Is Charger Rage The Next New Thing?

One of the benefits for Electrical Vehicle Owners in Australia is that we can see what is coming. Will that make it easier? Probably not. But for some it means they can be prepared. A few years ago, EV websites were full of photos of Superchargers in Europe and the US being ICEd. Now, Australian Facebook EV groups are publishing such photos as EVs become more prevalent (we are now exceeding 2.5% market share of new car sales being electric). And similar suggestions are being made — from outright vandalism of the ICE car, to polite notes on windscreens, to a call for police intervention.

Eventually, it will work out as more chargers are installed and the majority of people learn the new etiquette, as seems to have happened in the mature markets. In the meantime, we need to stay safe and prepare for the next step in evolution. A current comment from a Norwegian reader: “Queuing for charging is quite common place in Norway around vacations. Just about every gas station has chargers and people are sometimes being guided to the “correct” charger. No need to hog a V3 supercharger with an Model S75D which barely can exceed 100KW. Though, I’ve also seen leafs charging on 350KW chargers even if it was almost free AC charging and much cheaper 50KW a few meters away.”

Teslas waiting to charge at Warwick’s fast charger. Patience and courtesy avoids charger rage.

This morning I read an article in Inside EVs discussing the issue of poor behavior at a Supercharger station by Tesla drivers. Will this result in charger rage? Probably. During peak charging times in areas where many drivers need to charge, there is bound to be impatience, rudeness, and probably some bullying behavior. Let’s hope we don’t get to charger rage.

Tesla’s buildout of Superchargers cannot keep pace with the increasing sales of its vehicles. Nor should it. Drivers need to plan trips and, where possible, access other charging solutions. We don’t expect the governments to double the size of the highway just to accommodate peak holiday driving (Brisbane to the Gold Coast is a good example — on Good Friday you need to allow twice the travel time as any other part of the year).

Forecasts for EV uptake in Australia for 2022 vary from 4% to 10%. So, there will be at least 3 times more EVs on the road within the next 12 months. Most of these will be Teslas. There won’t be 3 times as many Superchargers. How do we prepare for this? We need more level 2 chargers in places people park for more than an hour — tourist spots, supermarkets, fast food outlets, strata title buildings, etc.

If we have less dependency on Superchargers, there is less chance of people getting into difficult situations and less chance of “charger rage.”

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