Monday, August 14, 2017

"Sorry, your car has too much range to charge here" (WHAT?!)

When I bought my Chevy Volt in 2012, EVs were still very much a rarity (even the Tesla Model S was not yet available), and public EV charging infrastructure was more of a unicorn. Back then, finding a public charging station was a rare instance, and finding an EV actually USING a public charging station that wasn't my own was Mission Impossible.

I was often the only plug-in owner to use local charging stations a few years ago

During those years leading up to my Bolt EV purchase, I had seen online that some battery electric vehicle (BEV) owners grumbled about how Volts shouldn't use public charging stations as they had a gas backup engine and never truly NEEDED to charge, and that all-electric BEV owners should always have priority since they did not have a gas engine backup. Some of these people even refused to call a Volt an EV, and label merely a "hybrid" due to having a gas engine, even though the majority of Volt owners drive most of the time on battery only. I scoffed at these "BEV purists", as my mantra was pretty much "If it has a plug, plug away".

Fast forward 5 years, and my, how things have changed! While EV sales still are barely a rounding error compared to overall auto sales (just 1-2%), the population of EVs has steadily grown over that time period, each new year outpacing the previous year in sales. As the demand for EVs has increased, the infrastructure to support them has also expanded. Now charging stations can be found in many more places, to the point that sometimes I find myself filtering out 240V charging stations on the Plugshare app, as the numerous icons block too much of the map! Finding a public charging station NOT in use is the exception as opposed to the norm these days.

More common occurrence these days

Why do I bring this all up? A few days ago, my wife stopped by the local Whole Foods to opportunity charge while shopping for groceries. The Whole Foods location has 2 free charging stations available for customer use, but one of them has been broken the past 16 months (ridiculous, I know). So with only 1 operational station and no other EVs in sight, the wife plugged the Bolt in and went off to shop.

Bolt local charging...#EVHOLE! Don't mind the 2 Teslas that parked in the EV spaces and were not plugged in

When she came back out to the Bolt, she had found that a silver Prius Plug-in (first generation plug-in with a whopping 13 miles of range) had unplugged her actively charging Bolt and had plugged himself in! No note, no nothing (thanks, jerk!). Appropriately miffed, the wife left a note to the Prius owner informing them she was not finished charging, and didn't appreciate being unplugged.

After being told about what had happened, myself (also being quite miffed) posted about it in a FB Bolt owners group. Most other owners agreed that it was a jerk move for the Prius owner to unplug the actively charging Bolt, but then one member (not even a Bolt owner, but rather a Tesla owner. sigh) chimed in and said that plugging in the Bolt in the first place was the more egregious move than the Prius unplugging my Bolt, since it was a "long range" BEV and shouldn't ever need to local charge and the Prius needed it more (dafuq??). Then he proceeded to call me an #EVHOLE (typically used to describe EV owners than block charging spots without plugging in, or just EV owners acting like a-holes in general). And even went so far as to say if a Bolt was low on charge, they STILL should not local charge because it's the Bolt owner's fault they let the car get to such a low state of charge to begin with.

"The Post"

My reaction to the above comments

I responded to the rather unpleasant fellow by saying that no matter if it is a 13 mile Prius Plug-in or 315 mile Tesla Model S100D, if there is an empty charging spot, any plug-in has the right to use that charging station. And if some low range BEV needing a charge showed up later? Well, too bad buddy, first come first serve. If a low-range BEV owner asked me if they could charge, I would 99% of the time have no problem letting them take the plug (something the Prius owner mentioned above failed to do). But this cavalier belief that there is a pecking order for who has priority over public charging stations is simply ridiculous. As one person put it bluntly in another FB group:

"Nobody has the right to tell me that I cannot charge locally. 
What the F**k? 
I live 8 miles away but only have 5 miles range and KMart has a Free EVSE 2 miles from here. 
Somebody is going to tell me that I can't plug in ? 
They can f**k off. 
I'm gonna charge."

TL;DR version of my blog post: First come, first served for public charging stations; don't be an a-hole and steal plugs from actively charging EVs without permission. And if you DO need to charge, ASK first! And if it is a life or death (riiight) situation and you absolutely need to charge, at least leave a damn note for crying out loud!

More (tongue in cheek) examples of Bolts local charging like #EVHOLES:

Total #EVHOLE here

Another Bolt #EVHOLE

Road tripping Bolt...but WAIT! Probably an #EVHOLE anyways


  1. Doesn't your Bolt send a text message if the charging gets interrupted? Mine does.

  2. "I'm sorry, your Chevy Suburban has a huge tank. You should let the Smart car fill up because you shouldn't be taking so long to fill up." sheesh.

  3. Well said Bro1999. Once you go down the path of trying to justify who’s more entitled to use a charger the arguing can never end. The rule is first come first serve and move your car when it’s done charging. Simple, unambiguous and not up for debate. Anything else is just chaos.