Article | Guide

Your guide to EV charging etiquette

08 Mar 2024

Seven simple courtesies that can make EV charging better for everyone in public

If you’re new to public EV charging, it’s normal to have a few questions when you pull into your first public charging site. Questions like, how should you charge? Will everyone know you’re the new kid on the EV block? Should you always share a charger, if you can? (Quick answer to that one – no.)

This little list will get you clued up fast on charging site do’s and don’ts, what to expect in return from your fellow EV drivers, and may give you a faster, better charging experience overall. Let’s take a look. After you. No, after you.

1. Remember charging spots are for charging

Public charging spots are there to get EV drivers topped up. So once your EV has reached your preferred state of charge (find out why a maximum charge of 80% is considered good charging) or your charging session is done, promptly unplug the charging cable and move your vehicle. This will free up your bay to let someone else have a turn.

Tip: If you do want a longer break, many of our chargers are near cafes, shops and restaurants. So, if you’d like to linger after charging, simply switch from your charging bay to a general parking spot.

2. Keep an eye on the time

If you grab a coffee or bite to eat while you charge, aim to get back to your car just before the charge finishes, so your car isn’t sitting idle while others wait to use the charge. This will help to reduce other people’s waiting time and avoid unnecessary queues. Stick to posted time limits or guidelines for parking and charging, too.

3. Be a considerate parker

When you pull into a charging station, make sure you’re not blocking any other bays so that other EV drivers can still get to charging spots next to or near yours. And of course, don’t park in a space designated for EV charging if you’re in a non-electric car.

4. If you spot a problem, tell us

We monitor all our bp pulse chargers, but sometimes faults do occur. If you think a charger isn’t working as effectively as it should please contact our customer care team at to report the issue. The quicker we hear about it, the faster we can get people charging again.

Find out more about public EV charging

We'll keep your electric vehicle moving as you travel around the UK with our network of charging points—so you can plug in, power up, and go.

5. Using the right charger can speed everyone along

You may know that different makes and models of EVs charge at different speeds. Usually, the higher the kW on a car, the quicker it can charge. (This article explains why.) If you’re at a shared charging station with multiple connectors, and your EV has a lower kW and charges at a slower rate, consider allowing faster-charging vehicles to use priority charging spots or connectors. This could help reduce any waiting times for drivers, if your chosen charging station is busy.

6. Sharing isn’t always caring

When it comes to sharing a single charger, it can actually be more generous to not go halves, if you can avoid it. This is because when two EVs share a single charger, the speed of the charging across both can drop as power is shared across each vehicle. If you have a choice of charging bays, it’s best to select a charger that’s not in use. If you don’t, take the sharing bay, and be prepared for a slightly longer charging wait.

7. For good charging karma, do some prep

Finding your charging spots and routes ahead of time can be a good way to avoid busy or peak charging times and places. You might not crack this all at once, of course, but get to know your charging speed, the range of your EV and how long it can go on a single charge. Being in the know on the charging available near you won't just help you get to the beach, school reunion or meeting on time, but may help you skip the odd queue or delay, which is an act of consideration for everyone on the road.

We hope this little guide to charging etiquette has helped. For more EV charging that’s got your back, think bp pulse. Remember you can find chargers near you by downloading our app, while our live map will show you what is available to use, with regular updates.

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