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Etiquette for EV hospitality

InvertedVee Posts: 162 Forumite
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edited 6 March 2023 at 10:53AM in Energy
I have a 7kW EV charger but no EV. I pay a standard electricity tariff (EPG rate of 33.73p/kWh).

A friend who is much wealthier than me came to visit yesterday. He was 2 hours late for the lunch we had prepared because his shiny new Nissan Leaf hadn't charged properly overnight and he had to queue at a service station to get enough charge to make the 60-mile journey to see us.

He asked to charge his Leaf at our house and I was glad to help. (The charge point was provided by the house-builder and has never been used to charge a car before). When he left, he was pleased that his car was fully charged and off he went. He didn't offer to pay for the electricity he used and I was too embarrassed to ask.

This morning I looked at the electricity meter and saw that his Leaf took 33kWh of charge, which is more than we use in a whole week of normal use - it cost me over £11.

My guess is that that because he doesn't have to worry about fuel and energy costs, it didn't occur to him that this is a bit of a dent in our budget.

Perhaps we're too early in the EV era for the etiquette of charging hospitality to be established. What would you have done if you were me?
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  • oldernonethewiser
    I would have asked him how much it costs to charge and see if he knew.

    Next time, if there is one, I would ask him for a tenner and tell him it is mates rates.
    Things that are differerent: draw & drawer, brought & bought, loose & lose, dose & does, payed & paid

  • Farway
    Farway Posts: 13,410 Forumite
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    Probably the same as you and clueless with EV it wouldn't have occurred to me to ask for money for charging the EV, but I would in future knowing just how expensive it was going to be
    Maybe in the future EV etiquette will be similar to party invites, you take a decent bottle along?
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  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,973 Forumite
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    InvertedVee said: Perhaps we're too early in the EV era for the etiquette of charging hospitality to be established. What would you have done if you were me?
    Just say No - Use the excuse that the charging point is faulty (flick the MCB in the consumer unit to OFF for that circuit).
    Tell him at the earliest opportunity that he owes you £11.50 for the energy.

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  • Eldi_Dos
    Eldi_Dos Posts: 1,706 Forumite
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    That would depend on whether they had brought a gift of flowers or a nice bottle to the meal or not.

    There used to be boxes you could keep beside your phone and if someone asked to use your phone it was common courtesy to put the cost of the call in the box.
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,965 Forumite
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    That’s why his wealthier than you :) does he also dodge rounds in the pub?

    Most EV drivers would a) only charged enough to get home safely and b) paid for what that had used.
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,505 Forumite
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    That’s why his wealthier than you :) does he also dodge rounds in the pub?
    Actually we did go to the pub and had one round of drinks. I paid.
    Oh ouch - it wasn't your day, was it! 

    I imagine that this will be something that in 10 years or so  becomes so commonplace that it will be reciprocal - you go to his house and charge your car, he visits you and charges his ahead of the return journey, and nobody will mind because it balances out. Right now though that isn't anywhere close to the case and that is a huge amount of cost to simply lump on to someone because the visitor just didn't give it a thought. If he'd been low on petrol, and you happened to mention you had a jerry-can in the garage and he could use the contents of that, I suspect he would have been falling over himself to offer you the money, but "filling up" an EV isn't yet seen in the same way, is it. Allowing that he stopped en-route to use a public charger though you do have to question why it wouldn't have occurred to him.

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  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 10,754 Forumite
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    Did he have the manners at least to notify you how late he was going to be? 

    I'd be having serious words with him in any case.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • littleteapot
    Sadly a lot of people on above average incomes or below average outgoings still don't think about electricity/gas costs (particularly those who have no children at home, have paid off their mortgage and/or are retired with a good private pension). The money just goes out by DD every month without any thought.

    Unfortunately many of us (including the OP) are not so privileged and we are acutely aware of our power costs. If it were me, I would be bold enough to call said friend and tell them 'I've just noticed it cost ME £11.50 to charge YOUR car yesterday. Would you be so kind as to send me the money as I'm left without enough money for my groceries (or whatever) this week'. if they are a  decent they will apologise and happily compensate you. However there is always the small risk they might not, in which case I would no longer consider them a friend.
  • Mstty
    Mstty Posts: 4,209 Forumite
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    Your friend would have paid at the service station so no different paying at your home. 

    If you are too shy or uneasy about asking your friend to pay then only you can weigh up the pros and cons of this one.

    If you feel it might put the friendship on edge, then perhaps they weren't a friend in the first place.

    Let us know what you decide to do.
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