Underutilised charging stations can be a bottleneck in the swift transition to electric mobility. This study is the first to research cooperative behaviour at public charging stations as a way to address improved usage of public charging stations. It does so by viewing public charging stations as a common-pool resource and explains cooperative behaviour from an evolutionary perspective. Current behaviour is analysed using a survey (313 useful responses) and an analysis of large dataset (2.1 million charging sessions) on the use of public charging infrastructure in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In such a way it identifies the potential, drivers and possible obstacles that electric vehicle drivers experience when cooperating with other drivers to optimally make use of existing infrastructure. Results show that the intention to show direct reciprocal charging behaviour is high among the respondents, although this could be limited if the battery did not reach full or sufficient state-of-charge at the moment of the request. Intention to show direct reciprocal behaviour is mediated by kin and network effects.