such as shopping centres, parking stations, entertainment venues, hospitals, airports, universities, commercial offices and industrial parks and residential apartment buildings can significantly boost convenience for EV owners. Some key benefits include:
- Boost in Customer Attraction: Customers are more likely to visit shopping centres and entertainment venues that offer EV charging facilities.
- Increased Property Value: Adding EV charging stations can enhance the value of properties, making them more attractive to prospective buyers or renters.
- Convenience: EV owners can charge their vehicles while shopping, watching a movie, or even overnight if they live in an apartment with an EV charging bay.
For example, councils in the Eastern Suburbs of Australia are recognising this need and trialling innovative charging technologies, such as street pole charging2. This involves installing EV chargers on existing power poles, minimising the need for extra on-street charging infrastructure.
Best Practice EV Charging Etiquette – Charging with Consideration
What driving habits therefore can drivers do to prevent ICE’ing and make EV charging considerably smoother and a lot nicer driving experience? The top 10 techniques that we identified are as follows:
Here’s a list of the top 10 tips for EV charging etiquette:
- EV Charging bays only:Electric vehicles are the specific target for EV Charging spots. In Australia, painted signage with words and logos “EV Charging Only” and now more frequently painted green marks these spots in the bay. Street signage also accompanies these bays where they are public areas. So respect the signage and do not park non-electric cars in these spots.
- Charge Only When Needed: Use the EV charging bay only when your vehicle requires charging. Once your vehicle has reached sufficient charge, move it to free up the bay for another driver. If you don’t really need the charge at that time, and there are others waiting, be considerate. And even if you’re driving an EV don’t just use the EV bay to park in if you’re not planning to charge it .
- Definitely don’t Unplug another EV: It’s crucial to respect other EV drivers’ charging time. Never unplug another vehicle, even if it seems fully charged. It’s also interfering with someone else’s private vehicle, so you don’t want to get into trouble with that.
- No Camping or Hogging: Do not leave your vehicle unattended on charge longer than necessary, causing unnecessary wait times for other EV drivers. People consider charging up to 80% capacity respectable, particularly if there is a queue waiting and you do not require a full 100% charge to reach your next destination. Some EV chargers, such as Tesla, are now reducing charge speed after 80% and raising the cost of charging once the vehicle reaches 80% capacity. .
- Be Aware of Charging Time: Understand the type of charger you’re using and how long it will take to charge your vehicle. Plan your time accordingly. A number of EV chargers and software providers now send you updates on how charged your vehicle is, giving you indicative time of when it will reach it’s charge limit. Eg. Tesla, and thereafter they start charging IDLE fees, which are more expensive than the charging rate.
- Respect the Equipment and make sure charging cables aren’t a trip hazard : Handle the charging cables with care to prevent any damage. After use, place the cable back on its holder. Make sure that when you run the charging cable, it’s out of the way so not to be a trip hazardIf you’re charging outdoors, also make sure to protect all exposed plug outlets from the weather either by using a properly rated enclosure or with IP56 or above rated connections .
- Keep the Area Clean: Maintain the cleanliness of the charging area. Do not leave trash or post any notices on the charger.
- Report Problems: If the EV charging station is faulty, promptly inform the respective authorities to ensure swift repair. If you encounter an ICE’d charging bay, report it to the building management or strata. Together, we can address the issue and prevent future incidents. In Australia, drivers can use apps or local council websites to report iCE vehicles illegally parked in EV charging bays. Penalties can include fines, which vary to as much in $3,200    
- Strategic Charging: Choose a charger that aligns with your schedule. Plan your long trips with a safety buffer for charging. Use apps like Plugshare to find nearby charging bays and check their availability in real time
- Educate and Spread Awareness. Help raise awareness about EV charging etiquette among fellow residents. The more informed we are, the smoother the charging experience.
Smart Parking Bollards and Parking Management Systems
Smart Parking Bollards have emerged as a game-changer in the realm of parking management systems. The parking bollard‘s ability to optimise space utilisation, provide real-time data insights, streamline operations, and enhance safety is a testament to its significance in modern urban planning. As our cities continue to evolve and the pressure on parking resources intensifies, embracing smart technologies such as EVs and bollards becomes crucial for adopting sustainability.
To ensure fair usage and allocation of EV charging bays, smart parking bollards and parking management systems can be incredibly beneficial. These technologies can:
- Reserve EV charging bays for EVs only, preventing ICEing.
- Monitor the usage of EV charging bays, ensuring they are available when needed.
- Provide real-time data on the availability of charging bays, helping drivers plan their trips and reduce range anxiety.
Property owners can dramatically improve the EV charging experience for their customers, tenants, and visitors by implementing these solutions.
As the worldwide EV industry expands, so does the demand for easily accessible and efficient charging infrastructure. We can make EV charging a convenient and seamless experience by recognising the obstacles and implementing relevant solutions.