The boom in electric cars has given rise to a new social faux pas

Monday, 7th June 2021, 4:12 pm
Blagging electricity while visiting someone else's home, new research suggests.
With sales of zero emission cars up by 145 per cent this year, asking to plug your car in at a friend's house is set to become the modern equivalent of asking for a jerry can of fuel.
But a study of 2,000 people has revealed 61 per cent would consider it rude for a guest to ask for a battery top-up.
However, 56 per cent of these would be too polite to say no - leading to an awkward social situation that is set to become commonplace.
Almost two thirds (63 per cent) likened the request to plug an EV in at someone’s house as the same as asking the host if they can have a jerry can of fuel from the garage.

New research

The research was carried out by Kia to highlight the recent launch of its new Kia Charge service, which gives EV and PHEV drivers easy access to around 17,000 charging points around the UK.
Commenting on the findings, etiquette expert William Hanson said: “With new technology, comes new etiquette.

“Interestingly, Kia’s survey reports the public think asking to charge your car at a friend's house is bad manners. Is this due to e-charging being a newish concept? I wonder if this will change over time. Ultimately, a can of petrol costs a lot more than an hour's electricity for the car, so is it directly comparable?

“While we get to grips with this new frontier, I advise guests not to ask their hosts unless they are offered. Hosts should be proactive, and generous, and offer their charger when they see a friend arrive in an electric car, especially if they have made a long journey and do not know the area.
“If any electricity is used a guest should send a thank you letter or gift a day or two after - and of course be ready to offer their own charging point when their friend visits their own house.
“If hosts really object to sharing their provisions with guests, don't have people over.  Part of being a good host is sharing food, drink and your home comforts.  As society evolves this should now include e-charging, which is ultimately for the benefit of the planet.
“Guests do need to be mindful not to go over the top, of course. Try and limit charging time at someone else's house and don't take too much liberty.”

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Other faus pax

Kia’s research also examined the wider 'yays and nays' for guests, with wiping greasy hands on the sofa, putting your feet up and breaking wind are among the biggest faux pas for those visiting friends and family.
One in five think it’s fine to walk into someone else’s house without taking their shoes off.

A quarter think it’s perfectly acceptable as a guest to swear inside someone’s home, while one in 10 think it’s fine to ask for the Wi-Fi password within 30 minutes of arriving.

And when it comes to use of the house’s facilities, 26 per cent of hosts say you should never go for more than a wee when visiting.
Guests should typically wait around 50 minutes before asking for the Wi-Fi password - however 40 per cent say you should NEVER ask for it.
More than half (51 per cent) of those surveyed by OnePoll for Kia say it’s fine to ask to use the host’s phone charger.
Breaking the rules has consequences, with more than a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents having banned a guest from their home for bad behaviour, while a similar figure (23 per cent) have refused to go back to see a host following a negative experience when they visited.
The research also revealed it’s vital to call ahead - with 51 per cent saying it is rude to turn up at someone else’s home unannounced.
A spokesperson for Kia said: “Visiting friends and family or playing host can be a bit of an etiquette minefield. Throw in the rise in popularity of electric cars and it could create an awkward conversation between friends and relatives.
“Electric car charging is still a relatively new phenomenon for many people, but one which is becoming more popular every month. To make it easier, and avoid a tricky situation, we’re pleased to introduce Kia Charge, which gives drivers access to thousands of charging points via one simple app.”

Kia launched Kia Charge to give owners of the brand’s electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles access to around 17,000 charge points across the UK – around 68 per cent of the public charging network – from a single account.

Located in urban hubs and along major travel arteries, such chargers let Kia e-Niro and Soul EV drivers – and owners of the brand’s multiple plug-in hybrid vehicles – make the most of each vehicle’s rapid-charging capabilities.