Range Confidence: Charge Fast, Drive Far, with your Electric Car

By David Herron

Last Update: March 30, 2019

Public charging station blocked? What to do, including a J1772 extension cord

Copyright Range Confidence: Charge Fast, Drive Far, on Electricity
An issue plaguing people using public electric car charging stations is when a gasoline car is parked in front of the station. This prevents electric car drivers from using the charging station, hence preventing recharging, and can understandably make the stymied electric car owner angry. It is bad etiquette to block a charging station, but some either don't care and seek to purposely block charging stations, or else they don't know better. There are legal actions electric car owners can take to work around the problem.

For a complete writeup on charging station etiquette -- Charging station etiquette - effectively sharing limited electric car charging resources

It is out of line and inappropriate for an electric car owner to take the law into their own hands. Some believe they should slash the tires or otherwise damage the car that's blocking the charging station. That is illegal. Others believe in the right to park behind the car blocking the charging station. That is likely to be blocking a lane of traffic, and is therefore illegal. Others point to instances where firefighters have broken car windows to route a fire hose through a car blocking a fire hydrant. That's an interesting analogy, but fire fighters are literally facing an emergency situation and have to do what they have to do. An individual breaking someone car windows is guilty of vandalism or breaking and entering.

Don't be that person. Be the smart person.

J1772 extension cords

Instead consider these products

Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual
Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual:
NEMA L6-20 Extension Cord - 15 Foot, 20A/250V, 12/3 SJOOW - Iron Box Part # IBX-4803-15
NEMA L6-20 Extension Cord - 15 Foot, 20A/250V, 12/3 SJOOW - Iron Box Part # IBX-4803-15:
Camco 55175 18 inch PowerGrip Dogbone Electrical Adapter with Handle
Camco 55175 18 inch PowerGrip Dogbone Electrical Adapter with Handle:
Stanley 31626 Grounded 250-volt Heavy Duty Appliance Pro Extension Cord, 6-Feet, Gray
Stanley 31626 Grounded 250-volt Heavy Duty Appliance Pro Extension Cord, 6-Feet, Gray:
Third Rock Energy EV Electric Vehicle Portable Charger Type 2 13A, 250V 7 Metre UK plug
Third Rock Energy EV Electric Vehicle Portable Charger Type 2 13A, 250V 7 Metre UK plug:
P1 Autocare EV/ Electric Vehicle Charging Cable, 32 Amps, 5 Meters, Type 2 to Type 2, 3 phase
P1 Autocare EV/ Electric Vehicle Charging Cable, 32 Amps, 5 Meters, Type 2 to Type 2, 3 phase:
AC WORKS Electric Vehicle Charging Adapter for Tesla Use (L6-30 30A 250V Locking to Tesla)
AC WORKS Electric Vehicle Charging Adapter for Tesla Use (L6-30 30A 250V Locking to Tesla):

They are J1772 extension cords. They are designed to plug into the charging station cord and extend its reach.

With a blocked J1772 charging station, there is probably a nearby parking stall that is unoccupied. Then, you pull this cord out of your trunk, attaching it to the charging station cord, and plugging it into your car. With luck it will reach and everything will be fine.

The JLong has a particularly useful feature. It supports being used with a lock, so that the cord is firmly attached to your car and is therefore unlikely to be stolen.

Warning/informational cards

It is possible to leave a note on the car blocking the charging station.

It is possible the driver of that car simply does not know the pain they are causing.

It is preferable to be kind rather than vitriolically nasty.

On the charging etiquette page are some preprinted cards useful for either a) instructing someone about charging station etiquette, or b) requesting charging assistance

See: Charging station etiquette - effectively sharing limited electric car charging resources

Contacting authorities

The owners of the facility should be notified of the problem. A parking lot owner probably doesn't care about electric car owners. But they might start caring if electric car owners speak up every time the charging station is blocked.

Again, being nice but firm is the best approach rather than flying off the handle with anger.

In most areas it is illegal to block a charging station.


Range Confidence is Copyright © 2016-17 by David Herron

About the Author(s)

David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.

Public charging station blocked? What to do, including a J1772 extension cord

Copyright Range Confidence: Charge Fast, Drive Far, on Electricity
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