While electric vehicle sales are not exactly taking South Africa by storm, the fact this technology is going to become an increasingly larger part of motoring life in the country brings with it a new set of rules of engagement.
Nissan has crafted the EV Driver Etiquette– a one-stop manual for EV drivers outlining these changes.
“The electrified driving experience is constantly evolving as technology develops, so the established rules of the road may not always lend themselves to electric car drivers’ habits” says Brice Fabry, Zero Emission & Ecosystem Manager at Nissan Europe.
“Attitudes to personal mobility are rapidly changing. It is crucial we make the driving experience enjoyable and accommodating for all drivers as we increasingly embrace electric mobility and help each other forward.”
The Nissan EV Driver Etiquette
1. Sharing is caring
Lend a helping hand by sharing your own tips on local public charging points with friends and family or use apps and forums to pool your advice with tips from fellow EV drivers in the local area. With the Nissan Charge app, you can help everyone in the EV community by advising which points are the best, helping them to plan any necessary long journeys with ease.
2. Consider your fellow EV enthusiasts
Avoid unplugging other drivers’ EVs at public charging points and if you have a charging point at home, consider offering it to your neighbour in a way that is safe and compliant. It is crucial we all continue to be kind to others. 88% of people prioritise charging at home, so sharing your charging spot if needed could go a long way and might make someone’s day.
3. Avoid ICEing and a frosty reception
Just as you would avoid parking at an unused fuel pump, save everyone the hassle by not parking in an EV charging spot if you don’t intend to use the charger.
As disabled drivers require the use of their designated spaces, EV drivers need their own spots to charge. If you do need to charge your electric car, be considerate and think how long you need to charge it for; at a public CHAdeMO rapid charging point, you can charge the 40 kWh Nissan LEAF and 62 kWh LEAF e+ from 20% to 80% in just 60 minutes and 90 minutes, respectively.
4. Take good care of your battery
Avoid leaving your EV at low battery level for a long time to ensure battery capacity and minimize the impact on driving range. If possible, park in a closed tempered place.
5. Plan your recharge
If you’re planning a longer journey, plot out your route first and make use of mapping services to see available charging points along the way.
Planning ahead always pays off; it goes a long way to making a lengthy trip even easier. There are some really useful tools to help you do this; the Nissan Charge app provides the price and availability of charging points in real time, allowing you to be flexible.
6. Don’t need much power? Leave a friendly note
If you don’t need to charge for very long at a public charging point, why not leave a nice note on the windshield or the charger for the next EV drivers to let them know how long it will take you, or at what time you are coming back.
We all need to use public services in a timely manner and charging points are not the exception, so write a note saying you’re happy for the next EV driver to unplug your car – if the type of charging source allows it – you’re guaranteed to put a smile on their face!
7. Check your tyres and driving settings
To maximise power efficiency, switch on your car’s energy-saving modes and ensure your tyres are inflated to the manufacturer-recommended level.
You can boost the efficiency of your electric car with a couple of quick steps. Choosing the appropriate drive mode is key. With the Nissan LEAF, you can choose Eco-Mode to optimise your journey, recommended for city driving. Also, Nissan’s unique technology e-Pedal to accelerate, and decelerate your LEAF using one pedal only optimises regenerative braking and lets the car do the work. Activating the LEAF’s B mode further enhances regenerative braking, providing even more energy on the move.
8. Explore the range of available charging options
An electric car is like a sleeping cat; it’s inactive for 20 hours every day, make the most of this time. Whether it’s rapid public charging point, an installed wall unit at home, or a standard domestic plug, you can effortlessly charge your electric car wherever you can access mains power – just like your smartphone.
9. Look after your local charging points
Just as you would take care of your charging solutions at home, take care of your local public charging infrastructure to ensure it operates faultlessly and at its fastest.