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Etiquette at Private Charging Sites

If there is a sign at a charging location that says not for public use, please don’t use.

Longer Version:
My company has two chargers installed at my office. They’ve been kind to do this and allow me to charge my car there. This is on private property with signs clearly indicating that the chargers are for company use only.

This morning, I find a brand new P85 in one of the spots. No problem, maybe an emergency charge was needed, maybe they didn’t see the signs, maybe… I leave a nice note on the windshield letting them know this site is only for company use; contact me if you have any questions. The reply I get back about floors me…

“I am entitled to charge here!” is the summary.
“I have been charging here overnight and plan to continue to do so”.
“My car is done charging by 4am so it doesn’t affect the charging of your car”.
“Your site is listed on the web so I can use”. (The site is listed on “recargo” and “plugshare”; some well intended folks noted the location and I clearly updated the description with notes indicating is it NOT for public use).

After another few email exchanges, this person flat tells me “I am going to continue to charge here every night and you can’t stop me”. I leave this conversation to be continued by our building security folks now. Understand that this is private property, we have posted that trespassing is forbidden, cars can be towed, etc. This is getting ugly.

Now, our company president is involved and thinks we shouldn’t install chargers for our company employees.

I am appalled that one of our group has taken this attitude; this makes EV drivers look ridiculous.

PLEASE, respect signage. Do NOT use chargers on private property unless allowed. Please be courteous.

@homebreww, you are too nice. It will be a shame if your company takes away the chargers. Keep us posted of future development.
Jerks comes in all colors and stripes, nothing says you are disqualified to buy a Tesla, sad.

I think the posts that suggest damage to the car are not helpful. Don't stoop. I do think that you have more than enough evidence to take him to small claims court to pay for the electricity used. This could go toward making the electricity metered in the future. He may even want to work out a deal that he pays a monthly fee to park there...I'm assuming he may rent in the area and can't get electricity to his home. I don't know if that would work for your employers, but I'm just trying to imagine the scenario that would cause someone to have to have such an inconvenient solution to charging.

Seriously homebreww, post his VIN and the email thread. We can shame him/her! That is a bit vindictive though. At least get the car towed.

@bsimoes, the problem is that, assuming that homebreww has not embellished the story, this mystery Model S owner's behavior is disgusting. Supposing it was me that did this, and then I received the note from homebreww. I would either apologize, and not park there again, or else I would apologize and ask if it's possible to work out something as you suggest, like a rental fee, or even just ask nicely like, "Hey, I'm really in a bind. There's no electrician available to install a charger at home for two months, and I basically can't drive anywhere for two months unless I could use your charger, which is the only one around within walking distance. Would it be okay if I just used it for the next two months? I would really appreciate your permission to use it. I'll have donust delivered to your office every Wednesday!"

What I wouldn't do is act like I own the world.

Please tow this guy's car AND complain to the police. You've already done your due dilligence by attempting to contact the person and handle it on your own. The person responded by being an unreasonable %$#*!$$.

Tow. But my fantasy option would be to put a bycycle cable lock through one spoke on his rear driverside wheel with the cable going through the charge cord it so he sees it. And a note telling him how much you look forward to his appology.

Better to tow though...

What type/brand of charging stations is this? If it a Chargepoint, it was mentioned earlier about restricting only to the organization, this will certainly work.
If it is a generic station like a Clipper Creek, Leviton etc, they should have a timer/demand provision inside the unit in the form of a connection inside the unit. How they normally work is that a time grounds that timer wire which inhibits charging, when it is open the unit works just like it normally should. A simple alarm style keyed switch could easily close that circuit. Just make copies of the key and give it to the people who should be using it as well as an extra one at the reception desk. Then you just put the key in, turn it to the open position, the EVSE goes to ready then you plug in. When your done, unplug, key in, off position, remove key and go. Problem solved all for about $10 in parts.

what if they don't like donusts?

Everybody likes donusts !!!!

Home Depot sells a few EV chargers that have RFID access. For a company, I think ChargePoint is the way to go though.

Well it's you company property - park car right in front of him not leaving any space and go on vacation. See what happens.

I completely follow your "let's work something out" concept; that was the intent of my note and reply to his email. I'm confident that with some constructive discussion, we could have figured it out.

We now turn off the chargers at night so I don't expect a return. If he does return, he will not be greeted kindly.

New chargers are being ordered, with RFID.

I found out our company office manager called the trespasser and was rudely treated.

The emails I exchanged with the trespasser were sent from the his work address; the office manager followed up by contacting his company, asking why their representative was behaving this way. This was a foolish way to represent his company when you view the email thread between he and myself.

Good to hear your office manager is informing that jerk's bosses about his asinine behavoir. It's also good to hear that your companies chargers aren't being yanked, just upgraded.

I would just like to say that you might want to drop a word of warning in your security guys ears; if that jerk feels aggrevied he might come back to cause some mischief. Wouldn't hurt for you and your security guys to be a little more vigalent for a month or so, just in case.

I guess I'm confused both here and from personal experience. Re: here, obviously the mystery charger has some issues, but why would anyone post a private charger on a public website (with or without comments) unless you are looking to deceive the public and cause harm? If you want your employees to know, send a memo. Re: my personal experience, I drove to Boston last month (320mi RT) on a well planned trip using Chargepoint app. When I got to the garage with two unused chargers (with no comments other than being available) I was told it was a private lot and I could not enter. I don't know if a vote is needed here and a call by every Model S owner to every charger website, but my vote is to never, ever post a charger on a publicly available website (with or without comments) if it is not a publicly available charger (or on a member website if not available to members), and if you do you are liable for any resulting damage to or towing for the EV you have invited and turned away.

I think Homebreww was unambiguous in his comments, neither he nor his company listed their chargers on any website as public access. Some other helpful soul listed the charging site and Homebreww has made a note on the entry of their non public status as that is all he is able to do, although I'm sure he could email the sites moderator and request the station be delisted.

@village33, anyone can add an entry to, and once a site has been added, I don't think it can be removed.

No one "invited" this person to park there.

It doesn't really matter what's on The point is someone is violating someone else's property. Some independent website doesn't give anyone the right to do that.

Recargo needs to fix that. Now pranksters can claim that there is a charger anywhere and send people on wild goose chases.

I think that EV's have arrived and it can't be treated like a small community/club anymore.

specific to chargepoint chargers they are listed on their website regardless of availability. it's left up to the users to rate each charger. when i first got my car i drove around and checked out all the local chargepoint chargers and rated them. one of the chargers was in a locked and gated DOT parking lot, not available to the public.

@olanmills, I take your point that the post is ambiguous as to whether the well intentioned folks who posted the charger to the recargo site were employees or were not employees of the charger owner. Given my conversation with Chargepoint (which may be different than recargo), I assumed the former as Chargepoint claimed only the charger owner can post to the website and further, unbelievably, Chargepoint can see internally which chargers are private but that that note field is not available to users. I don't defend the mystery charger here. This is a bigger problem we all need to fix or understand if we're going to get locked out of seemingly public charging stations.

@Captain_Zap - I don't know how you crowdsource reporting available chargers and verifying they are supposed to be public, other than crowdsourcing that verification as well -- which is what Plugshare does and I presume Recargo (I haven't used it other than initially, and deciding I liked Plugshare better).

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