Surely nearly every owner of a Tesla vehicle is aware of the proper etiquette for EV charging in a Tesla supercharging station. The general rule, in a Tesla supercharging station that has so-called V2 chargers, is never park next to another Tesla vehicle unless there is no other choice about where to park. If for example you arrive at a station with six ports, as shown above, and there are two cars already charging, you park in the far-right spot. Just about everybody knows this. But in some locations, this is incorrect. A first example is the Tesla supercharging station in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. A second example is a Tesla supercharging station on Rainbow Drive in Silverthorne, Colorado.
By way of background, the starting point for the proper etiquette for EV charging in a Tesla supercharging station is that charging ports are paired. In a station with six ports, there are three massive power supplies. Each power supply serves two of the charging ports. If you go to a Telsa supercharging station that has (for example) six ports, the pairing will usually be as shown in this diagram. If there is already a car charging at port 3A, it would be impolite to plug in your car at port 3B unless there is no other choice about where to plug in. The idea is that the power available from the power supply could go entirely to one car, or the power could be split up with half of the power going to each of two cars. If there are three or fewer cars being charged, each car can charge at the highest possible speed if each of the three car owners uses a power supply that neither of the other cars is using. This leads to the very simple rule which anyone can follow — try to avoid parking right next to any other car.
To say this in a more precise way, the key is to look closely at the “A” and “B” markings on the kiosks. If somebody is already using, say, 1A, then you should try to avoid using 1B.
This brings us to Glenwood Springs, where the “don’t park next to another car” rule is completely wrong! At the charging station in Glenwood Springs, the pairing is as shown in this diagram.
What it means is that if you arrive at the charging station in Glenwood Springs, and if there are three cars already charging in the positions shown in this diagram, then the two polite places to plug in are actually right next to cars that are already charging. Indeed if you were to select the far right port, you would get slow charging instead of fast charging, and you would be slowing down the charging for the middle car that was previously getting fast charging.
What we can also see is that the car in the far left position (1A) is getting slow charging because there is also a car in position 1B. The driver of the car in the far left position might have been following the “don’t park next to another car” rule but the rule did not work in this case!
The proper etiquette, then, stated more precisely, is to look closely at the “A” and “B” markings on the kiosks. If somebody is already using, say, 1A, then you should try to avoid using 1B, no matter where the 1B port is located.
Some Tesla supercharging stations are V3 instead of V2. One of the ways that you can tell it is a V3 station is that the ports are marked A, B, C, and D. Another way to recognize a V3 station is that its charging cords are not as thick as the V2 charging cords. At V3 stations, you do not need to worry about slowing down some other car’s charging. With V3, you can park wherever you wish so far as charging speeds are concerned.