Drivers of electric vehicles are being warned they risk being fined for overstaying at public charge points as councils begin to crack down on motorists.
EV experts at LeaseElectricCar.co.uk are warning electric car owners to keep an eye on the time spent at a charging bay else risk receiving a fine for overstaying their welcome.
The overstaying fee has recently been introduced in several cities including Glasgow and Sheffield, who have been handing out fines of £30 and £20 respectively.
It is expected that further local authorities up and down the country could also soon implement fines for drivers that charge for too long.
Overstaying charges have been introduced in response to the rise in EV ownership outpacing the implementation of a suitable charging network.
Too many electric vehicles and too few charge points has led councils to turn their attention to motorists that stay in public charging spaces for extended periods, preventing other drivers from being able to charge up.
However, fines for charging over the allotted time are not new – Tesla charge points currently hand out 50p per minute fines, increasing to £1 each minute if all other devices are in use.
But now with the expanding introduction of overstaying fees, experts are warning EV owners to be vigilant when charging their cars at public charge points else risk being fined.
Even though the overstaying fee has not yet been rolled out nation-wide, Tim Alcock from LeaseElectricCar.co.uk wants to warn drivers to be aware that fines could soon be introduced in their local area.
He said: “I sympathise with those local authorities who feel the only way to tackle the issue of overcharging is to hand out fines to electric vehicle owners.
“Despite EV owners initially being praised for making the switch to electric, it seems now they are being punished.
“It is the government who needs to gear up on their promise to install 300,000 new public chargepoints up and down the country by 2030. Reports show that the UK is not currently on track to achieve that.
“I’m urging the Department for Transport to focus on installing more rapid charging devices for public use, so local authorities do not feel the need to introduce hefty fines for those currently using the limited number of chargepoints available.
“The government is set to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and are encouraging more motorists to make the switch to electric.
“And with more and more EVs driving along UK roads, the infrastructure for electric cars needs to rapidly be improved.
“More public chargepoints desperately need to be installed up and down the country to make driving an EV easier and motivate more motorists to swap out petrol and diesel, as the government has encouraged.
“Tackling the issue of the lack of public use rapid chargepoints is the right way forward, rather than forcing local authorities to have to start introducing fines for drivers just to free up spaces for others.”