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‘Charge rage’ shocks Silicon Valley enviros

In California’s Silicon Valley, drivers of electric cars are finding it increasingly difficult to access car-charging stations at work. The growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) is in many cases outpacing the number of charging ports that companies are willing to install for their employees. The soaring demand for charging ports is leading to incidents of “charge rage” at some companies, and giving rise to a new sphere of workplace etiquette issues.

George Betak learned the hard way about the hazards of charging etiquette. Betak told the San Jose Mercury News about his experiences scrambling for one of the limited charging spots available to the 100 employees driving EVs at Yahoo’s Sunnyvale headquarters. “I needed to be somewhere by 6 p.m., and all of the active chargers were full. I couldn’t plug in all day,” he said. “There was a Volt that appeared to be finished charging, so I unplugged it so I could get a half-hour boost. … The next day, I learned that the Volt owner was furious, and he sent out this email blast saying that I stole his charge. It was awful.”

Peter Graf, chief sustainability officer for German software company SAP, said the company’s 16 charging stations are now not nearly enough for the 61 employees who drive electric cars.

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