Model 3 - J-1772 Charging Etiquette at Supercharger

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Rey

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#1
Question: What is the etiquette for using non-Tesla chargers in lot with mix of Tesla superchargers and J1772 chargers.

I am a new owner of model 3 and new to EV charging. Yesterday I went to lunch in a restaurant which is located next a lot that includes ~11 Tesla Superchargers and ~2 J-1772 chargers. The J 1772 chargers are free to use and the Superchargers charge $ at their normal rate. There was someone parked in one of J1772 spots, so I went ahead and parked/charged in the one open J1772 spots. At the time there were probably 8 available supercharger slots.

After my ~30 minute lunch I returned to my car to see a note on my windshield. The note basically slammed me for using a non-Tesla slot when Tesla specific superchargers were available and warned me that "Karma" would settle the score. (Luckily the person who left the note did not damage my vehicle).

Honest question... Are Tesla vehicles required to use superchargers (which cost money) when free option is available to ensure non-Tesla vehicles have more available slots to them? I am interested in people's opinion... as I honestly want to do the right thing.
 

TrevP

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#2
Nobody, despite that note suggests, says you're obligated to use the Superchargers. Electrons are electrons. What you may have experienced is a non-Tesla EV owner jealous of the Superchargers, which they can't use, and they're taking it out on you.

Don't worry about it, use what you feel comfortable using but I would advise a dashcam if you feel that vandalism could be an issue.

Cheers
 

garsh

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#3
After my ~30 minute lunch I returned to my car to see a note on my windshield. The note basically slammed me for using a non-Tesla slot when Tesla specific superchargers were available and warned me that "Karma" would settle the score. (Luckily the person who left the note did not damage my vehicle).
The person who left the note was in the wrong. You have every right to use the free charging stations.

But this is one of the many problems with public charging. There aren't enough. You can't rely on them to be available when you need one. Unfortunately for your note writer, it wasn't available for him to use, and he took it out on you.
 
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#4
There are a few free j1772 chargers around me. One is the a shared chargepoint station (meaning it splits 32 amps between 2 cars, max 30 amps to one car) and gives the "good stuff" (240V). The other is free for an hour and only gives 20A at 192V. I've talked to other EV owners at both (when I had both the Tesla and the cmax PHEV).

The free-for-an-hour one is best for PHEV given its limited output and limited (free) charge time. The shared station is best for charging any real EV alone (as most real EV can take all 30A @ 240V).

It is extremely rare that anyone uses either charger b/c they can't get home. Nearly everyone is opportunistically charging. I've only been unplugged three times out of hundreds of charges over the last 5 years and that was only the cmax. Once was a PIP (prius plug in) unplugged me (why! your aren't stuck and are in same boat as the cmax); one was a fusion plug in who sat in it claiming he was stuck as fuel filter was clogged; and one was a leaf who was empty (which IMO should yank any PHEV or long-range EV like tesla). All three unplugs were at the free-for-an-hour charger.

I've rarely seen model s, never seen model x at either (probably due to free supercharging). There are at least one other model 3 using the chargepoint (per its "history" log in the app) as well as a bmw, honda, and a couple bolts as well as every PHEV under sun). Other than those 3 unplugs no one ever yelled at me, left a note, or damaged my car.

Note: at chargepoint with tesla, I avoid using it in evening unless I am only car actively charging. Point of it is to get 30 amps, and if there is anyone else its only getting 16 so not worth the time. Everyone with real EV seems to do same and its easier for me to leave due to long tesla range.

My suspicion is the person who left the note does not know that model 3 does not get free supercharger and thus felt slighted that you blocked one of "his" spots. As he is probably opportunistically charging too he'd probably cool down once he knows thats the only way for model 3 to get free juice. Problem is how to communicate that.
 

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#5
I agree with the prior comments that you were under no obligation to use the Tesla chargers, but I think that under the circumstances, I would have used one of the Tesla chargers just to accommodate non-Tesla vehicles.
 
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BostonPilot

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I agree with the prior comments that you were under no obligation to use the non-Tesla chargers, but I think that under the circumstances, I would have used one of the Tesla chargers just to accommodate non-Tesla vehicles.
Yeah, I'm going to disagree with most of the people here (and agree with Tchris's sentiment)... If someone couldn't charge because you could have charged at a Tesla charger but chose not to... That feels a bit wrong. Not saying it's like being ICE'd, but somewhat the same feeling.

We have a Volt for my daughters and I encourage them not to charge away from home unless there are a lot of free chargers since they can make it home on gas if they need to... Is there anything terribly wrong with plugging in a PHEV? No, but again... feels a bit wrong if it means someone is going to have range anxiety getting home in their BEV...

One of the reasons to order a M3 with the big battery is so that I can do 99.99999% of my charging at home, and really only have to charge on a road trip. Topping off to get free electricity wouldn't enter my mind... Electricity isn't that expensive. And again, if getting $2.00 worth of free electricity means someone else will have range anxiety going home... it's just not worth it. I definitely don't want a Tesla vs BEVs thing. We should all be helping to promote BEVs... Courtesy at the charging stations is something we should all strive for.
 

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#7
I disagree as well. The other cars can ONLY use a J1772. We Tesla owners have a choice. Why should we block J1772 outlets that they may need?

Arguing that the other cars present (C-Max, Volt, whatever) didn't need the J1772 at that time is exactly the same as an ICE driver justifying blocking a Supercharger because "there weren't any Teslas there".

And a Tesla grabbing a free J1772 slow charge when there are Superchargers available is clearly "opportunistic" charging. If you really needed a significant you'd go to the Supercharger, not a slow 26-mile-per-hour J1772 outlet. So you're blocking a space that other cars may need, just because you can. That's not the intention for EV charging spaces.

Leave the J1772 outlets to the people who need them and can't use anything else. That's the right thing to do.
 

jsmay311

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IMO a relevant detail missing here is what were the circumstances for needing a charge.

Were you in the middle of a trip and actually needed a charge to get to your destination? Or was this just an opportunity to get a free charge in your neighborhood and save a buck?

And do you have a place to charge regularly at work or home? Or do you rely on public charging for 100% of your charging?

Generally, I would tend to think that the "right thing" would be to try not to take the last available non-proprietary plug if there wasn't a compelling reason to do so. Non-Tesla BEV owners have much shorter ranges and don't have the Supercharger network to rely on, so they might find themselves needing a charge to comfortably get to their destination. (It's equally likely that the note-writer didn't "need" a charge and just wanted to save a buck too. Although they may not have realized that Model 3's don't get free Supercharging.)
 

Ed Woodrick

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#10
I think that the answer to this one is pretty easy. When plugging in a Model 3 to J-1772 you got maybe 20 miles in 30 minutes. Did you really need it or did you plug in, just because it was empty? If you needed, it, then you probably could have gotten a lot more for only 5 minutes and maybe a buck on the Supercharger.

So, what you did was probably make it slower for the J-1772 cars, that don't have other options to charge. But then again, it's a J-1772, you generally aren't going to get much off of it in an hour. But remember, you may get 20 miles on a vehicle with a range of 300 miles, an older Leaf gets 20 miles on a car that only has an 80 mile range. It's a 25% charge for them, less than 5% for you.

So, no, there are no rules, yes, etiquette has been created and as someone with both a Leaf and Model 3, I would be a little perturbed that a Model 3 has taken 1 of the 2 spots (and part of the power) that I could use to get home, as opposed to a Model 3 that plugged in just to get free electricity.

A little more info is that it is a J-1772 charger. Some Leafs only support the J-1772, but most also support DC Fast Charging with CHADEMO. But CHADEMO are a lot fewer than J-1772 (but similar to Superchargers) and charge a lot faster. J-1772, in general, only support long term charging. While so many drug and grocery stores have installed J-1772 chargers, they aren't really useful unless you stay for a long time, like hotels or movies.

In short, you may have saved a buck, but made it harder for someone to get home.
 

garsh

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#11
Problem is how to communicate that.
You can always leave a note in your window explaining that if someone arrives and needs a charge, that they should feel free to unplug your car to do so. This assumes that the charging cable is long enough to reach an adjacent parking space.

Another tactic is to leave a cell phone number instructing anybody to text you if they need a charge, and you'll come out and move your car. That puts a bit more burden on you, and requires that the other party wait for you to come back to your car.
 
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LUXMAN

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Well, coming from driving a LEAF for the last 5 years, I have a different take than the last few posts.
I have been ICEd and that is a different story, but as long as a BEV was using the charger I was OK with it, even if it was a TESLA.
(Now at the Airport here, Teslas just park and use up the electric spaces and don't charge and that P@#ses me off!)

I bought the LEAF. I knew its limits and if I exceeded them, I did it at my own peril. I know the charge network is still thin. So if someone gets bent outta shape about you using a J1772 on an opportunity basis, they either did not plan ahead or don't really know how it all works. But there is no reason @Rey should have to pay to use the supercharger if the free one is right there. Heck that guy was probably just trying to do the same.
The way I look at it is these businesses put these chargers there for us to use and entice us to shop there. So use it. Then if they see it is being used and think that pulls in more revenue, then maybe that will spread. So yes, I opportunity charge every time I can. At Whole Foods, at the Airport, at Kohls and the Mills Mall. That is what they are there for.

If you really feel bad about it, use one of the hang tags that tells someone it is ok to unplug you. But never feel bad about charging your electric car.

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Derik

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#13
It's a tough call. I can see it going either way, but I think I'd still use the free charger if it was open and I'm only going to be parked there for an hour or so. Now if you parked there to get a full charge and took it over for 9 hours, that would be a different story.
But in the end a free charger is a free charger. I'm pretty sure there wasn't a sign on there that says "NO TESLA CHARGING"
 

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#14
I like threads like this one, because we aren't all just singing Kumbaya about how much we like this car, but shows a topic where we have many different opinions.

I think one thing I haven't seen said, is that there is some education needed for the non Tesla folks. That education is that most of us with Model 3's don't get the free supercharging which has long been known to be there for the S and the X. With that being said, I think it's every car for themselves when it comes to free juice, since the 3 has to pay. However, if you are just trying to save a buck at home and charge for 30 minutes while at lunch on a limited charger, well I think you are being a cheapskate. Buying an EV doesn't mean you get to free load, although there are some businesses which want to provide free juice to bring you in. Guess what, I avoid those businesses as I'm not there to support anyone else's driving habits.

In this particular situation, if you weren't out of juice and could make it back to work and then home, I think it is wrong, regardless of free or pay, with a SC next door. That is simply my opinion, you don't have to agree with me or attack me, but I think you need to seriously consider the situation and what you did, because you already noted you were lucky they didn't also damage your car. Is your car worth it? What happens the next time and maybe you aren't so lucky? How much damage do you have to repair because you wanted 30 minutes of free juice?

On the topic of free juice, I think anyone driving a Tesla should have a plan to charge at home. We've moved beyond the Leaf and must have a charge at every block to make it a mile and get home. These are everyday cars with ability to make it 300 miles. If you depend on a charge to survive because you don't have the infrastructure at home, then you need to use a Supercharger. It is huge savings over a gas car already, you need to have a plan to have your own infrastructure or pay up at a SC to get your juice.
 

Rich Nuth

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We use our home charging almost all the time. I have only used a public J1772 charger in Estes Park (pre-supercharger days) since the trip up and back was more than I could handle in my model X without some charging away from home. The charger wasn't free, but not expensive either. There was never any problem with Tesla's using this charger along with other EVs.

But, there is now a supercharger in Estes Park. I won't be using the J1772 charger any longer because my time is worth more to me than the low cost of electricity. My choice is to take advantage of the fast charging and leave the slow charger available for others.
 

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#16
First, the top poster did the correct thing, and the person leaving the note is a blowhard. Not only do the Superchargers cost us money, but we will be fined for leaving our car there while we go eat, as it will get idle fees when it finishes charging much faster than I do.

Second, a very common issue I see with the J1772 charges is folks leaving their cars there long after they are fully charged, or plug-in hybrids are left there for hours when they have no need to be there. This is only solved by having more chargers than demand (that will never happen), posting a sign with a few hour time limit and enforcing it (good luck), or charging idle fees at ALL chargers including the free ones, as I once requested from Chargepoint.

And I will reiterate @LUXMAN 's suggestion of making use of the Evannex charge tags to tell folks what you are doing and your cell number. I keep some in my glovebox.
https://evannex.com/products/charging-hang-tag-courtesy-notice-package
 

LUXMAN

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#17
First, the top poster did the correct thing, and the person leaving the note is a blowhard. Not only do the Superchargers cost us money, but we will be fined for leaving our car there while we go eat, as it will get idle fees when it finishes charging much faster than I do.

Second, a very common issue I see with the J1772 charges is folks leaving their cars there long after they are fully charged, or plug-in hybrids are left there for hours when they have no need to be there. This is only solved by having more chargers than demand (that will never happen), posting a sign with a few hour time limit and enforcing it (good luck), or charging idle fees at ALL chargers including the free ones, as I once requested from Chargepoint.

And I will reiterate @LUXMAN 's suggestion of making use of the Evannex charge tags to tell folks what you are doing and your cell number. I keep some in my glovebox.
https://evannex.com/products/charging-hang-tag-courtesy-notice-package
Re idle fees. Our company actually does this. There are several chargepoint units they installed at the HQ buildings. They are free for 5 hours. After that they at $5 an hour for a Max charge of $20.
 
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#19
I think current etiquette should dictate you use the Tesla Superchargers in this case. Put yourself in the non-Tesla EV driver's shoes. They basically felt like they were getting ICE'd in this situation. While I don't agree with the tone of their note they left you, with the current network of limited charging stations we should still be making our best effort to open up spaces for other drivers.

Just my two cents. Good topic for discussion.
 

Dr. J

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My brother drives a POS Leaf, lives in an apartment with no charging option, and so makes Herculean efforts to get any juice. Do I really want to block him or someone like him from the only available J-1772 when I have 10 available slots for my Model 3? No, I do not. I would take one of the available Supercharger slots and pay a couple of bucks for juice.

I am troubled by the idea of using the slow charger to avoid idling fees at the Supercharger. This is backward thinking because charging slots are (still) scarce.
 
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