At my workplace, several Electric Vehicle charging stations have recently been installed in the company owned parking lot. And they are signed similarly to this:

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Specifically, they call out that the space is for charging vehicles but the signs don't attempt to restrict parking to EV vehicles only or even charging EV vehicles only.

I'm not currently an EV owner, but have considered getting one in the near future as my existing vehicle is again and maintenance costs may dictate purchasing a newer vehicle instead.

EV stations are a relatively new phenomenon for my area, and I was wanting to know what the correct etiquette is for using the associated parking spaces.

So far, I have seen a variety of uses which has included some electric vehicles parked and charging all day; flex vehicles parked but not charging; and fossil fuel vehicles occupying the parking space.

To my knowledge, there aren't any local laws dictating what should be done.

Compounding my concern is that the EV charging spaces were placed in a lot that was already tight on parking spaces to begin with. It's a medium sized company and spaces can be scarce in the company lot. But I'll note that the charging spots are a medium distance (not the closest, not the farthest) from the building.

After I have an electric vehicle, what's the appropriate way to use those parking spaces?
If I need to charge my vehicle, may I safely leave my vehicle there all day? What if the vehicle doesn't need to be charged and there aren't any other spaces open in the lot?

  • I dunno why you posted this in Workplace... I would say though, use the parking space if there is no others available, but if you can avoid taking up the EV charging station if you do not need to charge your vehicle (whether that be you're using fossil fuels, or have a full charge)
    – Mike
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 20:58
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    How long does it take to charge a car, on average? "An hour" and "all day" might yield different answers. Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 22:41
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    @MonicaCellio, depends on the charging station, but the ones fitted in an office will likely take 8 to 12 hours for a full charge.
    – CLockeWork
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 8:06
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    @CLockeWork Good point. OP's company allows employees to charge their EV's, but it's for charging, not parking (note the difference). OP's company should enforce rules they've set by asking EV owners to move their car if they're using charging-spots while not neccessary. Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 8:56
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    @EdwinLambregts it sounds like parking spaces had charging stations added to them, not that they built out new spaces, so I can see ambiguity. It's kind of like the handicapped stall in the restrooms (but for hours rather than minutes); you don't use that if you don't need to and anything else is available, but if that's all that's there do you stand there and wait just in case someone who comes in who needs it, or do you use it? Some might see these spaces like that. Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 12:48

3 Answers 3


I own an electric car and it has been a source of frustration where some charging station spots are not respected.

There's a lot about electric car etiquette available but of course it only works when people want it to work. Generally, you should leave these spaces vacant where possible, so charge and get out. My Leaf has an accompanying app so I know when it's finished.

I would say given the size of the company that as an individual it would be tough to make a difference to people parking their non-electric cars there.

  • In terms of what you could do is attempt to spur either a company-wide message by a group like HR or use your intranet (if you have one) to discuss it on the forum.
  • Individuals could be swayed by polite messages that electric car owners utilise - a note on the bonnet that says "Hey I need to charge my car. If you're leaving, please send me a text"
  • Whilst the spaces are under-utilised by electric cars it also makes it tougher for non-electric car owners to justify not taking the space. The "I'm only taking one" attitude is play. Getting an electric car and parking it there regularly might help change these behaviours.

Commute distance may also be a point of consideration - do you need to charge in work? My Leaf does on average ~75 miles per full charge, would that you get to work and back? If so, you could drive to work, charge if viable and otherwise not worry about you co-worker's behaviours.


I'd say it's obvious: It's a charging station. Any other use of the space denies people the ability to charge their car. And with a (still very) limited network of charging stations that would be quite rude.

How would you feel if your battery was almost empty and a nearby charging station was occupied by someone not charging?

[Edited to add]

Same goes for parking at the place that has a gas pump - you wouldn't do that.

Maybe it all boils down to: how do we make it work best for the maximum number of people - not just you.

That includes: Once your car is charged, you move it to another spot.

  • Or if an electric vehicle was occupying a spot that had a gas pump?
    – Brian
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 21:06
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    Depends on his jurisdiction, but if that is the only spot left available, I can't see it being that huge of an issue to just park there. It's more trouble for him to have to go to a whole different parking lot, and unless he's breaking some kind of law, or workplace mandate, then I think it should be fine.
    – Mike
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 21:15
  • To confirm, are you saying that once your car is charged, you should go down and move it to make room for someone else? Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 22:10
  • There's also a premium on spaces, so it may very well not be practical to never use the space.
    – Andy
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 0:13
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    @starsplusplus Yes. Common courtesy.
    – user8036
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 7:17

This California law requires the vehicle parked in the charging stall to actually be plugged in to legally park there. New York City has a law that will make 20% of spots electric capable, but I could see nothing about who could park there.

If there is no law for your jurisdiction, I would say that you should leave those spots for cars actually in need of charging unless there are no other spots in the garage/lot.


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