First time driving an EV? Start here!

You’re doing the right thing for the environment and your wallet by renting an electric vehicle. Congratulations! Here’s a few things to keep in mind as you get started:

  1. EVs require a digital keyfob or mobile app account to unlock. 
  2. Electric motors are quiet but fast – please check that the car is on and ready to drive before tapping the acceleration pedal carefully. Take it slow!
  3. Most EVs will automatically apply the brakes when you lift your foot off the “gas” pedal. Regenerative braking, or one-pedal driving, can take time to get used to – some EVs default to regenerative braking to save battery life, but you can modify this setting.

Consult your specific make/model’s owner’s manual for details:

Note that each vehicle make/model will have its own open / close / lock / unlock capabilities. Fortunately, most vehicles offer a key fob, mobile app, and/or RFID card to open the car.

Tesla key instructions

Look for the ‘start’ button in the vehicle, usually near where a key ignition would be.

For Tesla vehicles, you’ll just need the app, key card, or key fob present, then start the vehicle by simply tapping the accelerator pedal.

First, tap on the map and look for a lightning bolt symbol with a circle around it at the bottom right corner of the map above the volume control.

Click on this lightning symbol to see a list of Tesla Supercharging stations near you. Superchargers will be shown as red pins where as other non-tesla chargers will be gray.

Once you arrive at your desired Tesla Supercharging station, back into an available spot, bringing the rear of the car close (28”) to the charging stall or wall.

You can open the charging port located on the rear driver side of the vehicle by tapping the lightning bolt symbol on the display on the left side of the screen next to the image of the Tesla. You can also open the port by pressing on the charging port cover on the outside rear corner of the Tesla.

Once the port is open, pull out the Tesla charging cable and plug it into the charging socket.

Then, look at the screen inside of the car. You’ll see “Starting to Charge” for a bit until the charge begins. Then, the estimated time for the charge to complete will appear on the screen. Below this, you’ll see a battery icon with a button “set limit” underneath it. Click on “set limit” and adjust the percentage you wish to charge up to based on if you’re driving far or locally.

Tesla will monitor how much kWh of charging you use during your trip and you will be charged $0.28/kWh – $0.50/kWh used.

Set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes before the charge is complete to avoid paying idle fees from Tesla.

Once the charge is complete, Unplug by pressing the circle on the charger handle once and pull the charger out of the port. Then, magnetize the charger back into the station and you’re all set!

Find a charger near you with the Plugshare app or search below:

Chargepoint, Electrify America, and EVgo offer public charging locations which you can use for a modest fee. Please create an account and fill in your payment methods for quick and smooth charging transactions (some stations do not accept credit cards, only payment through the app).

Three types of chargers are provided:

  • J1772 Level 2 chargers take 2-5 hours to fully charge.
  • CHAdeMO DC Fast chargers for Nissan Leafs take 20-30 minutes.
  • CCS (Combined Charging System) chargers for Chevrolet Bolt takes 20-30 minutes.

Once you arrive at the charging station you located on your public charging app, pull into an available station that has your desired charger. Each station has its own personal name, so match the charger you’re parked at with the charger inside your app. To find the specific charger in the app, click on the location that you are currently at.

Then, a list of charging stations at your location will pop up, (it will either be names or numbers). Match the charging station with the one you are parked at, or move to a station that you see listed on your phone if the one you’re at is not listed. Once you’re parked at the correct station that matches to your phone, click on the charger you wish to use.

To get started on charging, open your EV’s charge port and from the charger choose the appropriate connector. Plug your connector into the charge port until it clicks firmly into place. (*Click!*) To initiate your charge, swipe right on the EVgo app screen.

Once the charger is activated, your screen will show that the charger is in use. Now you’re free to run your errands, grab a bite to eat, or enjoy a short break from your day.

When you’re ready to hit the road, return to the charger and stop your session on the screen. If your session ends before you get back, you will receive a mobile alert. Push the button forward to release the connector and replace the connector in its holster.

*Hotels may provide chargers for overnight or midday charging.

Charging EV’s will incur penalties of up to $300 for Tesla if you do not move the car after charging is completed.

For Nissan and Bolt, you will continue to be charged if charging is completed and you do not unplug the charging cable.To unplug charging cable for Nissan Leafs, you’ll need to press on the charging button below the left side of the steering well. This will unlock the charging cable from the charging port and allow you to remove the cable.

Volta Charging offers free Level 2 and discounted DC fast charging at select locations, thanks in part to out-of-home advertising partners. 

Find a Volta charger near you on your desktop, or download the app for iPhone or Android

A standard wall plug (110 V) and car connector is considered a Level 1 charger and will “drip charge” the battery a few miles per hour which works in a pinch. 

A standard washer / dryer plugin (220 V) and car connected is a Level 2 home charger and will charge the battery ~5-10+ kWh, meaning up to 10 kilowatts in an hour (x 3.5 miles per kWh or 30+ miles of range per hour, as a rule of thumb). 

Some Level 2 public charging stations are rated at 9-18+ kWh. This is best for most use cases and most affordable electricity costs. 

New public charging stations rely on Direct Current (DC) fast charging which are rated at 50-150+kWh, meaning drivers can refill a standard battery 20-80% in half an hour. Be sure to check the charger’s screen or the network’s mobile app for pricing details.

Most fully charged electric vehicle batteries will take you about 250-300 miles. Check the infotainment panel for the most up-to-date battery state of charge and range estimate.

Remember to recharge your battery before it gets to 10-20% state-of-charge to be safe.

Short answer is no. It’s safe to have your EV washed in rollovers, tunnels, and jet wash areas, so don’t worry about damaging any of the equipment.

If you want to be extra careful, though, please make sure the ignition is on and the car is in neutral when going through the wash tunnel to make sure that it has enough battery power.

For ending your vehicle rental, please remember to return the EV with 80-90% state of charge at the drop-off location by your scheduled time.

If you’re unable to recharge the vehicle, please reach out to your host. A convenience fee may be charged for a battery <75% state of charge for the upcoming guest.

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