coochin creek iced
Supplied

The brand new ultra-rapid electric car charger that was launched last Tuesday at the Sunshine Coasts’s Coochin Creek was inundated with vehicles parking under the site’s solar canopy on Sunday in what might be the worst case of “ICE-ing” seen to date.

An image shared by Evie Networks on Monday shows that most of the vehicles parked in the EV charging station are internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles – but they weren’t there to deliberate thwart from EV owners from charging their car – they were trying to escape a deluge of hail that hit the area.

That anti-social act is know as “ICEing”, and has become quite the thing in the US. But the fact that this event was caused by ICEing of different kind was not lost on the charging network provider.

“Funnily, the site was “iced” both literally and figuratively,” Evie Networks CEO Chris Mills tells The Driven.

“The weekend was obviously an extreme case. The photo was taken from our on-site camera, which was installed to capture the build process for a possible time-lapse presentation.”

As Evie Networks points out, the super-cell thunderstorm event took place even as huge swathes of Queensland and NSW are battling unprecedented bush fires – a testimony to the weather extremes being experienced across the country and which will be exacerbated by climate change.

It’s entirely likely that many of the ICE owners did not consider the fact the location they are parking in is for electric vehicles only as they attempted to avoid damage to their vehicles, but the mass ICEing does raise an issue that is becoming more common.

ICEing is a behaviour that has historically been on the rise in the US and other countries that have a higher penetration of electric vehicles, but with the arrival of the Tesla Model 3 in August Australia’s electric vehicle fleet it is also now on the rise here.

In some cases, ICEing of carparks is a deliberate act by people who resent the shift to clean, zero emissions, electric transport – however it usually happens in locations such as shopping centres.

“As to enforcement, other than an on-site presence there’s little that we can do.  More particularly what we will review is whether we need additional bollard protection of the equipment given where the cars parked during the hail-storm,” says Mills.

“We haven’t seen too many adverse impacts over the week we’ve been operational [at the Coochin site]”, Evie Network’s Geoff Brady told The Driven.

However, even when it is not a deliberate act, the behaviour is considered poor form as it blocks an electric vehicle owner from charging their vehicle.

In a country where electric vehicle charging infrastructure is still sparse – particularly 350kW DC chargers (such as at the Coochin Creek location) which can recharge several hundred kilometres driving range in as little as 15 minutes – just one ICEd park can mean all the difference for an EV owners.

The Coochin Creek site is located at the Glasshouse Mountains service stations on the Bruce Highway, and is currently free to EV owners using the facility.

The solar canopy on the site helps to power the site and also offers protection from the sun – and it is now obvious, more serious weather events such as hail.

There are currently two 350kW chargers at the site with room and capacity for up to six.

You can listen to our recent interview with Chris Mills on The Driven podcast here.

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