Following on from my thoughts on charging etiquette at Rapid chargers, this popped up in the news yesterday. Waitlist , a new service from Chargepoint in the US offers a first attempt at addressing the issue. Cleantechnica also discuss it here.
It offers a means of managing queuing at charge points. The system will even let charge point owners define time limits for charging and send reminders to move on when charging is complete. Anecdotal reports suggest that it has made a difference at busy stations. Properly applied, it could be a very effective tool for managing and maximising charging. Drivers can book ahead by app, or use RFID to tag a queue position. The charge times could even be tailored by users declaring their requirements before charging, with a developing queue holding them to a requested minimum. No queue, then maximum charge.
Applied to rapid pricing there is even greater scope as things get busier to offer variable pricing based on factor such as time of day, number in the queue, willingness to wait or take less charge to keep things moving. It’s an economic model that is already proven, so why not apply it?
Some changes to the layout of existing points and design for all future points would make the model work very well. A minimum of three bays , two charging, one queued. Drivers would be required to ensure that the vehicle end of the lead is locked, with the point set to release the lead at the end of the charge, either when complete, or when the user has opted for a minimum charge time, after which another user requests the charge point.
The system would even allow operators to refuse charge to any persistently bad mannered users, abusing the facilities to the detriment and inconvenience of others. In practice with a more considered parking layout and end of charge lead release, it would take considerable effort to achieve this.