Rude or fair? Footage of stranger unplugging someone else's electric car goes viral
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As more people welcome electric cars into their lives, the world of EV etiquette becomes more of a talking point.
Of course, if you're a Tesla or Nissan Leaf owner from way back, the ins and outs of what not to do with an EV are well known. But most of these things are completely foreign to new EV owners. And, at no place is EV etiquette more important than when it comes to the use of public chargers.
A video from the US of one EV owner unplugging another owner's EV while it was still charging has spawned plenty of debate over whether it's appropriate to meddle with another person's car.
Now, there's a few things to unpack first.
The footage is recorded from a Tesla Model 3 via its Sentry Mode. Normally, a Tesla cannot be unplugged without the presence of its key. However, this Tesla was reportedly plugged into a public level two charging station as opposed to a Supercharger. The adapter Tesla's use to connect to these chargers does not lock.
Also, it's been claimed by the car's owner that it had only been plugged in for 15 minutes; not necessarily enough to have charged it to 80 per cent or higher. But, this is just the Tesla owner's word.
“Her two young girls and husband were watching as she demonstrates her selfishness,” said the car owner in the video's description. “I do not show the family in the video. I was using the Tesla charger adapter which did not lock into the charger cord. She tried jiggling a plug out of another car before she came upon mine. The great majority of people in this area are very polite. Not Mrs. Unplug!”
Now, closer to home I had a plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander test vehicle unplugged once by an EV owner while it was charging. That was slightly different, though, in that the Outlander had just ticked over being charged to its maximum.
In that instance, I'd sway in favour of the unplug-ee. The amount of chargers out there is not infinite, and people need to show more caring for one another as the infrustructure becomes more common.
But, unplugging someone else's car in its early phase? it just isn't cricket.