Parking a petrol or diesel vehicle in an electric car charging spot will soon attract a fine in the UK county of Lancashire, with lawmakers giving the green light to a new law to tackle the issue.
The rise in popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) has driven conversion of public parking spaces to charging spots in the county, but there is no law to stop internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles parking in these spots, a practice that is colloquially known as ICEing.
It’s a common issue that is often reported on social media as a source of frustration for EV owners – especially in fledgling markets such as Australia where public EV charging spots are far less accessible than petrol stations.
The new regulations, which were noted in the local Lancashire Post media, will also mean that parking an electric vehicle in charging spots without actually charging will also attract a fine.
There are 150 public charging spots planned for the county, located in existing on-street parking converted for the purpose of charging EVs, with many already complete, operational and marked with signage to indicate their purpose.
Councillors considering the bill heard that owners of electric vehicles were often unable to access the spots due to ICE vehicles using them for parking.
“Modern developments have outstripped the regulations and need addressing,” county council leader Geoff Driver said according to the Lancashire Post.
Most of the local charging spots are AC “destination” chargers that allow for an EV to recharge in 3-4 hours, while a limited number of DC fast chargers can charge EVs in an hour or less depending on the maximum charge rate.
The new laws stipulate that at all locations, EV owners must have their vehicle plugged in and charging, and the time limit for using the charge spot will be dependent on whether the location has a destination charger or a fast charger.
EV owners will not be allowed to return to the charge spot within a two hour period, regardless of the charger type.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.